Activities // Open Calls


Aveiro invites 3 artists from the CreArt Network to work for one month in Aveiro AiR, between November 1st and November 30th.

The participants will be offered all conditions to get inspired by the Aveiro region and its ceramic tradition.

Artists accepted

Aveiro will receive 3 visual artists to work on artistic ceramics. During the residency the artists will have a diversified cultural program, which will aim to widen their knowledge of technology and styles of ceramic production in collaboration with professional partners. The artists will have some days for cultural/excursion program and project development and other days for realization of the projects. The projects might focus on object production, design, ceramic painting, installation, mural art, tile or pottery design, experimentation or public art. It is desirable that the artists relate their projects with the elements of local identity.

Who can apply?

The AiR is open to local artists – born or resident – in any of the cities taking part in the CreArt | Network of Cities for Artistic Creation: Aveiro [PT]; Valladolid [ES]; Clermont-Ferrand and Rouen [FR]; Genoa and Lecce [IT]; Liverpool [UK]; Lublin and Katowice [PL]; Kaunas [LT]; Skopje [MK] and Zagreb [HR].

The artists should have some experience or education/formation in the area of ceramics. There is no age limitation. Proposals are accepted for indoor or outdoor (public) artworks based on: 1) porcelain, faience or red clay object productions, 2) experimental ceramics and painting on ceramics, 3) ready-made ceramic installations, 4) tile experimentation or 5) mix of several options. The artists should plan projects which can be realized during the residency.

In case of the applicants without university level, proof of equivalent ability must be provided through his/her artistic career.

Conditions and stipend

The organization will cover travel expenses to Aveiro [up to 500 €] for the artists coming from CreArt Cities. Aveiro also cover the material costs and will pay a grant of 500€ for subsistence, production costs and other expenses.

The artists must have an european health card or equivalent.

Studio and accommodation will be provided by the organization in the city center of Aveiro.

Aveiro AiR | CreArt programme

_Aveiro will provide a curator to guide the artists in their work as well as to install in the city and which will organize events to introduce the artists in the local artist’s community, promoting the possibility for the CreArt artists to present their work.

_The three selected artists will develop their proposals with a curatorial assistance before starting the residency to define, mature and adequate the projects.

_During the AiR will be defined open days for visitors [school students and public in general]

_A final public presentation of the works created during the residency will take place [group exhibition]. The exhibition, its opening ceremony and dissemination will be assumed by the organization.

_The artists are committed to attend daily and work in the residence. A final report must be produced at the end.

_One of the works produced must remain in Aveiro and will be included in the artistic ceramics collection of the City Museum.

Are you interested?


ID or passport (scanned copy);

A short version of your resume/CV [one A4]

Documentation material recent and related to the project, with technical specifications [maximum e examples of representative artworks, 5 pages and 5 pictures. links can be included];

A short written project proposal [one A4].This document should also contain a list of technical needs [typology of clay, pigments, objects and quantities; the preferred kiln temperature regimes and size; other relevant technical details which can help the organization to understand the project].

Only applications with complete information will be accepted. The applications must be submitted before September, 18th, 2019. Aveiro will inform of the results until September 22th. The shortlist will be published in the CreArt website.

The participation in this call implies the acceptance of these bases, and the artists selected should include a reference of in all their future communications that have been selected to participate in the CreArt Artists in Residence program, in Aveiro  - project co-funded by the European Union – Creative Europe program.


The curator | Madina Zinganshina

Madina Ziganshina is a visual artist with more than 15 years of career and since 2015 is fully engaged in the artistic curation, directing non-commercial curatorial project ART-MAP in Portugal. Her diverse continuous education includes painting, sculpture, music, pedagogy, stage direction, contemporary artistic studies, sociology of art, art critics and doctoral heritage and museology studies, what permits interdisciplinary and informed approach of the artistic curation. The curatorial experience includes organizing big-scale multi-venue festivals connected with heritage and local identity, and smaller events such as artistic residencies, individual creation, solo shows of the invited artists, and organization of thematic conferences. Madina Ziganshina collaborates with Universities, Municipal Councils in Portugal, museums, private galleries, theatres and libraries. The curator counts with participations in international Biennale of Ceramics of Aveiro, Festival dos Canais (Aveiro), DLUM International print art biennale (Macedonia) and CreArt. 


Proposal: Dream Factory

In and around Aveiro there are several renowned ceramic workshops, ranging from small to industrial scale, with decades of tradition. The artists will make their residency at one of partner workshops. The artists should make specific proposals where they explain the identify type of materials which want to use, and technical conditions: temperature characteristics and size of kiln they need. Each artist in residence will make a one-day visit to several different workshops to see the technical conditions, meet the professional and learn about the local ceramic identity.

