Thread Residency & Cultural Center

Sinthian / Senegal

Photo: Iwan Baan

 

Thread is a socio-cultural center with a residency program to allow local and international artists to live and work in Sinthian, a rural village in Tambacounda, the southeastern region of Senegal. It houses two artists’ dwellings, as well as ample indoor and outdoor studio space.Thread’s role as a socio-cultural center is most pronounced in its function as an agricultural hub for Sinthian and the surrounding villages. It provides agricultural training, fertile land, and a meeting place for the local and regional community to increase their economic stability. The roof collects and retains rainwater, creating a viable source for the majority of these new  projects during the eight-month dry season.

Thread is a flexible and evolving public space. Venues for celebrations, classes in language and health education, performances and village meetings are just some examples of activities the local population has taken over. The mission of Thread is twofold: to allow artists access to the raw materials of inspiration found in this rarely-visited area of the world; and to use art as a means of developing linkages between rural Senegal and other parts of the globe.

The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation is the organization that has made the project possible. Thread posits that art, culture, and architecture should be supported right along side agriculture, education, and health. And that all of these sectors support one another. It is a project about connection and linkage. Between two distinct points, persons, places, or perspectives. To be like thread by forming connections that run through people, and not around them.

 

Villa Romana

Florence / Italy

Photo: Bellows (Giuseppe Ielasi + Nicola Ratti)

 

The Villa Romana is a place of contemporary artistic production and of international exchange. Only ten minutes away from the city centre of Florence it combines the peacefulness of a neoclassical villa within a large garden property with the urban reality of a Renaissance city. The core function of the Villa Romana since 1905 has been the Villa Romana Prize. Each year the Villa hosts the Villa Romana Fellows and beyond that organises various exhibitions and a wide range of events. The Villa Romana strives to interact with artists and the public, expand its international network and promoting communication with the cultures of the Mediterranean area.

International guest artists broaden the spectrum of conditions for artistic production and enrich internal and external discourse. Competencies, cultural differences and personal backgrounds are integrated in cooperation with the local environment (museums, art academies, universities and partners in other disciplines).The Villa Romana is a convivial, interdisciplinary and communicative house that is frequented by numerous international artists, curators, critics and visitors throughout the year. It has over 40 rooms and a 1.5 hectare garden.

With its rich art-historical and intellectual stock as well as its current status as an international campus and destination for mass tourism and migration, the city of Florence constitutes the local matrix for the Villa Romana’s activities. It positions itself as a forum of contemporary art that initiates dialogue with the local audience and international partners.

 

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