SÍM - The Association of Icelandic Artists

The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists (SÍM) was founded in 1982 and today serves as an interest organization with 960 members.


The members of SÍM are either individuals or representatives of professional associations of artists. SÍM serves as an umbrella organization of seven artists’ associations.


It is the largest organization of working artists in Iceland. 


The goal of SÍM is to improve the salaries and conditions of artists, look out for their interests and rights. SÍM handles various projects for government agencies, appoints representatives to boards and

committees, and gives advices on a variety of issues.

SÍM Residency

SÍM is a non-profit organization without any operating state grants. Currently, SÍM is hosting three locations that are related to the residency program; Hafnarstraeti where the SÍM Gallery, Office and Guesthouse are located, and two residency apartments Seljavegur, which is a 10-minute walk from the city center, and Korpúlfsstaðir, situated on the outskirts of Reykjavik. 

Having started in 2002 with a small one-bedroom apartment and studio in downtown Reykjavik, our residency now welcomes over 200 artists from all over the world on an annual basis. It is the oldest artist residency in Reykjavík and has inspired the establishment of many other artist residencies around Iceland.

SÍM offers two different residency locations in Reykjavik area – Seljavegur in downtown Reykjavik and Korpúlfsstaðir set in an idyllic location on the edge of town. The different settings allow us to cater to each artists requirements, giving them the opportunity to choose their location, regarding on their needs and projects.

Seljavegur and Korpúlfsstaðir house around 70 studios used by local artists and three workshop studios for Textiles, Ceramics and the Icelandic Printmakers Association.

Throughout the year SÍM and SÍM Residency host both long and short exchanges, collaborations and partnership projects with cultural institutions and artist organizations from Norway, Finland, Lithuania, Germany, France, and Poland.

In recent years SÍM Residency has received grants from Kknord, enabling SÍM to invite artists from the Nordic and the Baltic countries to stay at the residency.

© Guðni Rósmundsson


SÍM Residency Seljavegur

Seljavegur 32, 101 Reykjavik

SÍM Residency Korpúlstaðir with Coffe house, meeting stage, and Hlöðuloftið exhibition hall

Thorsvegur 1, 112 Reykjavik


SÍM Office /
Gallery / SÍM Guesthouse

Hafnarstraeti 16, 101 Reykjavik


SÍM Residency Employees



Managing Director of SÍM Studios



SÍM Residency Project Manager and curator 



House Manager

Liisi Kõuhkna_edited.png

Liisi Kõuhkna

SÍM Residency Curator 

Internship 19.09.2022-14.08.2023



Artist-in-Residence Program

The SÍM Residency is an international self-directed artist-in-residence programme in Reykjavik, Iceland. The main objective of the residency is to provide a venue for international artists to take part in the Icelandic art scene, thereby creating a broader context within which local and international artists can experience their own work.  


The SÍM Residency seeks to promote an environment of  reflection, research, study, and play by providing artists with a working environment that supports the artistic process.  


Artists can stay for a period of one to three months and are accepted based on their project proposal and work examples. A bachelor's degree in fine arts or similar qualifications is required. The residency program includes two public events: artist talk and open studios. Additional events like solo exhibitions at SÍM Gallery, educational workshops, or collaboration projects with local art schools or kindergartens can also be organized. 


SÍM Residency is a sustainable residency without receiving state grants. Visiting artist pay a residency fee between 455,00€ and 900,00 € per month. This meets the minimum cost of running the residency program. The fee includes accommodation, studio space, and where applicable, access to technical facilities.

Open calls

SÍM Residency open call applications are open twice a year:

From 1st till 31st January for period July – December  

From 1st till 31st July for period January – June   


*additional announcements for rooms/studios availabilities due to cancellations are available with our newsletters, and applications for short notice availabilities are accepted throughout the year. To receive the latest news please subscribe to our newsletter.  

Duration of Residency


1-3 months

Granted residency is from the second to the last day of the relevant month.


Application Requirements 

The SÍM Residency is a self-directed art project-based residency and requires a project proposal as well as work examples. 


All mediums of visual arts (painting, sculpture, engraving, photography, drawing, illustration, mixed techniques, sound art, installations, comic strips, performance, textile arts or any other form of related expression) are accepted including cross-disciplinary art project proposals. SÍM Residency also welcomes curators and art writers for research-based projects.   

Qualifying applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in fine arts or similar qualifications.  

Events / activities  

SÍM Residency self-directed artist-in-residence program includes an introduction meeting, two public, and two private events. All event dates are announced one month before the residency program begins.   

