Mia Enell – Elfi von Kantzow Alvin Art Award

Mia Enell in front of her painting, “Splitbed” (2019) acrylic on canvas 75 x 92 inches

Mia Enell receives the 2nd Elfi von Kantzow Alvin Art Award

Awarded to a woman visual artist with outstanding talent, vision and perseverance with strong ties to one of the 5 the Nordic countries.

Instituted by the American Scandinavian Society in 2019, the Elfi Art Award honors and continues in the spirit of Elfi’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. This year’s recipient is Swedish- NY based 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.

Born in Gothenburg, Sweden (1967) Enell spent her childhood between Sweden and Antwerp, Belgium. Her parents were both artists (painters). Enell is a graduate from Nyckelvik Art School in Stockholm (1987) and received her DSNAP (MFA equivalent) from ENSBA: the Art Academy “Beaux-Arts” in Paris (1992), where she lived for a decade. During her time in Paris, she immersed herself in the French art scene and exhibited extensively in France. In 1998, she settled in New York City, while continuing to exhibit internationally.

 Enell’s work is represented in major international public and private collections including Caisse des Depots et Consignation, Paris;  FNAC – Fonds National dArt Contemporain, Paris;  Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Statens Konstråd, National Public Art Agency, Stockholm;  Collection Teto Ahrenberg, Switzerland; Kika Borghese Collection, New York and Rome.