Skaftfell - Center for Visual Art

General information

Brief description of organisation

Skaftfell, based in Seyðisfjörður in East Iceland, is a visual art center with the essential role of presenting, discussing and encouraging the development of contemporary art in a rural area. It is a meeting point for artists and locals, and its activities include exhibitions and events, an art education program for schools, and the international residency program. In 2013 Skaftfell received an Icelandic award, Eyrarrósin, for outstanding cultural leadership in a rural area. In 2018, the art center celebrated its 20th anniversary. Skaftfell is a non-profit organization.

Organisation founded in


Brief description of residency program

The residency program at Skaftfell creates an environment for inspiration, focus, and experimentation. It allows artists to experience life and work in a unique community where creativity is applied to the everyday and offers conditions that enrich the dialogue between art and life. Almost 300 artists have come to Seyðisfjörður through the Skaftfell residency program since it started in 2005. Some have left a physical trace behind, or a trace in someone’s memory. Some have returned many times, and some have stayed for good. Skaftfell is far from the busy centers of contemporary art, and offers a refuge, a hiding place, and a thinking space for artists and other creative practitioners. We encourage artists in residence to embrace the idea of a slow residency, and to allow themselves time for contemplation, preparing the ground for a shift in their practices. The program is suited to visual artists, artists with interdisciplinary practices, curators and art writers.

Skaftfell offers two types of artist residency: "self-directed" and "thematic"

Self-directed residencies:
The self-directed residencies are for individual artists and artistic collaborators. They offer quiet time and space for independent research, reflection, and experimentation. Artists are encouraged to use their stay for in-depth inquiries into their work processes and conceptual interests, to enjoy the magnificent nature of Skaftfell’s surroundings as a source of energy and inspiration, to share thoughts with other residency artists, and to work at the interface of art and life, embedded in a small but vibrant rural community.

The residencies are for 1–3 months within the winter, spring or autumn term. We encourage artists to stay for 2 months or longer, in order to get deeper into the place and their practice here. The program is closed in July and December.

Costs for the artist: Residency fee, travel costs, project expenses, and meals will be paid by the artist. The residency fee covers self-catering accommodation with combined living/working space, as well as general and PR support from Skaftfell staff. The fee varies according to the chosen type of residency.

Thematic Residencies:
Skaftfell’s thematic residencies create platforms for exchange, discussion, and collaboration amongst fellow artists from various disciplines, who share a professional interest in the residency’s topic, both on a practical and a conceptual level, and who wish to deepen their knowledge and expertise. They are developed and led by experienced professional artists invited by Skaftfell. The thematic residencies offer a 3-week intensive program for 6-8 artists, including group workshops, presentations, individual working time, and professional advice and support according to the residency’s topic and structure.

Costs for the artist: Residency fee, travel costs, and meals will be paid by the artist. The residency fee includes the scheduled program, shared self-catering accommodation, access to shared working spaces and equipment, basic materials if relevant, access to WiFi, and general and PR support from Skaftfell staff.

Residency program since


Disciplines and media
  • Visual Art
Type of organisation
  • Independent Association/Foundation

Residency conditions

Duration of residencies
  • between 1 and 3 months
Number of artists resident at one time


Companions allowed
  • Children
  • Partners
Expenses paid by artist
  • Travel
  • Housing
  • Supplies
  • Food
  • Other

Housing, WiFi, and domestic bills are covered by paying the residency fee.

Expectations of the artist
  • Cleaning
Expenses paid by the organisation
  • Housing
Application who/how

Digital Application

Selection procedure

By Committee

Presentation of artists' work

Arranged on a case-by-case basis

Description of residency



  • Internet Connection
  • Library
  • Office
  • Kitchen
  • Printmaking Facilities
Number of studios


Type and size of studios

Live-work space

  • Private Room
  • Private Apartment
  • Shared Apartment
Working language(s)
  • English
  • German
  • Icelandic
Other activities happening at the space
  • Workshops
  • Presentation
  • Films
  • Exhibitions
  • Cafe/Restaurant
  • Open studios

How to reach

By plane

Most international flights arrive at Keflavik International Airport.

From Keflavik the airport bus takes you in 50 minutes to Reykjavík´s central bus station BSÍ.

From the central bus station it is a 15 min walk or short taxi ride to the Domestic Airport in Reykjavík. AirIceland operates domestic flights to Egilsstaðir several times a day: . The flight takes one hour.
Be sure to estimate a minimum of 3 hours for transit from arrival time at Keflavík airport to departure time at the domestic airport in Reykjavík.

A bus operates between Egilsstaðir and Seyðisfjörður twice a day. Skaftfell does not have the possibility to arrange pick-ups at the airport, so it is advisable to book a flight that connects to the bus timetable:

By car

From mainland Europe the ferry Norröna sails from Hirtshals in Denmark directly to Seyðisfjörður and takes passengers and cars during most of the year.
The ferry is operated by Smyril Line:

If arriving in Keflavik, you can drive the 700 km to Egilsstaðir in a rental car via the ring road no. 1. From Egilsstaðir it is a 25 min drive over the mountain pass Fjarðarheiði to Seyðisfjörður. In winter (October-May) the road conditions demand a 4 wheel drive vehicle with winter tires.

It is also possible to travel by bus from Reykjavík. The journey takes around 14 hours, and you might have to make a one-night stopover on the way and change busses. In the winter the bus timetable might be restricted.

Nearest airport

Egilsstaðir Airport

Contact information

Skaftfell - Center for Visual Art
Austurvegur 42
710 Seyðisfjörður

Phone: +354-4721632

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