Since 2015, Lönnström Art Museum has realised unique art projects with artists working in Finland. As the museum does not have a dedicated space for the display of art, the works are not constrained by any existing walls. The purpose of the Lönnström Project is to promote artistic visions that might otherwise be impossible to realise. We want to see what artists will do when they are given free rein, and then collaborate with them closely as a partner and supporter. The museum is ready to back a bold idea that can gain new audiences for contemporary art. The Lönnström Art Museum Foundation will pay the artist or group a working fee of 30,000 euros, and production costs running up to a maximum of 70,000 euros.
We are looking for an artist or group for a new contemporary art project
Who can apply?
Visual artists or artist groups are eligible to apply. A group may, however, include also other artists as members. The proposal must be a new work of art that has not been produced previously in the proposed form, and that receives its premiere in the project. Proposals submitted in previous years, or modified versions of them, may also be submitted.
The seventh Lönnström Project will be announced in June 2023. All applicants will be informed about the decision then.
Lönnström Art Museum and the artist will together be responsible for ensuring that the project is carried out professionally, responsibly and with high quality. The museum will serve as the facilitator of the new work and a partner to the artist throughout the entire process.
The project will be under the management of the museum, which will also handle the payment of the artist fee and of the production of the artwork. The museum has a separate budget to cover the cost of communication, documentation, and audience outreach. The museum will also secure the necessary permits for the project.
The artist must reserve sufficient time for the project and commit to it for the entire duration. The artist will be responsible for the artistic content of the project. The artist will also be responsible for keeping the project within the budget and the production schedule. All costs incurred after the end of the project, such as any relocation costs, will be paid by the artist.
At the start of the collaboration, the museum and the artist will work together to draw up a timetable for the project and a plan for its implementation. The museum will assist the artist in preparing the final budget, based on what is presented in the application. Communications, marketing and audience outreach will also be planned together. After careful planning, production can begin. Lönnström Art Museum’s professionals will advise the artist on issues concerning content, implementation, presentation and financial matters.
The fee for the artist/group is 30,000 euros. It is taxable income, and the tax and employee’s social contributions will be deducted from the fee. The fee adds to the artist’s future pension. The fee is paid in instalments according to a schedule to be agreed upon separately.
The maximum amount that can be used for production is 70,000 euros. An impressive art project can also be realised at a significantly lower cost. The budget must cover the statutory employer contributions of any external labour and as well as value added tax (VAT). Specific details of the budget will be laid out in the project contract.
The project will be implemented within approximately two years of its launch. Sufficient time is allowed for planning and preparation, which can be about twelve months, depending on the project.
The site of the work will be decided together. The work can be presented in a specific location, such as Rauma or its vicinity, or it may be more broadly accessible, depending on its nature. If the project is a physical artwork, its ownership will remain with the artist unless otherwise agreed upon.
The members of the selection panel are Silja Lehtonen, director of the Lönnström Art Museum, Arja Roivainen, curator, and Kati Kivinen, Head of Exhibitions from Helsinki Art Museum HAM, as the invited expert. The panel will present its proposal to the board of Lönnström Art Museum, where the final decision will be made in June 2023. Before the decision is made, a round of interviews will be held with the shortlisted applicants, in which the panel can ask the applicants for clarification and the applicant can describe their objectives to the panel.
If necessary, the museum may request expert statements during the selection phase, for example regarding technical implementation. All applications are processed confidentially.
Answers to frequently asked questions
Who can apply?
The applicant must be an artist or must work in the field of art in the capacity of an artist. The applicant can also be a group, which in addition to the artist may include people from other fields.
How should I present my idea in the application?
Aim to convince the reader that the suggested project is significant and can be implemented. Present your plan clearly and fully. Describe both the content and the practical production. You do not need to have all details in place at the application stage, but describe everything that is relevant to the success of the project.
Can I submit a work that has been produced or exhibited previously?
Your proposal can be a continuation of a previous work, performance or project, but a work that has been previously completed or exhibited cannot be accepted in the same form.
What kinds of projects is the Lönnström Art Museum not looking for?
Lönnström Projects cannot be completed art exhibitions or book projects, or replicas of previous projects presented without any alteration.
Where can the project be sited?