All events are optional, only the introduction meeting is mandatory.   


Introduction meeting  

Type: private meeting  

Participation: mandatory  

Time: beginning of each month 

Location: both residency locations   


Artist talk   

Type: public event  

Participation: optional  

Time: beginning of each month  

Location: SÍM meeting and coffee house - Korpúlfsstaðir, Thorsvegur 1 112 Reykjavik


Group dinner  

Type: private gathering  

Participation: optional   

Time: after artists’ talk 

Location: SÍM meeting and coffee house - Korpúlfsstaðir, Thorsvegur 1 112 Reykjavik


Open Studios  

Type: public event  

Participation: optional  

Time: the end of month  

Location: both SIM Residency locations   


*each applicant is welcome to propose ideas for individual lectures, workshops, talks or other artistic activities.  

*SÍM Residency collaborates with local kindergartens and art schools where educational workshops can be organized. 


Currently, SÍM is hosting two residency locations in Reykjavik; Seljavegur,  and Korpúlfsstaðir each place is unique and can offer different type of experiences. 


Seljavegur - is situated in the western part of Reykjavík city center in one of SÍM's most popular local artist`s studio spaces. In 2019 the residency apartment was moved to the second floor of the building for practical reasons, however, the magnificent view over the ocean towards Snæfellsjökull (Snaefellsnes Glacier) is still able to be enjoyed.  


Seljavegur 32 is 10-minute walk from the old city center of Reykjavík. Close by are libraries, museums, galleries, bus stops, supermarkets, a hardware store, swimming pools, cinemas, the University of Iceland, restaurants, etc. The Residency apartment consists of 9 private single bedrooms/studios, one private single bedroom with a separated individual studio, and one double bedroom/studio. The central residency location allows artists easy access to libraries, museums, and galleries. It is a perfect residency location for research-based art projects. Every month Seljavegur residency can host up to 11 artists, which makes the shared space active, alive, and vibrant. Perfectly suitable for shorter stay residencies.  


Korpúlfsstaðir residency is situated 10km from the city center in the eastern outskirts of Reykjavík with a beautiful view to Mount Esja. It is surrounded by one of Reykjavík's popular golf courses, inspiring hiking trails, and long walks by the seashores.   


Close by are city bus stops, supermarkets, a hardware store, swimming pools and a cinema. Korpúlfsstaðir houses 40 studios for SÍM artists, as well as a textile workshop, and ceramic workshop. The workshops are not included in the residency fee, but access can be arranged with their curators.   


The residency apartment consists of two private bedrooms with separate studios, and five private bedrooms/studios. On the upper floor, all artists have access to  large, shared project spaces. This is the perfect location for longer residencies, as it is a peaceful and quiet location. Korpúlfsstaðir allows artists to develop their research, focus on art projects, and gain easy access to workshop facilities.   

Studio / Workspace 

Seljavegur residency apartment offers artists bedrooms/studios where they work and sleep in the same space. There is also a shared project space in the basement available for bigger projects.    


Korpúlfsstaðir's residency apartment offers 5 bedrooms/studios where artists work and sleep in the same space, 2 rooms with separate studio spaces (on the top floor), and a shared project space. Korpúlfstaðir hosts two workshop studios - textiles, and ceramic.  

Work equipment 

Artists have to bring their own materials. The residency only provides living and working space. SÍM Residency artists are able to use all the equipment at our partners' workshops. Availability and payment need to be arranged directly with workshop staff.

The residency can provide two projectors, speakers, headphones, screens and all essential equipment to install artworks at the gallery.

Fees and Support

Artists pay their own expenses including travel, insurance, and living costs.   

SÍM Residency does not have a funding body and we are unfortunately unable to offer scholarships or stipends. It is advised that artists seek funding in their own countries since most Icelandic funding is especially for Icelandic projects or artists.  



For their stay in Reykjavik, each artist receives an SÍM Guest artist card which grants free access to most major art galleries and museums in Iceland, as well as giving discounts at multiple stores and visual arts suppliers.  




Nordic Culture Point


Nordic-Baltic mobility program - Support for artist residencies


The Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture strengthens artistic and cultural cooperation in the Nordic region and Baltic states. The programme focuses on increasing the exchange of knowledge, contacts and interest in Nordic and Baltic art and culture. The Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme comprises three forms of funding: mobility funding, network funding and funding for artist residencies.

SIM Residency and Nordic/Baltic Mobility Programme 

Call for applications from Nordic/Baltic artists for January 2023 



SIM Residency invites artists and curators from Nordic/Baltic countries to apply for a one-month granted Artists-in-residence program.  



