HM Queen Sonja Art Foundation was established in 2011 to generate interest in and promote the development of graphic art. The Foundation presents three awards every other year.

With its focus on international graphic art in all its expressions and techniques, the Queen Sonja Print Awards are set to become the most prestigious prizes within this field of contemporary art.

Queen Sonja Print Award

The Queen Sonja Print Award has become the world’s leading award for graphic art and is presented every other year to a young, ambitious and promising artist who has excelled in the field of printmaking. A wide range of international professionals, curators, artists and art institutions nominate talented artists from all over the world for this prestigious prize.

The nominees reflect the breadth of contemporary printmaking around the world, ranging from traditional forms to new approaches involving installation, collage and performance. No printing technique or way of expression is to be excluded as long as the printing element is apparent. There is no age limit, but older and clearly long-established artists will not be considered for this award.

The prize is determined by the board, and taken from the yield on the Foundation’s capital, along with gifts and other contributions received by the Foundation.

Winners of the Queen Sonja Print Award:

  • 2022: Yto Barrada, France/Morocco
  • 2020: Ciara Phillips, Canada/UK
  • 2018: Emma Nishimura, Canada
  • 2016: Tauba Auerbach, USA
  • 2014: Svend-Allan Sørensen, Denmark
  • 2012: Tiina Kivinen, Finland

Winners and Nominees


QSPA Inspirational Award

The QSPA Inspirational Award is awarded a Nordic artist who is currently pursuing, or has recently completed, his or her art education, and whose artistic practice makes active use of printmaking as an important means of expression. The grant is a collaboration between master printer Bill Goldston at Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE) and the HM Queen Sonja Art Foundation, with the board of the Foundation serving as the jury.

The artists are nominated by the larger academies of art and the printmaking organisations in the Nordic countries, and the award is presented every other year.

The QSPA Inspirational Award comprises a 10-day educational stay at ULAE’s renowned printmaking workshop on Long Island, New York, and a cash prize of
NOK 50.000 to cover expenses for travel, food, accommodation and printing materials.

The award was first introduced as the Kjell Nupen Memorial Grant in 2014, in commemoration of the Norwegian artist Kjell Nupen, who passed away earlier that year. The grant was renamed the QSPA Inspirational Award in 2018.

Winners of the QSPA Inspirational Award:

  • 2022: Meerke Laimi Thomasson Vekterli, Norway
  • 2020: Anna Pajak, Sweden
  • 2017: Julie Ebbing, Norway
  • 2015: Adam Saks, Denmark

Winners and Nominees

QSPA Lifetime Achievement Award

In 2018 the QSPA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented for the first time.
The Award celebrates an artist’s career and lifetime contribution to graphic art and printmaking. It is the QSPA Board that decides on the artist who will receive this honour. The QSPA LIfetime Achievement Award is presented bi-annually.

The first QSPA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to the British artist David Hockney for his distinguished contribution to fine art printmaking.

Winners of the QSPA Lifetime Achievement Award:

  • 2022: William Kentridge, South Africa
  • 2020: Paula Rego, Portugal/UK
  • 2018: David Hockney, UK

QSPA Lifetime Achievement Award