H.M. Queen Sonja of Norway is a practising graphic artist herself, and established the H.M. Queen Sonja Art Foundation in 2011 to inspire and promote the development of graphic art. Since 2012, a biennial award has been made by the art foundation to an outstanding artist in the field – the Queen Sonja Print Award.
Consisting of a cash prize and an educational stay at the art studio Atelje Larsen in Helsingborg, Sweden, the award’s recipient is considered by the board of the H.M. Queen Sonja Art Foundation, consisting of a number of esteemed Nordic artists and art historians, and finally selected after careful discussion and consideration by an international jury which convenes at Oslo’s Royal Palace.
The Queen Sonja Print Award has become the world’s most prestigious prize in the field of graphic art, to date recognising the work of Finland’s Tiina Kivinen, Denmark’s Svend-Allan Sørensen and, after the board began considering entrants from outside the Nordic countries, the United States’ Tauba Auerbach.
In 2018, Canada’s Emma Nishimura received the award from Queen Sonja at the Royal Academy of Arts in London – a ceremony at which British artist David Hockney was also recognised with the first QSPA Lifetime Achievement Award. An experienced photographer and art history graduate, Queen Sonja continues to be active in printmaking, recently collaborating with graphic artist and musician Magne Furuholmen on an exhibition at the Paul Stolper Gallery in London.
As a financial contributor to a variety of cultural projects internationally, the N Sethia Foundation was pleased to support the activities of H.M. Queen Sonja Art Foundation in 2016.