The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists (SÍM) was founded in 1982 and today serves as an interest organization with 760 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 salary 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.
The e-zine STARA publishes articles about shows, happenings and artists’ interests. STARA is published two times a year.
SÍM’s operations can be divided into two parts: the inner operation in service of the artists and the outer operation in service of the public, other associations and international parties.
SÍM FOR THE ARTISTS
SÍM assists its members in professional matters. Various contracts, SÍM’s referential rates and rules on competition are forthcoming on its website. All of SÍM’s assistance is available to its members free of charge.
SÍM rents out studios for its members in the greater Reykjavík area. They house various workshops, exhibition spaces as well as a gallery at Korpúlfsstaðir. The SÍM studios are located at Seljavegur, Nýlendugata, Súðarvogur, Korpúlfsstaðir and Lyngás in Garðabær, where close to 180 artists have working facilities.
SÍM runs guest studios in Reykjavík for international artists. The guest studios are located at Seljavegur and Korpúlfsstaðir. Each month an average of 15 artists will use the guest studios, or a total of 150 guest artists each year. SÍM‘s guest studios are a vital part of Icelandic art life and the only one of its kind in Reykjavík.
SÍM runs the Muggur fund, a network fund for artists, in collaboration with the city of Reykjavík, and The Icelandic Visual Art Copyright Association. Muggur issues travel and residence grants to visual artists aiming to work abroad.
The SÍM website hosts useful information for artists as well as being updated daily with information about exhibitions and events related to visual art.
SÍM manages UMM.IS – an information site on Icelandic visual art and its authors. The site was constructed using data from the information center of visual art which was launched in 1995. The database is extremely vast and complex, and has proved invaluable to various cultural associations, visual artists, scholars, teachers and international curators.
Each year, members receive a member card which is a combination of a domestic and international member card (IAA). The card grants free access to all major art galleries in Iceland and outside it. It also grants discounts at multiple stores and visual art utilities.
SÍM FOR THE SOCIETY
SÍM currently collaborates with official agents and other association, both domestic and international. SÍM is a member of BÍL (Federation of Icelandic Artists), BHM (Association of Academics), Listahátíð (Reykjavík Art Festival) and Myndstef (The Icelandic Visual Art Copyright Association).
THE SÍM HOUSE
The offices of SÍM are located at Hafnarstræti 16, 101 Reykjavík. At the SÍM-house all essential information about Icelandic visual art, visual artists and material related to them is available. It also houses conference rooms, a space for smaller exhibitions and a library for a variety of magazines and industry books as well as referential material about related matters.
The facilities are available to members free of charge for lectures, symposiums or other events relating to visual art.
The SÍM house includes as well the offices of The Icelandic Visual Art Copyright Association and The Public Buildings Art Fund.
The SIM house Hafnarstræti 16, 101 Reykjavík. Open mon-fri 10am-4pm
Korpúlfsstaðir studio space situated on the outskirts of Reykjavík in an old dairy farm.
STARA the SIM journal is published three times a year and gives a good insight into the Icelandic art scene.