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What is AiRV?

Goals and ambitions

AiR Vesterålen is a comprehensive artist residency programme for our five municipalities in the Vesterålen islands. The project runs for four years, and we subdivide this into 2 two-year periods.

The principal partners are Nordland Academy for Arts and Science (NAKV)Cultural Cooperation in Vesterålen (including the municipalities) and Museum Nord, along with their local partners:

  • Sortland (Sortland/Jennestad)- Jennestad galleri/atelier/Kunstnerhuset

  • Hadsel (Melbu) - Neptun Art/Science Lab, NAKV and Museum Nord

  • Bø (Vinjesjøen) - Bø museum/Friluftsgalleriet

  • Øksnes (Nyksund) - Nyksund

  • Andøy (Bleik) - Andøya Space

AiRV is Vesterålen’s collective boost of art with an international dimension, a firm local foundation, and

varying areas of focus in each place.

The objective of these residencies is to help develop identity, knowledge, awareness and experiences. We wish to make Vesterålen visible to others and to reinforce cultural cooperation in the region. The project is intended to leave visible traces and contribute towards local development and, not least, to dialogue.

The residencies will contribute to the overall project in creating new forms of engagement and community involvement, and also producing a final work that can be shared with the public.

The residency is for those artists/practitioners


  • who are able to demonstrate an interest in our areas of interest/options at each location

  • who are able to demonstrate experience in community engagement, dialog and working alongside communities

Terms and information

We are looking for a group of artists, or up to three individuals who would work alongside each other. Artists and creative practitioners are welcome to apply individually or as collectives. These will be selected by the project from a curatorial choice.

We welcome applicants who live and work in Europe (EU, EEA and UK).

Any professional artist, regardless of gender, region or religion, are welcome to apply.  We invite established as well as emerging artists, curators and writers. Also practitioners from any art-related discipline, cross-discipline practices are welcome to apply.

Each group will get two stays of ten days each. The specified times can be found under the respective places in the menu above.

The first residency stay will be used to become familiar with the local community, do research, meet local citizens and partners in collaboration, and begin the creative process.

During the second stay of the residency, we wish to focus on presentation and, if possible, link this to already existing cultural events. This phase involves the production of a final work that will be shared with the public.


The project manager will follow up the project and work with local partners to ensure that your visit is well-hosted. 

A fee of 7,000 NOK will be paid to each artist, per residency stay.

The project will cover travel and accommodation costs. The project will also provide a rental vehicle during the artists’ residency if this is needed.


The costs of materials, equipment and other production expenses amounting up to 10,000 NOK for the second stay, will be covered by the project.

The property rights to the work resulting from the artist residency must be clarified and contracted for each case.  

Background for the project

Through Cultural Cooperation in Vesterålen and Nordland Academy for Arts and Science, Vesterålen has had cultural exchange projects for more than 30 years.

This project period coincides with Bodø 2024, European Cultural Capital. It is natural to include AiRV as a link in this event.

For us, it is important that the project leaves visible traces – the HERITAGE remaining after the project must be distinctive, challenging, and hopefully inspiring for all.

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