Soap Factory Announces International Residency Exchange Program

The Soap Factory is excited to partner with Kutlivera to send four emerging and mid-career Minnesota-based artists to Tranås, Sweden to participate in a month-long residency designed and hosted by Kultivera.

This residency is about TIME and PLACE, offering an opportunity to reflect and cultivate ideas through experience and exchange. Artists will be given opportunities to learn about their host city, meet other artists, and work independently or collaboratively in a private studio. Artists of any practice are welcome to apply (visual, performance, literary, dance, interdisciplinary, new media), but please keep in mind that this residency might not provide the logistics and time to create large-scale pieces.

Artists are asked to prepare to discuss or share their experiences during a public artist talk and private studio visit shortly after their return, organized by The Soap Factory.


Kultivera operates international cultural programs that are physical, social and creative; that stimulate and inspire both the artists and the local community. Kultivera creates cross-border meetings between artists, community, and industry that allow different areas to fertilize each other in mutual interaction. Kultivera's idea is to connect several European cultures, and promote democracy, quality, innovation, diversity, and cultural development.

The artist is not bound or isolated to a specific location or place, but is inserted in a typical Swedish small-town situations where they can operate internationally through the local.

More information about Kultivera's organization and residency programs can be found on their about page.

About Tranås

Tranås is an average sized Swedish town not yet a hundred years old, but with a history that stretches as far back as the middle ages to the homestead. Tranås is situated by the mouth of Svartån (Black River) entering the river Sommen. The name Tranås is mentioned in 1407 when the knight Karl Magnusson (Iron Foot) bequeaths Tranås to Vadstenas monastery; specifically referred to salmon fishing at Tranås mill. In the 1700s, the Tranås mill became a major hub located where several county roads crossed each other. In the 1800s the community grew slowly and for a period was called Lövstad.Tranås became a town in the early 20th century, when the fur and timber industry became important in the district due to the abundance of water from lake Sommen and Svartån (Black river). Today, Tranås is known for furniture design and manufacturing, all of which started in 1885, when the first wooden chair was manufactured. It was then, that the railroad was built going through the area creating the need for a station, which then established Tranås as a town which then became a city in 1919.

New Småland Project

Kultivera is connected with the New Småland project. New Småland is an interregional art project that was initiated as a collaboration between four art institutions, three regions, and a university in Småland. New Småland's ambition is to formulate long-term relationships, experiment, and create conditions for critical and cultural sustainability. This idea is based on locate and connect artists and organizers in the three regions. Regardless of economic and institutional circumstances each are treated by the various stakeholders as equal resources and knowledge nodes in investigating local and regional issues. Working crosswise between artists and institutions, and combining local knowledge with international contemporary art, design, and critical thinking opens possibilities to explore together and rethink the political, social, and aesthetic landscape of Småland.

The Minnesota-Sweden reconnection will be apart of New Småland project. A great opportunity for Minnesotan artist/curators and The Soap Factory to work with one of Sweden's biggest curators and collaborate with larger institutes of the region. Bringing different contemporary perspectives to new and old Småland.

Support + Costs

The Soap Factory and Kultivera will be supporting the following costs:

  • Travel (flight and train ticket to and from airport)

  • Accommodations

  • Working Studios

  • Food Stipend

  • Material Stipend

Artists are expected to cover any additional expenses during your residency. The Soap Factory staff will be working with you to travel.

How to apply:

This is an open call to participate in the Kultivera + Soap Factory residency program. All applications must be submitted through For more information or to apply click here.
Soap Factory Announces International Residency Exchange ProgramSoap Factory Announces International Residency Exchange ProgramSoap Factory Announces International Residency Exchange Program


Here & There Residency Exchange is a 2-year international exchange program in 2017 and 2018. In 2017, we offer a 1-2 month placement program, providing emerging and mid-career Minnesota artists support to research, produce, exhibit new works, and explore the artistic, social and cultural context offered by a host city. Upon their return, residency artists will share their experiences and any new work through artist talks and studio visits with one of The Soap Factory's established curatorial advisors.

In 2018, artists from each of these partner programs will be offered a 1-3 month residency opportunity at The Soap Factory, supported by our staff in documentation, installation, critique and presentation.

Each international exchange will be unique and aim to provide programming and networking opportunities in addition to travel and material support. For all residency artists, becoming part of a distinct network of cultural establishments, conversations, and communities will enhance the experience of making work in a new city, supported by a valued partnership organization.

We are interested in vigorous conversations, experimentation, and long-running relationships; Residency artists are welcome to re-apply to future residencies at The Soap Factory to explore their projects further, with possible opportunities to exhibit in our galleries.

2017/2018 Residency organization cities: Tranås, Sweden / Mexico City, Mexico / New York City, NY / Glasgow, Scotland / Minneapolis-St Paul, MN.

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