“Earth and Song” Art Residency for Ceramic Artists
“Earth and Song” project
A Fully Funded Art Residency
Program for Ceramic Artists
“Earth and Song” is a community development project implemented by the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA Yerevan) in Vardablur village (Lori province, Armenia). The project aims at revitalizing community life through artistic activities rooted in the cultural tradition of the village: the craft of pottery, and the musical heritage of Komitas (see “Why Vardablur?” section). The project was piloted in 2021 with the support of the German Federal Foreign Office International Relief Fund. As a result, twelve young villagers were trained by prominent ceramicists and made in situ artistic interventions, like installing ceramic mailboxes and replacing missing roof tiles with decorative tiles they created. A community choir performing Komitas’ heritage was also formed and trained by an invited conductor. To foster this process of transformation through art, ICA is implementing a fully funded art residency program in Vardablur for ceramic artists to create, learn, research, and share experiences within this authentic creative hub.
Surrounded by marvelous nature, the village of Vardablur is famous for its quality raw clay, which was once widely used for local household and construction needs. Also, it is here that Komitas, the founder of Armenian national music, transcribed the famous plow song "Lorva Horovel". Throughout his life, Komitas collected and transcribed over 3,000 pieces of Armenian folk music, thus contributing to save the Armenian cultural heritage. Moreover, Komitas was born in the ancient city of Kütahya (current Turkey) which, together with Iznik, was one of the largest centers of ceramic production in the Ottoman Empire.
Program and timeline
The residency will consist of two months of intensive artistic exchange: 1-2 weeks in Yerevan, comprising an orientation meeting and an introduction to the Armenian art scene, followed by 6-7 weeks of creative work in a fully equipped ceramic studio in Vardablur. A final project will be implemented in the Vardablur community, and possibly at ICA’s premises in Yerevan. ICA provides a flexible framework and mentorship, while not limiting the artistic process. An essential part of the art residency is the cooperation with the local pottery artists and students for workshops (at least 2), and implementation of small-scale joint projects (at least 1), such as public art installations or exhibitions.
Mentoring will be carried out by two ICA members: Nazaret Karoyan (an art critic, curator and director of Institute for Contemporary Art) and Ruben Arevshatyan (an artist, art critic, curator, head of Research Based Art Studio of SASASA at ICA). Residents will be introduced to various Armenia-based cultural institutions, curators and artists. Meetings with mentors will be scheduled every two weeks, which will give residents the opportunity to address the challenges faced during the project and to receive guidance regarding their residency experience. Towards the end of the residency, the mentors will work closely with the residents, as they will be curating their final group project.
The applicant is required to have relevant training and experience in the field of pottery/ceramics, as well as experience of working in community art projects.
: Over 18 years old (no age limit)
: The applicant must be legally residing in one of the 40 Creative Europe countries*, except the country where the host is based and implementing the residency project.
The applicant can have the same nationality as the country in which the residency project is implemented, so long as they legally resides in a different country.
: 2 months, from March to May 2024
: A travel allowance of €350 or €700 (depending on the distance) is provided.
: A daily stipend of 25€ is provided.
: Accommodation is free or charge.
: The resident is responsible for personal expenses including food, local travel.
: Accommodation in Yerevan is provided within the ICA Nest Art Residency building, which comprises two bedrooms, a kitchenette, and a shared bathroom. Residents also have access to a full-equipped kitchen and a dining-room located in the main ICA Yerevan building.
Accommodation in Vardablur village is provided in a village house, which comprises a living room, two bedrooms, a kitchen, a shared bathroom, a balcony, and a garden.
: Nest Art Residency comprises two studio spaces and a darkroom. ICA Yerevan also houses a library, two auditoriums, and a garden, all of which are at the disposal of the residents.
The Vardablur residency comprises a fully equipped ceramic studio to be shared by artists and students.
: English, Armenian
Send your resume/portfolio and a motivation letter at [email protected]
: October 1st, 2023
Selected applicants will be notified by October 5th, 2023.
“Earth and Song” residency program is a EU funded project within the Creative Europe programme.
About ICA Yerevan
ICA Yerevan is an open hub for the design of cultural and contemporary art projects development and production. ICA promotes the operation of art economy in Armenia, develops and implements art collection, exhibition, archiving and disseminating projects, conducts research and organizes teaching programs in the field of curatorial practices, theory, and art education.
ICA Yerevan has operated the Nest Art Residency since 2013. It welcomes artists, writers, curators, cultural managers, academics, and other practitioners providing them with the opportunity to live and work in Yerevan while developing individual projects and immersing themselves in Armenia’s creative sphere.
Since 2013 Nest has hosted 24 residents (from Austria, UK, Italy, Russia, France, USA, Turkey, Finland, Germany, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Canada, and Spain) who contributed significantly to ICA’s work and diversity, creating a vital connection between the Armenian cultural scene and the international artist community.
*Albania, Austria, Armenia, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus,
Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece,
Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, and Ukraine.
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) and Outermost Regions (ORs)
- Greenland (Denmark);
- French Guiana, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Territories,
Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Reunion Island, Saint Barthelemy,
Saint-Martin, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna Islands (France);
- Azores, Madeira (Portugal);
- Canary Islands (Spain);
- Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius (The Netherlands)