1-16 june 2024


ArtGifts was a response of the Reykjavík Arts Festival to the restrictions on gatherings during the pandemic. The project first took place in Reykjavík at the beginning of November 2020 and was repeated throughout the country the weekend of 19th - 20th of December 2020.

ArtGifts is a project based on the Finnish model, which was originally carried out as part of the Helsinki Festival in August 2020.

Briefly about ArtGifts

A specially designed website was created so the public could order an ArtGift for a loved one free of charge.


Each ArtGift was about a five to ten minute performance of music, dance or poetry readings by nationally known artists that took place at or near the recipient's home. The person who booked the gift was responsible for ensuring that the recipient of the gift was at home and that there were conditions to receive the gift at a safe distance due to the pandemic. The artists performed either outdoors, in stairwells, garages or elsewhere where sufficient distance could be ensured.

ArtGifts in Reykjavík

During the weekend of 7th -8th of November 2020 the first edition of ArtGifts was offered in Reykjavík, supported by the City Council. Thirty artists took part in distributing 140 ArtGifts throughout the capital. The project was very well received. After a presentation in Menningin, a cultural program on national television the Monday night before, all the gifts were booked up the same evening. Despite some rain and cold weather on Saturday, the delivery of ArtGifts went smoothly and attracted a lot of attention on social media.


ArtGifts nationwide

When it became clear that gathering restrictions would be even more burdensome during Advent 2020, the Icelandic government decided to support Reykjavík Arts Festival generously for another edition of ArtGifts around the country on the weekend of 19th -20th of December.

Over one hundred nationally known artists took part this time. It was possible to order an ArtGift from anywhere in the country or even via streaming, for those who did not trust themselves to receive a gift in person.

The artists performed everywhere, from Kópasker to Keflavík, they sang and played, recited poems & danced.

Heavy landslides occurred in Seyðisfjörður the week before the delivery of the ArtGifts and the town was evacuated. However, it was possible to locate the recipients in their temporary housing, so that despite these demanding circumstances all gifts could be delivered as planned.

ArtGifts in the Westfjords, on the other hand, had to be postponed due to bad weather. But in a second attempt they could fully be delivered at the end of January and the beginning of February 2021 as well.

Social media flooded with fun and emotional videos and photographs from the artists' visits, shared by the recipients.

In the video below you can see fragments of the artists who appeared in ArtGift nationwide and the wonderful atmosphere that the project evoked all over the country.

ArtGifts' Artists 2020

Alexandra Chernysova
Álfheiður Erla Guðmundsdóttir
Valgeir Daði Einarsson
Ari Bragi Kárason & Kári Húnfjörð Einarsson
Ása Guðjónsdóttir
Auður Jónsdóttir
Benni Hemm Hemm & Páll Ívan
Bjarni Snæbjörns & Birkir Blær
Bryndís Jakobsdóttir & Daníel Friðrik Böðvarsson
Cheick Cheick Ahmed Tidiane Bangoura & Kristin Álfheiður Árnadottir.
Diddú & Ingvar
Elín Ey
Ellen Kristjáns, Eyþór Gunnarsson, Elísabet Eyþórsdóttir, Sigríður Eyþórsdóttir
Friðrik Ómar
Frikki Dór
Gerður Kristný
Gissur Páll Gissurarson & Matti Kallio
Gógó Starr
Guðrún Árný
Guðrún Jóhanna & Francisco Javier Jáuregui Narváez.
Gunnhildur Einarsdóttir & Þóra Einarsdóttir
Hallgrímur Helgason & Þorvaldur Þór Þorvaldsson
Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir & Halldór Smárason
Haukur Gröndal & Erik Qvick
Hera Björk & Björn Thoroddsen
Herdís Anna Jónasdóttir
Hljómsveitin Eva
Hringleikur - Eyrún Ævarsdóttir & Jóakim Meyvant Kvaran
Ingibjörg Fríða Helgadóttir & Sigurður Ingi Einarsson
Iva Marín & Már Gunnarsson
Jóhann Kristinsson
Jói P & Króli
Kári Viðarsson
Katla Vigdís & Hrafnkell Vernharðsbörn
Kristín Helga Gunnarsdóttir
Kristján Kristjánsson - KK
Kristjana Arngríms,  Ösp Eldjárn & Kristján Eldjárn
Kristjana Stefáns & Þorgrímur Jónsson
Lay Low (Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir)
Magga Stína & Tómas Jónsson
Magni Ásgeirsson & Valmar Väljaots
Margrét Arnardóttir & Ingibjörg Friðriksdóttir
Margrét Eir & Andrés Þór
Mr. Silla & Tyler
Hringleikur - Jón Sigurður Gunnarsson & Sindri Diego
Ómar og Óskar Guðjónssynir
Palace Muses: Gyða Valtýs, Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir & Jófríður Ákadóttir
Páll Óskar & Ásgeir Ásgeirsson
Reynir Hauksson
Salka Sól & Rögnvaldur Borgþórsson
Sammi Samm
Sigríður Torlacious & Guðmundur Óskar
Sigríður Eyrún & Karl Olgerisson
Snædís Lilja Ingadóttir & Hermigervill
Snorri Helgason & Saga Garðars
Snorri Sigurðar & Haraldur Ægir
Stefán Jón Bernharðsson
Svavar Knútur & Berta Dröfn Ómarsdóttir
Teitur Magnússon & Steinunn eldflaug
Tumi Árnason & Magnús Trygvason Eliassen
Vala Guðnadóttir & Kjartan Valdimarsson
Valdimar & Örn Eldjárn
Ylja (Bjartey Sveinsdóttir og Gígja Skjaldardóttir)

"Wonderful experience! I was told that this was the best gift the individual had received. We will never forget this moment."
"We at Hrafnista Nesvöllur were ecstatic with the gift you brought to us and we would like to thank you very much. It made us tremendously happy."
"My ArtGift for my mother was Diddú. And darling Diddú came soaring onto the living room floor, stood in the winter sun's rays and charmed everyone present. Not least the infants 4 and 7 months and their 3 year old aunt. They all fell silent and experienced art and its power. This was magical."
"Great experience and fun in Covid times. Reunited the family, but we were in three places in the country at the same time on separate computers."