Michael Marquand & Sarah Cahlan | Photography by Michael Marquand
If you’ve ever been to Iceland, you’re probably familiar with the colorful art scene, modern architecture and thriving culinary culture in Reykjavik. You probably also know that as you move farther east away from Reykjavik, the cultural flare diminishes. However, it’s not a bad trade - the less art there is, the more the landscape morphs into glaciers, waterfalls, hot springs and other natural phenomenas. Mother Nature becomes the artist, and the landscape is her canvas. But in one remote town, the scene is almost dwarfed by the people and their buildings. The curious and colorful town of Seyðisfjörður is a charming piece of civilization that offers a respite from the wildness of East Iceland. Seyðisfjörður nestled in the mountains of the eastern coast, was originally settled by Norwegian fisherman in 1848 and had spent most of its history as a fishing village until World War II when the town became an important military base. Today, the municipality has a population of fewer than 700 people but offers substantially more culture than any village of its size. There’s a small main street in the center of town, with bike rentals, artist shops selling handmade goods, and restaurants offering farm-to-table meals, freshly baked goods and locally brewed beer. The thriving artist community sits in direct contrast to the remoteness of the town.