STARA Vol 5. issue 3. 2015
We pay artists
P h o t o Jú l í a R u n ó l f s d ó t t i r
Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir Chairman of SÍM
After six years of art studies at university level, a short reality shock ensues while you ask yourself how you will make a living in this field. Then you check yourself and review the situation. Yes, there is a chance to apply for a grant from the Visual Art Fund. Maybe you will get an artist stipend for six months, and then you might win a competition for a public art work, or get a chance to create work in a public space from The Public Buildings Art Fund. If you work long and hard enough, you will end up being invited to host a private exhibition at the National Gallery of Iceland. Every bit counts and you harbour a tiny hope that you will be able to pay the rent, afford
an education for yourself and your children, and put food on the table. After a successful private exhibition in a public art gallery you realize that not everyone is equal. Everyone gets paid - the museum director, the museum representative, the curator, cleaners and technicians and so on – everyone that is except the artist. On top of that, The Visual Art Fund has been cut by 33%, from 52 million ISK (current currency) to 35 million ISK. The Public Build-
ings Art Fund is empty with regards to grants for older buildings. No effective supervision exists to make sure the laws are being followed concerning the allocation of 1% of the total production costs for new public buildings towards works of art within the buildings or their surrounding area. The artist stipend is below minimum wage and the number of months they are allotted for has stalled since 2012.