Royal Caribbean Announces Art Grants

Royal Caribbean Cruises has presented its Royal Caribbean Arts Grant for the 10th time.

Two Norwegian female contemporary artists share prestigious art award of $87,000 as international jury has chosen two finalists with close ties to Norway.

These two artists stood out among 262 well qualified applicants, according to a statement.

The finalists were announced at an award ceremony on board Adventure of the Seas on June 15 in Oslo, Norway.

Statement from the Jury:

“A unanimous jury has decided to nominate two solid artists who are well on their way to establishing themselves both in Norway and internationally. Both finalists work with film using historical narratives and criticism of established precedents reflecting our present time. The finalists to this year’s Royal Caribbean Arts Grant are Anawana Haloba and Lene Berg.”

Anawana Haloba:

Anawana Haloba was born in Zambia in 1978, and lives and works in Oslo. She was educated at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam and Kunstakademiet in Oslo. Haloba works with performance based video and sound installations — often using her body as a medium. The jury’s decision to nominate Haloba was based on her ability to explore the positions and relations within different societies, within the political environment; social economic and cultural connections.

Lene Berg:

Lene Berg was born in Oslo in 1965, and lives and works in Berlin and New York. She graduated from Dramatiska Institutet in Stockholm as a film director. The jury recognizds Lene Berg for her strength in addressing historical settings and placing them into a contemporary context.

As an artist, Berg has unique sense of the visual and is a sophisticated storyteller. She reflects upon the contemporary images and established opinions; between facts and clichés; between the narrative structure and ideology.

After careful deliberations the jury has decided to share the award for 2013 between Anawana Haloba and Lene Berg and they will each receive $43,500. The jury stated that both artists have shown considerable social, critical and artistic involvement reflecting ongoing discussions on today’s art scene.

The jury members for this year’s Royal Caribbean Arts Grant were; Paulina Wilhelmsen (RCCL), artist and former winner Knut Åsdam, Tone Hansen (Director Henie Onstad Kunstsenter), Iria Candela (International Curator Tate Modern) and Marta Kuzma (Director Office for Contemporary Art — OCA).

“Royal Caribbean Arts Grant is an established and recognized award and has through its ten years’ long history reflected the high level of competence and skill in the Norwegian art scene, something the jury acknowledges. The art grant is an important contribution to stimulate artistic engagement and create attention,” said Tone Hansen — the chairwoman of the jury and director of Henie Onstad Kunstsenter.

“There has evidently been a great interest in this year’s Royal Caribbean Arts Grant with 262 applicants. The jury has thoroughly discussed several strong candidates and we are proud to present this year’s finalists,” added Royal Caribbean’s representative in the jury, Paulina Wilhelmsen.

For the first time – and as the only art award in Norway – Royal Caribbean’s Art Grant has invited a representative from an international institution to consider and evaluate the applications.

“Being a member of the jury has given me good knowledge about the Norwegian art scene and I go back to London with many impressions and names which I will include in my future work at Tate Modern,” noted Iria Candela, international curator at Tate Modern.

Former winners of Royal Caribbean Grant:

2011: Helene Sommer, Signe Marie Andersen og Knut Åsdam

2009: Anna Sigmond Gudmundsdottir, Terje Nicolaisen og Thorbjørn Sørensen

2008: Dag Erik Elgin, Bodil Furu og Lotte Konow Lund

2007: Jesper Alvær, Else Marie Hagen og Fin Serck-Hanssen

2006: Unn Fahlstrøm, Eline Mugaas og Tiril Schrøder

2005: Marte Aas, Mariken Kramer og Mari Slaattelid

2004: Kurt Johannessen, Vegar Moen og Mette Tronvoll

2003: Mikkel McAlinden, Trine Lise Nedreaas og Thomas Pihl

Royal Caribbean International is a considerable buyer in the Norwegian and international art market. Over the years the company has acquired art, installations and decorations for more than USD 200 million. Approximately 20 percent of these works are made by Norwegian artists. Royal Caribbean Cruises is one of the major collectors of contemporary art in the Norwegian market. Adventure of the Seas – venue for this year’s award ceremony – has a total of 6,100 works of art onboard focusing on glass art by international and Norwegian artists. Adventure of the Seas is one of a total of 41 ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet and was built in Finland in 2001.

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