LEVELD KUNSTNARTUN

Leveld Kunstnartun is a working place for practising artists, cultural workers and various professional art practionners, where you stay for a shorter or longer period of time. Artists who work within different genres sometimes choose to work together. The cluster of houses that constitute Leveld Kunstnartun is situated in the village Leveld, near Ål in Hallingdal valley.

You will enjoy peaceful rural surroundings and meet friendly villagers. We offer closeness to nature, the variation of the sesons and the light, all in an inspiring setting. Leveld Kunstnartun makes a point of establishing contact between the artists in residence and the villagers, thus expecting you to present your work at some point.

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Leveld Kunstnartun is situated at 700 meters above sea level, between Oslo and Bergen at the foot of the mighty Skarvheimen mountains. This gives you the opportunity to profit from mountain delights at any time of the year. 

Leveld´s app. 300 inhabitants are very active and engaged. The village houses a grammar school, a kindergarten, a community centre, a swimming pool, a food store and a number of farms. Ål, 13 km away, houses an impressing cultural centre, offering a great variety of arrangements. Here you find cinemas, a library, an exhibition area and a museum exhibiting the art of the famous artist Rolf Nesch, a shopping centre, cafés and restaurants.

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Leveld Kunstnartun has sprung out of the village´s own history. A number of artists stopped here and found inspiration for their work. They were put up in different farms and thus bacame part of the village´s pulse. Gerhard Munthe came as early as 1880. Later, from 1930 and onwards, many more arrived. The light in Leveld is one thing that fascinated them, many were part of the antroposophical movement, inspired by Goethe `s cromatology. Nils Ellingsgard, who has written about the visual arts in Hallingdal and who is himself an emminent rosepainter living in the neighbouring village Vats, claims that these artists have given Leveld a place in Norwegian art history.

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More artists followed Munthe: Thor Bøhn, Gøsta Münsterhjelm, Karl Høgberg, Kaare Wildhagen, Fridtjof Smith-Hald d.y., Alvhild Bratt, Hetty Gleditsch, Pelle Roll Thommesen and Jørgen Aas, all painters.

Jens Bjørneboe and Agnar Mykle were prominent Norwegian authors. Both had their own vacation house built in the village. Jens Bjørneboe´s stabbur (storehouse on pillars), where he lived many a summer, has been moved to Leveld Kunstnartun. Gulle Brun and Signe Seim  are two local authors who have found their particular poetic voice here.

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«I think it is impossible to understand how Bjørneboe exercised his authorship and how he developped as an author without the knowledge of his summers in Leveld». Tore Rem, author of the biography about Jens Bjørneboe.

«It was important to include cosmic elements in the pictures. In such a context Leveld felt different from for instance Telemark. It was as if Leveld had been lifted up to another light, the high mountains were closer, you found yourself on top of the world´s roof in an atmosphere of strange lightness» - Thor Bøhn.

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Leveld Kunstnartun hs acieved its form, and the restauration is finished. The cluster of houses consists of  two residential houses: Lærarbustaden (The Teacher´s House) and Astridstugu (Astrid´s House). Stabburet  (The Bjørneboe Loft) and Skålen (The Woodshed) function is a place to work. The latest addition is Låven (The Barn), a multi-functional building with spacy working places and localities for exhibitions and social gatherings.

The sosial impact of living close to one another is part of the concept , as is working across genres and artistic expressions. When different artistic expression meet, mutual inspiration and creativity have a tendency to develop. In this setting Leveld Kunstnartun also hopes to be a meeting place where artists may find new expressions crossing artistic borders.

 

To-day Leveld Kunstnartun receives artists from all over the world. The artists that live and work here give something back to the village and the region by giving concerts, lectures, reciting poems, exhibitions, arranging workshops or cooperating with the local school. The mutual exchange between artists in residence and local artists or other parts of the local cultural life is enriching for both parts, and is an end in itself. Leveld Kunstnartun arranges a summer exhibition every year, and a cultural festival called «Stabbursfrieri» («A proposal in the Loft...») every second year.

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Lærarbustaden/ The Teacher´s House is from the 50ies. It can house 2 to 4 persons. It has been completely restored and contains a bathroom, to big sleeping-rooms and two living rooms.

Astridstugu/ Astrid´s House is a smaller red house. The name is due to Astrid Haugen,a former caretaker and home aid in the village. She lived a frugal life in her small dwelling, and it feels right to remember her life by preserving her home. The house was fully restored by the end og 2014. It contains a living room with a kitchen bench, a bathroom and one sleeping-room, thus convenient for 1 or 2 persons.

Skålen/ The Woodshed is an ancient shed, not built to live in. To-day a 20 m2 room in the upper floor is insulated and is a very convenient working place for various activities.There is an old handloom in the woodshed.

Stabburet or Bjørneboeloftet (The Bjørneboe Loft) is an important reminder of Leveld´s cultural history. Bjørneboe and his wife Lisel bought the loft in the 50ies and used it as their summer residence. To-day its function is  a writer´s studio, a place for reflection, and a cultural jewel, dear to Leveld.

Låven/ The Barn is a multi-functional building, reflecting modern architecture. It contains two studios in the top floor and a generous room with a kitchen on the bottom floor. The entrance fram the courtyard functions as an outdoor stage in the summer. The Barn is visualised by architect Ola Haug Hagen from Leveld and the firm Arkitekthagen.

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Leveld Kunstnartun emphasises public contact, through annual summer exhibitions, book editions, festivals and by the assistance of artists in residence. Artists must accept the terms of giving something back to the villagers in return for living here. It may be anything from giving a lecture or oral presentation of your work, reciting, playing, making an exhibition or likewise. It is important that the villagers feel near to the activity and learn from being exposed to art.

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The residence aims at all kinds of artists: painters, sculptors, handicraftsmen, musicians, authors and cultural workers. It is compulsory to belong to a Union, for instance Norske Billedkunstnere, Forfatterforeningen etc, or unions of the same kind abroad, or you must document sufficient professional skill.

When granted a stay as an artist in residence, this includes free stay at Leveld Kunstnartun with the facilities described for the houses and the right to use a studio and access to internet. You need to bring your own laptop, material, tools and instrument.

A normal stay lasts for one month, but shorter or longer stays may be agreed upon.

 

Artists in residence at Leveld Kunstnartun must present their projects or related themes locally or in another place in Hallingdal agreed upon, as described above.

Residence stays are published twice a year. We are fully booked until autumn 2018. Deadline to apply for stays for the fall is 1.february and for the spring 1.september.

We have an agreemnet with our sponsor E-CO Energi which allows young artists to apply for a scholarship. If you wish to apply for this scholarship, you write it into your application to Leveld Kunstnartun. If you should be granted an E-CO scholarship, it will be paid after you have ended your stay.

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How to get there: 

Ål community centre is situated on Rv 7 (state road). The train which traffics between Oslo and Bergen stops at Ål station. Leveld is 13 kilometers from Ål. There is a daily bus connection between Ål and Leveld. If you need to be picked up, it may be arranged. If you have the possibility to bring your own car, it will open up for many beautiful trips in the Hallingdalen mountain region.

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