Association of Norwegian Visual Artists

The Association of Norwegian Visual Artists (NBK) is a membership organisation committed to promote and enhance the intellectual, social, legislative and economic interests of professional visual artists.

As a parent organisation with 14 regional organisations and five discipline-specific, nationwide artists’ organisations, in addition to the Young Artists’ Society (UKS), our 3000 members represent a large percentage of artists within the visual field. Organisational roots date back to 1882 and the first ever national state exhibition Høstutstillingen.


What we do

As an artists’ union, NBK is the collective voice of visual artists living and working in Norway. NBK has long been recognized by the government as a negotiation and consultative body where questions related to art and artists conditions are concerned.

A main task for NBK is to document the need for public support and regulations of different kinds, and work in favor of different means of solutions to the economic challenges faced by artists. The National Convention is the organization’s highest deciding body, and consists of representatives elected by NBK members. The National Convention decides the current strategic plan – the general issues the board will focus on during a consecutive two year period.

  • Increasing number of government artists grants
  • Exhibition remuneration
  • Strengthen visual arts education practices in schools
  • Increasing purchasing budgets for contemporary art in museums
  • Social and economic rights
  • Copyright
  • Art in public spaces
  • Diversity and equality
  • International solidarity work

NBK is responsible for allocating grants from three different sources of funding: Government Grants for Artists as well as grants from the Norwegian Visual Artists Fund (BKV) and the Relief Fund for Visual artists (BKH). The grants are awarded on the basis of artistic quality and activity – by a selection committee elected by NBK members.

The grant division oversees the grant procedures at an administrative level, including the procedures for both artists’ grants and project support.

Artist grants are open for application once a year. The application deadline is in October. Only individuals (not groups or duos) can apply for an artist grant. Artists that work as a duo need to submit two separate applications. This grant is intended as an overall financial resource to help artists evolve and immerse themselves in their artistic practice.

Project support is open for application twice a year, spring and fall. Both individuals and groups/duos may apply. This grant is intended as funding for a specific project that the artist wishes to carry out

The applications for artists’ grants are evaluated by a committee of ten artists. The committee is chosen by the members of NBK for a period of two years, and aims to be as diverse as possible when it comes to age, artistic expression and geographic affiliation

Applications for project support are evaluated by a subcommittee consisting of three members from the grant committee. The members take this job in turns, so that the subcommittee does not always consist of the same three artists.

The Autumn Exhibition is Norway’s longest-running exhibition of contemporary art, organized for the first time in 1882. The exhibition marked the beginning of unionisation of visual artists in Norway. As a national annual contemporary art event the exhibition has received state funding since 1884, albeit is artist-run and juried according to the principles of peer review. NBK hosts the Autumn Exhibition at Kunstnernes Hus, where it has been held since 1930.

The works are selected by a jury elected by NBK members, making the juried responsibility of this exhibition the last remaining artist driven one at a national level.


Membership is open to professional visual artists only, and can only be obtained through being accepted a member of one of our 20 sub organisations.