The Queen Sonja Art Foundation was established in 2011 to promote graphic art, generate interest and stimulate the development of contemporary printmaking.
The Foundation will support and encourage graphic art of all expressions and techniques. With roots in both tradition and craftmanship, the ÿeld of graphic art today is experiencing an expansion of its means of expression and a renaissance for well-tested and proven techniques. Artists have long understood that there are specific things that can be expressed and communicated through prints.
The Foundation’s major activities involve recognizing graphic artists through awards. The Foundation currently has three awards,. These are:
The Queen Sonja Print Award: The award will recognize a young artist who has excelled in the art of printmaking. The awardee receives NOK 1 000 000 to support his or her work and a residency at the prestigious Atelje Larsen workshop in Helsingborg, Sweden. This graphic art award is the largest of its kind internationally. It was formerly known as the Queen Sonja Nordic Art Award.
QSPA Inspiration Award, Kjell Nupen Memorial Grant: In memory of Kjell Nupen, this award recognizes emerging graphic artists or printmakers from the Nordic countries and is awarded in collaboration with master printer Bill Goldston at Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE). The awardee receives NOK 50 000 and a 10-day educational stay at ULAE’s renowned printmaking workshop on Long Island, New York.
QSPA Lifetime Award: This is the newest award under the QSPA, and was presented for the first time in 2018. This award is a celebration of an artist’s career and lifetime contribution to graphic art and printmaking.
In addition to providing awards to remarkable graphic artists, the QSPA works actively in a variety of different arenas to promote printmaking.