The purpose of Skulpturstopp is to contribute to increasing art awareness and knowledge about art by placing artworks by well-known contemporary artists in Norwegian communities.
Skulpturstopp stems from an art appreciation project carried out by the Lillehammer Art Museum in 2007 and made possible through funding from Sparebankstiftelsen DNB. The art appreciation project was called Kunst som finnes (“Existing Art”) and aimed to draw people’s attention to the art to be found in their local community and outside the realm of the traditional art institutions. The Lillehammer Art Museum recorded and documented in this context artworks in the counties of Oppland and Hedmark.
One of the discoveries made by Kunst som finnes was that the scope of quality art at the local level was not particularly far-reaching. Sparebankstiftelsen DNB wanted to do something about this. They therefore formed a working group, the members of which were Svein Olav Hoff and Birthe M. Selvaag from Lillehammer Art Museum, Anders Bjørnsen and Sissel Karlsen from Sparebankstiftelsen DNB, and curator Maaretta Jaukkuri. The working group developed the idea for the project «Skulpturstopp».
In the autumn of 2008 the municipalities of Vågå, Gran and Sør-Fron in Oppland county were offered sculptures by internationally recognised artists, under the condition that the artists would not be restricted by guidelines. It was crucial for the focus to be on the art itself and the artist, and not on what the recipients had perhaps envisioned, or wanted. All of the municipalities accepted the offer.
The sculptures also had to be made available to the general public and not be located too far off the beaten track, or in locations that could be perceived as exclusive.
In the spring of 2011 Dan Graham’s sculpture in Vågå was unveiled, as the first of a series of Skulpturstopp sculptures.
The artists are selected by a committee of experts made up of Sune Nordgren, Karin Hellandsjø, and Anders Bjørnsen, and Sissel Karlsen from Sparebankstiftelsen DNB. Other municipalities in Eastern Norway will receive an offer of a sculpture donation, under the same condition that the artists are not to be restricted by guidelines.