This residency program has contacts with several local ceramic producers, from a big regional ceramic industry to medium-size artisanal ateliers and small family workshops, which unite excellent ceramic artists and professionals, strong tradition and contemporary technologies. That means that the invited artists will have a big choice of possibilities for experimentation, learning and creation. The available conditions include: equipped workshops for porcelain (sculpture) work and a painting/design atelier with quality materials and experienced supervision to produce any kind of porcelain, faience, red or black clay connected projects; workshop adequate for plaster and plastic molds and liquid clay techniques, pottery wheels and clay-press facilities, as well as conditions for painting and experimentation with pigments and textures.


Curatorial message:

Visiting ceramic workshops, I ask the artists same question: what are you looking for in contemporary ceramics?

The artists associated to the industrial production responded: “the quality and control in the perfection of the forms and the lines, the unity of the solutions, the elegance, the continuity of tradition for the future”; in one of the private workshops the artist told me: “I try to find the beauty of the mistake that happens in the porcelain process, I appreciate the fragility of material, I reveal this fragility and spontaneous effects, I allow my porcelain to happen”; the next artist said: “in my ceramic art I look to return the works to nature: clay and pigments, raw material for porcelain come from the earth, my works imitate natural stones and raw geological artefacts;, I imagine ceramics as a volcanic act which deforms the elements and expresses the shapes and colours stronger than we can imagine”; the other artist replied that the clay for him is only one of the materials with which he freely plays with, joining together wood, iron, textile, plastic, glass and ready-mades, appropriating and imitating everyday forms and utilitarian objects in his artistic expression; the further artist said she is inspired by ethical motives and worldly forms and folklore traditions. The fact is that, there are as many opinions about what is sought in contemporary ceramics, as the artists.

But there is one point which unites all ceramic professionals: affection for the material, taste for experimentation and a desire to establish ceramics as a sustainable medium in the art world. This way we can describe the art of ceramics as a “dream factory” where the imagination and skill merged together provide impressive results.

And I want to challenge the Cre-Art artists to participate in “Dream Factory” ceramic residency in Aveiro. During the residences the selected artists are expected to dedicate themselves to experimentation, active learning, search for new languages ​​and creation of new artworks. The participants will be encouraged to work side-by side with Aveiro colleagues and exchange experiences. According to the subjective reading of the theme "Dream Factory", the artists are expected develop original projects, desirably linked to the local identity and cultural references.


By the arrival to Aveiro, the participants will assist the inauguration and winner announcement of the Biennale of Ceramics of Aveiro, making a tour around the city museums and galleries, meeting participating artists and their artworks.

Before starting the projects, the participants will make one-day visits to several ceramic workshops studying the techniques and possibilities.

The next two weeks (working days) will be devoted to development of ideas and production artistic projects in the chosen workshop.

During the weekends the artists will make informative visits to several landmarks of ceramics such as Ovar, Caldas da Rainha or Montemor o Velho.

The last days of residency will include drying and cooking of the artworks. The artists might have 2-3 free days in Aveiro or assist the cooking process.


About Aveiro

Located in the center of Portugal [halfway of Porto and Coimbra], by the sea, Aveiro is one of the major cities of the country. Nowadays its relevance and increasing number of inhabitants comes from the presence of the University [founded in 1973] and from the industries and companies operating in the technological areas, as well as from the improvement of the harbour facilities, seen as an important gateway to Europe and a strategic point to international trade.

Aveiro is also placed by the central national railway which contributes to the easy traveling to everywhere in the country. All types of services are available and there are several hotels and restaurants, as well as sports and cultural facilities to serve the population and the visitors. Museums, a municipal theater, a congress center and a large number of culture associations create the pleasant and dynamic cultural atmosphere of the city, highlighted by the canals festival and, mainly, the International Biennial of Artistic Ceramics [since 1989], which 14th edition takes place at the same time of the AiR. Encompassing the cultural dynamics, Aveiro recently launched its Candidacy for European Capital of Culture in 2027.

A city full of history, of several former monasteries, baroque churches, Art Nouveau façades, colored tile panels and with a long tradition in ceramics, fishing [including the famous codfish] and salt production, Aveiro is also known by the 15th century Portuguese princess Joana who chose to live, became nun and is buried in Aveiro [her tomb is a masterpiece of Portuguese baroque]. Blessed since 1693 and motive of deep religious devotion of the community she is the saint patron of Aveiro. Side by side with its long history, is the university campus, a complete catalogue of the Portuguese contemporary architecture design by renowned architects such as the Pritzker’s awarded Álvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto Moura. 

The weather conditions are pleasant, both on summer and winter, and the brightness provided by the large lagoon and the ocean brings a special glow to the city and the buildings colors.

The beaches around Aveiro [Barra, Costa Nova and São Jacinto] are a main holiday center for people from center Portugal and Spain [Salamanca, Valladolid, Ciudad Rodrigo]. Barra’ beach is also a significant spots for surfing all entire year. Besides that, the lagoon [European protected area – Natura 2000 network] attracts a large number of visitors and researchers to appreciate and study the landscape and the biodiversity [mainly the birds]. The saltpans still producing according to artisanal methods are one of the major local touristic attractions. Art Nouveau heritage is becoming a significant cultural attraction as well, side by side with the moliceiro’ boats and the street art produced by local and national artists.

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