c.r.e.t.a. rome / Rome, Italy
for sculptors, ceramists and potters,
as well as for visual artists and writers
A material expressing the timelessness of art
c.r.e.t.a. rome is a creative centre for ceramics and the visual arts, founded in 2012 and is held privately. It ‘serves as a point of encounter for international exchange between artists, collectors, donors and the public’. Named according to the Italian word for clay ‘creta’, it is a space for ceramics, residencies, exhibitions, teaching and the arts, located in the middle of Rome’s old town.
Here, between Capitoline Hill and Jewish quarter, ceramists, sculptors, visual artists and writers will find two warm hearts, anything but stone.
Lori-Ann is classical archaeologist and art historian, graduated from Princeton and Brown University and holding a PhD from Oxford. She originally is from the US, but living and teaching in Rome since 1997.
Paolo is an artist, sculptor and functional potter, born and grown up in Rome. He was a fellow with different international residency programmes himself before.
The title photo shows lustre work: vases, bowls and cups by Paolo Porelli.
Their holistic approach to the arts, as well as to life, conveys instantly when entering the space: Agreeing with the words of St. Francis of Assisi: ‘…He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artists’, and sharing this definition with their community via social media.
They chose the broadest designation possible in order to include everything, from the more traditional visual arts to the culinary arts, music, art history and cultural studies.
As if by snapping your fingers the thousands of tourists disappear – the never ending stream of people coming to see the Colosseo, that flows with the masses to Foro Romano, and then steps on to the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II.
Just a block of houses aside, the hustle is gone; Suddenly only real citizens to see – in medieval scenery.
Arriving exactly to the minute, the German punctuality revealed – honestly, I felt a bit embarrassed, also because a freshly made lunch sandwich had to remain uneaten.
First, their cute dog Ciuffo welcomed me, already spotting me from behind the windowpane, and then Lori-Ann herself. With sincere cordiality and embracing hospitality she asks if I had any trouble to find it.
Of course, I don’t tell about the rush beforehand – walking up cobble stone serpentines and down curvy worn stairs, passing by delicious cappuccino- and homemade pizza scent.
Inspired by Roman antiquity and the very special, intense natural light of southern Europe, the most unconventional ideas are realised.
With their help, the daily programme of classes and the bilingual office tasks can be run.
The photo to the right shows Jessie Fontana-Maisel, student of art history from the US, studying in Rome and finding ‘training on the job’ here.
The works produced by the resident artists during their stay are presented, tagged and additional info material displayed, so interested galleries and collectors can get in touch.
Courses and workshops, led by Paolo, for beginners and advanced clay craft workers and artists, for adults as well as kids, are offered on a fixed schedule.
One- and two-week workshops taught by international artists give participants access to additional media and methods.
The resident artists have access to the studios 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. They obtain assistance in procuring materials for their work, advice on museums, galleries and sites in Rome and beyond. A final group show gives artists the opportunity to exhibit work made during the residency period.
Compared with AIR’s at state institutions or funded programmes, there is a considerable fee to pay to the independent organisation, but as usual artists can apply for grants at official bodies and will find assistance for this. The fee includes accommodation in the historical centre of Rome, so rents make quite a quota.
The most impressive view on this
What a perfect spot for a moment of silence and indulgence while enjoying the terracotta coloured light, surrounded by the vivid life of the Eternal City.
For ceramists and sculptors, visual artists and writers, this residency is a pleasant refuge amidst stimulating historical sites at the cradle of Europe, caringly accompanied and guided by professionals:
Absolutely worth going for it!
Mille grazie per la meravigliosa ospitalità. Tutto il meglio per il futuro!
Photos: c.r.e.t.a. rome, A.M.;
Dr. Lori-Ann Touchette and Paolo Porelli, co-founders of c.r.e.t.a. rome,
Rome, 24th September 2014.