Lönnström Art Museum does not decide on the site beforehand. The site must be legal, feasible and accessible in some way. The application must describe what kind of environment is most suitable for the artwork, whether it is realistic to place the work there, and what hopes the applicant has for the site. The application does not have to suggest an exact site for the work.
Can I get retroactive funding for the selected project?
You may have begun developing the work before submitting the application, but the museum will not cover any costs incurred prior to selection of the project.
Can the project have had prior funding, and can I apply for other funding after being selected?
The work can already be in development, as long as it has not been presented anywhere. If you have already secured funding for the work, it must be clearly stated in the budget. External funding may be applied for during production. In that case, you must clarify to both the museum and the external funding body what the funds will cover and how they will stand in relation to the funding provided by the museum.
Will you pay the artist’s fee for all members of a group?
If the recipient is a group, the artist’s fee is divided among the members as the group suggests. Wages/salaries for all other persons, such as assistants, complete with statutory employee payments, must be included in the production costs and itemised in the budget.
Can the applicant be a cooperative?
Yes. In that case, value-added tax (VAT) must be included in the artist’s fee in the budget.
Will the museum pay for project expenses other than the artist’s fee and production costs?
The museum will cover administrative costs, as well as the costs of communications, documentation, and audience engagement. These expenses do not need to be included in the project budget.
What kinds of partners are allowed in the Lönnström Project?
The need for and role of collaborators depends entirely on the project. It can involve the artwork site, materials, audience engagement and marketing, among others. Partners can be (but are not limited to) societies, educational institutions and businesses.
When should I approach potential partners?
You can contact partners as early as the application stage, for example to help you estimate costs. You may also contact potential partners later in the process, after the selection, in which case the museum can play an active role in negotiations.
How is the project documented?
The documentation is produced collaboratively by the museum and the artist. The museum will record and document progress of the work. The artist shall submit to the museum copies of their own documentation produced during the project.
Contents of the application
Presentation of the artist
Present your previous work and recent projects. If the applicant is a group, present all members of the group and their role in the project.
Describe the background and content of the work. How will it be completed and in what ways will the audience access and experience it? What makes the project important and topical? How would the production of this work be significant for you and the audience in this specific point in time? Describe the goals of the project, and the museum’s role in it.
Where, when and how could the project be implemented?
Describe the ideal form of the work as you see it now.
Project schedule and lifespan
Estimate when you can start working on the project and how much time you will need for planning and implementation. Make a preliminary estimate of when the finished work can be published. Prepare a timetable the covers all stages of the project. How long after its publication can the work be on display or available to be experienced? Will the project have an ending date?
Plan for the distribution and payment schedule of the artist fee
On the basis of your time schedule for the project, submit a proposal for the payment of the artist fee (30,000 euros). If the application is submitted by a group, explain how the fee would be divided among its members.
How does your experience and knowledge contribute to the success of the project?
Even if you haven’t worked previously on the kind of project you are proposing, you can describe your other successful projects and partnerships.
What are the potential risks of the project?
Don’t be afraid to describe any potential risks in the project. Those are issues that we can solve together.
What is the role of the Lönnström Art Museum in the project? What are your expectations regarding the collaboration?
Tell us which aspects of the project you think would benefit from the museum’s expertise and support.
Make sure that the budget you submit with your application covers all possible expenses.
The budget is a detailed and realistic estimate of the project’s total cost. In addition to the artist’s fee, the budget must cover all costs needed for implementation of the project such as: production and materials; costs associated with structures, equipment, and installation; external labour; travel expenses; and daily allowances. Please note that the museum does not have a technician or guards. We also recommend that you include an item for unforeseen expenses in the budget.
The sums in the budget must include VAT. Statutory employer contributions must be added to the wages for external labour (appr. 22% of the wages, year 2023).
Examples of possible expenses:
The fee for the artist is 30,000 euros. Before payment, tax (as indicated on the tax card) and statutory employee contributions will be deducted from the fee (appr. 11%, year 2023).
Tools and accessories
Transport and mail
Fees and compensation
Salaries and wages
Employer contribution (appr. 22% of wages/salaries)
Unforeseen expenses (recommendation of at least 7% of the production budget).