31st August 


Residency starts-ends: 


All artists' arrivals will be organized on the 3rd of January and departures on the 30th of January. 



SIM Residency Korpúlfsstaðir, Reykjavik, Iceland 


The residency grant includes: 

- grant of 700,00 EUR;

- material and project costs up to 300,00 EUR; 

- flight expenses to and from Iceland, the connection between the residency apartment and Keflavík airport; 

- group guided tours to glaciers, geothermal plants, day expeditions, visits to local artist studios and museums; 

- full residency fee for one month (including support from SÍM staff, self-catering accommodation, Wi-Fi, free parking, set of towels and beddings; all communal utensils and equipment in the kitchen; cleaning, washing detergents, cleaning equipment; iron; washing machine; blow-drier; communal cost of electricity, heating, cold/hot water); 

- workspace for art project realization; 

- exhibition hall, conference space. 


granted residency does not cover: 

- travel, health, artwork, or equipment insurance; 

- artwork, or art equipment shipment, transportation to/from Iceland; 

- food; 

- any other costs of activities and travels within a country, if it is not included in the residency program, must be covered by the artists themselves. 


Who can apply?  

*Only artists/curators living in the Nordic/Baltic area can apply. Artists from the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Åland, artists living in Iceland cannot apply for the residency program) or the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and the invited artist should have a permanent address in one of these countries. However, the invited artists do not need Nordic or Baltic nationality.  


Key directions for art project/research proposals: 

#sustainability #ecology #globalwarming #postmodernsociety #geology #environment #icelandicculture #nature #baltic/nordiclanguages 


All seven artists will live and work in the SIM Residency apartment at Korpúlfsstaðir. Residency activities will be focused on research through learning, exchanging, studying, experimenting, traveling, and discovering Icelandic nature, local geological resources, and renewable energies. A guided tour of Iceland's glaciers and ice caves will allow artists to get closer to the fragile Icelandic nature - facing the massive impact of globalization and global warming. Day tours will bring artists to the nearest points where Icelandic landscapes open with their diversity, from the glaciers to the newest volcanic eruptions. Meetings with local scientists and lectures directed to the Icelandic ecosystems and global warming impact on Iceland's nature allows artists to get professional data and knowledge for their art projects. As reflection artists, at the end of the month, will be presenting their art projects to the local community. Studio visits and meetings with cultural representatives, local artists/curators/gallery owners, and scientists will help artists to build new networks and start future collaborations. 11 additional international artists at the same time will participate in a self-directed residency program at Seljavgeur apartment that will keep a close connection with the granted residency program at Korpúlfsstaðir. 


Application evaluation criteria: 

-the purposes for which the residency research material will be used for project realization and how art projects will be continued and presented in the future;

-candidate's motivation and reasons why in particular, Iceland and granted residency program is needed for artist's practice. 


Expectations toward artists: 

- bachelor's degree in visual arts or similar qualifications (art history, curatorial studies, dance, etc...) is required for each applicant;

- SIM Residency AIR program is an art project-based residency program. We expect artists to propose an individual art project. During the residency, we ask the artist to realize a project, which results, or process can be presented at the end of the residency in an exhibition format.  

- the artist is expected to give a public talk during the Artists talk, an introduction to themselves at the beginning of the residency.  

- we expect the artist to be able to communicate in English.  

- we require the artist's project to be documented and published on SIM Residency's website in the format of SIM Projects at the end of the residency.  

- while in the residency, artists will be invited to give 5-10 min. video interview about their artistic practices and art projects that artists were accepted for. 

- artists are not required to leave artworks after the residency program. 


Residency Activities: 

- introduction meetings between selected artists; 

- Artist Talk. SÍM conference and coffee house at Korpúlfsstaðir. Public event 

- lectures by the professors' University of Iceland and Iceland University of the Arts, meeting with scientists (list of lectures and scientists to be confirmed...) 

- expedition to geothermal plants, glaciers, and ice caves - guided tours 

- day educational road trips 

- local artists' studio visits 

- visits to local galleries, museums, and cultural centers. Meetings with gallery/museum owners, curators, and cultural representatives 

- group exhibition/reflection - art project/research presentation. SÍM exhibition hall Hlöðuloftid. Public event.  

*note that dates of events will be announced one month before the residency begins. 



The one-month residency program is granted by The Nordic Culture Point. Nordic-Baltic mobility program - Support for artist residencies. 

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