The Elfi von Kantzow Alvin Art Award is awarded to a woman visual artist with outstanding talent, vision and perseverance with strong ties to one of the 5 Nordic countries.
Instituted by the American Scandinavian Society in 2019, the Elfi Art Award honors and continues in the spirit of Elfi von Kantzow Alvin’s tireless efforts for Scandinavian artists and the Scandinavian community in New York for over 60 years. As an accomplished artist, costume, set and interior designer, Elfi founded the Art Program of the American Scandinavian Foundation on 73rd street in 1978 and continued with the American Scandinavian Society. She curated 85 exhibitions featuring more than 250 artists from the 5 Nordic Countries for over 38 years on behalf of these organizations. She was committed to giving Scandinavian artists a chance to be seen and exhibited in NYC. Elfi was known as ‘the fairy godmother of Scandinavian artists’ and for her multitude of contributions to Scandinavian culture in the US, was awarded a gold medal from the King of Sweden as well as the Finnish Order of the Lion, and honored by the Danish American Society.
The Elfi Art Award program is chaired by her daughter, Curator, Art Consultant and Collector Anita Alvin Nilert. The first recipient was Norwegian- NY based Eva Faye.
The 2021 Recipient is MIA ENELL
Mia ENELL is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in painting and drawing as well as photography, video, installation and sculpture. Although she makes use of different media, Enell approaches her work with the internal logic of a painter. She is best known for her paintings, watercolors and drawings depicting the eccentricities of her inner life, often with humor and a surrealist bent. Visions and Haiku-like phrases – inspired by dreams, her surrounding life or drawn from the unconscious, are part of the work: Enell likes to play with words, which features prominently in many of her works. Learn more about MIA ENELL…
Elfi von Kantzow Alvin (1922-2020)
Elfi von Kantzow Alvin (1922-2020) was born in Sweden in 1922 and lived in Vienna, Budapest, Milan and Paris before settling in NY in 1948. Educated as a Scenic Designer at the Kunstakademie Vienna, she was resident designer at Vasateatern, Stockholm before moving to NY where she became the 1st woman Set Designer in the United Scenic Artist’s Union. After designing many sets for Broadway shows and CBS television, she had a second career as Interior Designer with Ellen McCluskey Associates. Elfi was an active member of the ASF & American Scandinavian Society from the 1960’s along with her Danish husband Ib Alvin. They were both past Presidents, Board Members, and Elfi was variously Program Committee Chair and organized multiple programs every year before founding the Art Program in 1978. In addition to all of the exhibitions she curated, Elfi also organized artists studio tours, gallery tours and other programming for the Society members.