A HEIMA for their arts

Seyðisfjörður, a small town in eastern Iceland develops a unique identity brimming with art, culture and creativity

There’s no place like HEIMA (Photo: Heima)

Lesley Price

A new art house and artistic residency opened by four young entrepreneurs is bringing a fresh blast of creativity to its somewhat unlikely location in Seyðisfjörður, a small town in eastern Iceland. HEIMA, Icelandic for home,  is a labour of love for the founders who were brought together by their mutual love for the distinctive Icelandic region.

Jonatan Spejlborg, one of the founders, says Seyðisfjörður is a place that fosters creativity as many artistic individuals now call the small coastal community home.

The budding art industry is a welcome development in Seyðisfjörður, as many small towns along the Icelandic coast have experienced diminishing populations.

Businesses, jobs and educational institutions have pulled up roots and headed for larger population centres. The founders HEIMA believe small towns like Seyðisfjörður have much more to offer than meets the eye.

Icelandic culture on the rise
“Seyðisfjörður has embraced the arts and I think that many other small towns can find the direction that suits them,” Mr Spejlborg says. “I believe it is very healthy if small communities can support several small scale industries making them more resilient in the face of economic turbulence around the world.”

Besides HEIMA, Seyðisfjörður is home to another art residency, several art and sound festivals, numerous small galleries and much more.

Mr Spejlborg said the cultural and artistic scene on the Icelandic coast will continue to grow for years to come.

“In my opinion, these activities only support everything else that is initiated in the town, and vice versa,” he says. “It is not about competing for the capacity of the town, but about continuously inspiring each other to create things that build a better community.”

Aside from functioning as a creative residency, the space has been designed to facilitate a range of events including exhibitions, conferences and workshops. HEIMA will officially open November 1 and will begin hosting public events from 2014.

Originally published by The Arctic Journal. Re-published here with the permission of the author.

The Rasmussen’s ArctiCulture articles offer a closer look at the arts and culture of the region.

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