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Norwegian arctic art

It’s hard not to be inspired by the breathtaking landscape in Norway. This is especially the case in the arctic regions of Northern Norway where the scenery is particularly spellbinding. It should therefore come as no surprise that there is also a thriving art scene in the Northern country.
Arctic art in Norway
Marcela Cardenas
Perhaps one of the most unique parts of Norway is the Arctic. Norway’s Arctic consists of four separate regions: the northernmost area of mainland Norway, Svalbard, Bjørnøya or Bear Island and Jan Mayen. In addition to incredible local artists, many artists from other regions of the world also flock to the Arctic to experience nature and find inspiration.
If you are interested in exploring the arts scene on your next trip to Norway, there are a number of festivals, events, museums and galleries we recommend! Here are just a few.
Roger Hennum

The Arctic Arts Festival

The Arctic Arts Festival takes place in Harstad and has a tradition that dates back over fifty years. The festival was born thanks to journalist Jan Kr. Nilssen. In April of 1965, Jan called on the arts community and local government to join him for a meeting at the Grand Hotel in Harstad to discuss the idea of a Northern Norwegian music festival.
During the meeting, an interim board was selected and the first Arctic Arts Festival happened in June of 1965. The festival takes place over an entire week and celebrates Northern artists from all over the world. In addition to the festival, a conference also takes place. The Arctic Arts Summit aims to find ways to strengthen arts and culture in the North by encouraging circumpolar cooperation. The Summit helps promote collaborations amongst Northern artists and creative industries.
Frank Andreassen

Galleri Svalbard

You might not expect to find a world-class permanent collection of art in the middle of the Arctic. However, at Galleri Svalbard, you will find just that. From ancient maps to rare books, there is plenty for art lovers to see. The gallery also houses the works of Kåre Tveter. Tveter was a Norwegian painter born in 1922 who is known for his beautiful depictions of the nordic light. For those looking to explore the Arctic art scene, this gallery is worth a visit.
Kim G. Skytte

Northern Norway Arts Museum

Located in Tromsø, the Northern Norway Arts Museum or the Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, is housed in a building built in 1917 that used to be a post office. The museum was established in 1985 and was named Museum of the Year in 2017. You’ll find something for everyone at the Northern Norway Arts Museum. The museum presents both Norwegian as well as international art from the 17th century up until present-day contemporary collections. You will find many different forms of art from paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, textiles, and ceramics.
For those who might be traveling throughout Norway’s Arctic, the museum also recently opened a satellite location in Longyearbyen called Kunsthall Svalbard. This satellite location places a special focus on engaging with children and youth in the Arctic. If you’re looking for a specific exhibition, be sure to check in advance to see what the museum has on.
The natural beauty of Northern Norway is undoubtedly inspiring. This is why, although it is remote, Norway’s Arctic is home to a number of incredible artists and inspiring art museums. We highly recommend immersing yourself in the work of local artists to enhance your travel experience and support the thriving Arctic art community. A great way to experience Norway arctic regions, is by traveling on the Northern Lights Chase in Tromsø.

The best arctic experiences

Check out our exciting collection of activities in the arctic here!

Life in the arctic

Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

Norway’s Arctic Climate

Norway’s Arctic is one of the most astounding places on the planet. From the vast untouched snowy landscape, to the breathtaking Aurora Borealis, to the unique wildlife, the Arctic is truly something incredible. Unfortunately, climate change is having a devastating impact on Arctic regions worldwide. If change doesn’t occur rapidly to repair the damage that has already been done, the results will be devastating for Arctic regions as well as the rest of the world.

Polar bears in Svalbard - Norway

Animals in the arctic

It should come as no surprise that the Arctic region is one of the toughest places on earth for wildlife to live. Humans have been able to adapt fairly well to living in this part of the world due to the ability to wear clothing and reside in heated structures throughout the majority of the winter. However, for the animals that are forced to stay outside and venture through the Norwegian fjords and other areas of the Arctic, the climate is much more inhospitable.

Mining community of Longyearbyen, Svalbard - Norway

The Arctic Circle

Sitting at Earth’s most northerly latitudes, you can think of the Arctic as the planet’s hat. The main focus of this area is, of course, the North Pole, however there is so much more to it than that. Surrounding the North Pole is the Arctic Circle which stretches out into different countries, forming a line around the top of the Earth. Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating part of the world.

Aurora Safari Tromsø - Northern lights tour from Tromsø, Norway

How to have the ultimate arctic adventure

When you book a trip to somewhere adventurous like the Arctic, you want to make sure that every second of the journey is packed with as much excitement as possible. But in order to do this, you need to know a variety of things about your destination such as where to sleep, what to do, and what to eat while you are there.