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Remit and Regulations

When in 1996 the Visual Arts Fund developed its international programme and created IASPIS, it delegated to selected members of the Board, the IASPIS Delegation, a remit whereby, briefly, Iaspis and its Director were to be jointly responsible for the Board’s international programme and its development. No closer description of objectives, priorities and decision-making procedure was ever given. Since their inauguration in 1996, activities have developed considerably, on the basis of an ongoing dialogue with the Board of the Visual Arts Fund.

The report of the International Culture Commission (SOU 2003:121) describes the activities and development of IASPIS as highly successful, an opinion underlying the proposals introduced by the Government in its written communication (2005/06:188) to the Riksdag (parliament), The internationalisation of cultural activity. In the case of the Arts Grants Committee, the Government proposes that the Committee be tasked with setting up an international programme, modelled on IASPIS, for the dance sector. Wider responsibility for international exchange augments the necessity of the Committee formulating its objectives, priorities and working procedures. The IASPIS remit has been closely discussed at several meetings of the Visual Arts Fund, and on 5th September the Fund adopted the proposal, stated below, concerning formulation of the international programme for the visual arts and design sector.

Points of departure

The Ordinances and appropriation warrants governing the Arts Grants Committee and the Visual Arts Fund provide the starting point for all the authority’s activities. The Grants (Visual Arts) Ordinance (1976:528) stresses the authority’s task of underpinning continued employment and artistic development for professional visual artists.

The activities of Iaspis are funded through the Exhibitions reimbursement allocation. The Visual Arts Fund Ordinance (1982:600) states that the purpose of the funding is to give professional artists financial and occupational security, but that the funding can also be applied to other purposes relating to activities in the field of pictorial art. In this way the Ordinance gives the fund a somewhat freer hand that the Ordinances governing the Committee’s other scholarship and grants activities.

The appropriation warrant for 2006 describes the supportive task of the authority as follows: “The aim of the Arts Grants Committee is to promote opportunities of advanced artistic activity for visual artists, designers, composers, theatrical artists, dancers and film artists, and also to promote international artist exchange programmes.” Proposals now follow concerning the construction of the programme in accordance with the given guidelines.

Purpose, forms of activity, decision-making procedure

The purpose of the international programme of the Swedish Visual Arts Fund is to develop pictorial artists’ and designers’ contacts with institutions, individual professional representatives (e.g. reviewers and curators), colleagues, the public and markets abroad, and in this way to contribute towards a deepening of their artistic insights and the improvement of their job opportunities and earning prospects.

Scholarships and studio residencies

• The most important means of developing these contacts is direct financial support to visual artists who have been offered the chance of working, studying or exhibiting abroad. The same end can also be achieved through grants towards initiatives by pictorial artist and designers active in Sweden and wishing to invite foreign colleagues to collaborate in Sweden (International Joint Projects). Given the pivotal importance of direct support, IASPIS should work to develop it and to devise better ways of canvassing and utilising the experience gained through these exchanges.

• Through its long-term studio scholarships abroad, IASPIS contributes towards deeper contact with pictorial art in the country concerned. A similar offer is also to be extended to design artists.

• The purpose of the studio programme in Sweden, centring on Stockholm but also including studio collaboration in Göteborg, Malmö and Umeå, is primarily to create contacts in the international arena for pictorial artists and designers active in Sweden. The Swedish studio scholarships at IASPIS in Stockholm are intended to make the grantees more visible in a Swedish context. Information on Swedish visual arts.

• In conjunction with the studio programme, exchange in greater depth is to be achieved by Iaspis inviting important persons in the visual arts to Sweden for the purpose of studying the work of Swedish practitioners. Visitors’ programmes must be planned with a view to giving the visitors an opportunity of meeting artists within a wide geographic area in Sweden. The information remit also includes inviting writers and curators for prolonged visits as part of the studio programme.

• The website must mirror activities within the programme and must also serve as a central location for anyone seeking information about contemporary Swedish visual arts. The purpose of the international programme of the Swedish Visual Arts Fund is to develop pictorial artists’ and designers’ contacts with institutions, individual professional representatives (e.g. reviewers and curators), colleagues, the public and markets abroad, and in this way to contribute towards a deepening of their artistic insights and the improvement of their job opportunities and earning prospects.


The IASPIS archive is an important asset for making Swedish visual artists, architects and designers visible, primarily to visitors to the studio building. The archive must be a working archive addressed to persons professionally active in the visual arts. Since the international programme is also to comprise design, the archive must also reflect design art and its practitioners.

Exhibitions, seminars and programmes

The recipients of scholarships under the Swedish studio programme must be offered a varied programme of discussions, visits and other contacts with the visual arts in Sweden. Artists taking part in the studio programme and wishing to put on exhibitions or stage other public projects in conjunction with their stay here should be offered grants and other production resources.

Through exhibitions, lectures, seminars and discussions, for example, the studio programme serves to deepen the international exchange for pictorial and design artists. This part of the programme can also be made available to a wider circle than that of pictorial and design artists. If so, this should be arranged with the framework of co-operation with institutions having an expressly public remit.


The Secretariat is to continuously observe and analyse the initiatives taken for the purpose of improving and developing the programme. Monitoring and feedback procedures are to be created in collaboration with the Committee’s other agencies.

Decision-making procedure

Decisions relating to the aims, policy, budget and priorities of the international programme are made by the Board of the Swedish Visual Arts Fund. Decisions concerning Iaspis’s administrative budget are made by the Board of the Arts Grants Committee. Insofar as decisions could affect more than one field within the authority, a decision may need to be taken by the Board of the Arts Grants Committee. Annually, in conjunction with budgeting decisions, the Board of the Visual Arts Fund considers proposals from the Director concerning the focus and themes of exhibitions, seminars, international projects and publications. It is desirable for these proposals to be discussed beforehand by the Delegation. The programme resolved on is then planned and conducted independently by the Director within the framework of the resources available. Where necessary, the Delegation acts as interlocutor for the planning and implementation of the programme.

The IASPIS Delegation of the Visual Arts Fund decides on the allocation of scholarships and grants under the programme and serves as discussion partner to the Director in the task of developing proposals for policy and planning documents.

Updated: 2021-04-15 Tell a friend

Seth Kim-Cohen + Regler (Mattin & Anders Bryngelsson), performance at The Arts Grants Committee in June 2015.

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