Open call for Artists in Residence

Træna, an island community furthest out on the coastline of Helgeland, Norway have been inviting artists, designers, foodies, entrepreneurs and other creatives since we opened our Residency program in 2015.

For us as a small island community with less than 500 inhabitants we focus on welcoming creative people who’d like to try the island life, experiment, learn new things, and contribute to the community through their project and their stay.

Projects can be from a wide range of creative fields, not only the mentioned subjects above. We have experienced everything from light design projects, seaweed research projects, business-start-ups, architectural built on-site-projects, visual art projects, music, anthropology, photography and many more. The most important for us is to build a creative community where both locals and visitors are contributing.

Every year we usually publish one Open Call with submission deadline.

The AIR Træna Jury will process the proposals as promptly as possible.

Link to the APPLICATION form


A lot of applicants get in touch with us before they apply. In order to get an idea on what is going on, we give you a list of potential themes for inspiration!

  • Architecture & urban design 
    We really like projects that last! In small communities meeting places and outdoor spaces are important for the well-being and to make people meet. Projects linked to the outdoor environment, physical on-site-projects or renovation projects are always interesting. The AIR program has so far resulted in saunas, wind shelters and outdoor furnitures being built.
  • We welcome Research projects linked to cultural heritage and the Helgeland Museum’s activity.
  • Youths and kids & local democracy
    Projects that involve the younger generation in the island community are interesting!
    Sport activities or projects are welcomed by the kids.
  • Selvær
    The second biggest island in Træna is called Selvær, with around 50 inhabitants. We have so far had one residency project at this location, and it’s possible to set up again. Selvær is known for its rich bird life, active fishing industry and for its strong community spirit. Check out Selvær on
  • Winter festival Ta Træna med Storm & Trænafestivalen
    Projects that could be in connection to one of our festivals  Ta Træna med Storm or Trænafestival
  • Træna-Hawaii is a project and history that connects Træna with Hawaii. Projects or proposals that could be linked to this program are welcome to apply.
  • European Capital of Culture 2024: Træna towards Bodø 2024
    Towards 2024 Bodø and Nordland County will work with growing the cultural connections in the county and reaching out to all of Europe



  • External funding
    Within the existing frames we don’t finance the production costs, but we can help out finding external funding. For bigger projects we normally try to collaborate on applications and funds.
  • Collaborations with local partners
    If you come up with ideas on projects that include local partners, you might create a project that last even longer. Local firms/organisations are for example: Badstueforeningen (Local Sauna Club), Selvær Bygdeutvikling (Selvær Community group), Grendahuset Træna (Local Community House, Read more about last summers project Un-Urban Experiments)
  • Find out more local partners, and read more about Træna on and get in touch if you want to establish contact during your application process
  • Nordic & Baltic artists
    We are looking for nordic collaborations from the Nordic/baltic Countries and are open for proposals from that region!



The criteria we look for when going through the submissions are:

Involvement in the local/regional community, youth & democracy

Artists interested in collaborations with the community and participation in the local/regional context is considered as a must. It will contribute to the artist(s) work and understanding of the place, and it will also contribute to the local understanding. Kids and youths integration is a prioritized area, but other local target groups can be pointed out or a general public.

Artistic competence level & motivation

The level of the applicant’s professional expertise is his/her field of expertise. We are looking for artists from a wide field of expertise, and evaluating from the application proposal but also from their personal motivation and from their work methods.

Newsworthy and sustainability

The projects’ potential for innovation (new knowledge, new activities, new cross-disciplinary art, new ideas or new topics on the agenda etc) is considered. Sustainability aspects and activities that foster more awareness of the global sustainability goals are of importance.

Spin-offs & long-term effects

Is it possible that the project will develop further, either in the local community or where the artist operates normally? Projects that are constructed to get a deeper and more long-term involvement with the community will be prioritized.


As an artist you get a free house/studio with some space to be creative in. In addition we help you find the local resources that you need to perform your project. You get a contact person in Træna who will be your local host and you’ll become a part of the island community. In your application to AIR TRÆNA you also define costs for travel and production, although it’s not guaranteed that we are able to cover all costs. For some projects we are able to help you with material cost or production through other funds. But since this is not a guarantee, you can´t base your application on that. Please contact us if you need advice setting up your application or talking through your idea.



Træna is a group of islands, a municipality far out to sea, about 33 nautical miles from the mainland. (See map) Here is a daily ferry to Stokkvågen connected to Mo i Rana, and a boat to Bodø or Sandnessjøen. Træna has less than 500 inhabitants located on four different islands. Husøya is the largest, with about 400 residents. Selvær is the next biggest with some 50 inhabitants. Træna is known as one of Norways oldest fishing communities. In recent years the island is also known for Trænafestivalen. Each summer thousands of visitors come to experience our music festival far out at sea.


Read more about what is happening in Træna at or read this little guidebook:  A Poor Man’s Connoisseur Coastal Guide To A Magical World, Far Up North, And How The Helvete To Get There written by Wyndham Wallace and Sondre Sommerfelt, produced by Trænafestivalen in cooperation with Træna Municipality.

Read more about previous AIR-projects on this blog or at

Marit Bertheussen, Manager of Træna Museum
Viggo Randal, Manager Trænafestivalen

Torild Fogelberg Hansen
Ingrid Myksvoll Mongstad
Marthe Thu, store manager at Selvær Handel, grocery store in Selvær


Træna Kommune, Trænafestivalen, Nordland Fylkeskommune, Nordic Culture Point


  1. Hi ! your residency looks wonderful. Someone had told me about it.
    Id like to apply,I was however looking for something for the summer as I will already be in Sweden from the US…have you any programs which run during the Summer?Just curious. Thanks.Gary


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