Artist residency on the Pico Island – the Azores
About the project
This international residency programme organised by the production company FREESAM is a opportunity with a limited capacity for artistic work in an unique environment. It draws on the founders’ many years of experience of working in the field of culture and the arts. Its main goal is to draw attention to the unique, dramatic, and well-preserved nature of the Azores and make it possible for artists across genres to draw inspiration for their work from the specific atmosphere of Pico Island.
The programme is designed for artists who are at least three years out from a school of arts and who have done at least two solo exhibitions or presentations. The residency consists of a one-month stay at Pico Island, during which a unique work of art will be created that reflects Czech-Portuguese relations, the Azores, and their importance in the international context, or whose contents supports protection of the environment of the Azores. The resident will leave the resulting work to FREESAM, which will then use it to present the Programme in the public space at the project venue.
The residency programme is located in the Terra do Pão village in the south of Pico Island in the Azores. Simple accommodation is provided in a renovated historical mill on a large private property on the shore of the Atlantic and at the foot of the Pico Volcano. An outdoor kitchen and bathrooms are available for residents. For work, there is a separate studio with running water. The property is located in a strictly protected nature reserve.
Given the type of accommodation and the challenging and frequently changing conditions, the Programme is not intended for artists who require a greater level of comfort and extensive production facilities. Improvisation and the ability to adapt are necessary prerequisites for successful completion of a stay.
The residency programme includes:
- Simple accommodation in a renovated historic mill.
- Round-trip airfare to and from the Azores.
- A monthly allowance of EUR 1,000 per person or EUR 1,500 for an artistic couple.
- A production budget of EUR 200.
- Basic tools and equipment on site.
- One paid whale and dolphin-watching trip.
- Climb to the volcano.
(Flight times to the Azores may change without notice, due to weather conditions or other objective facts. Furthermore, weather during your stay may not permit the organisation of whale-watching trips or hikes up the volcano.)
Applications are currently closed. Stay tuned.
NU´ VEM is a private project by FREESAM that is independent of state or local institutions and financed solely from the company’s own resources. The company has been gradually buying up neglected land in Terra do Pão since 2017. In 2019 it completed the renovation of the first mill, with the renovation of the second mill completed in 2021. The demarcated area itself is located in a protected nature reserve and is used as a nesting place for birds.
In addition to protecting Nature, the NU´ VEM project also supports artists from all over the world by giving them the opportunity for short stays for artistic purposes in the inspiring environment of the island of Pico.
The property is not intended for residential, recreational or commercial purposes. The entire area of the project is monitored in order to protect it.
History of the residency venue
The properties, now constituting one unit, have been purchased one after another since 2017. The originally impenetrable jungle with two rock bulwarks indicating where original mills were located, were revitalized over the course of five years, with the possibility of further development, while putting an emphasis on environmental protection, above all on bird protection. Both mills have been renovated – Manuel Domingos and Choca. Manuel Domingos served its original purpose until the 1960s.
Mills started to appear in the Azores in the early 20th century, in order to alleviate manual labor in flour production. Most flours were made of maize which, was carried in bags up the stairs to the milling mechanism. The mills had to be able to adapt to the changing direction of the wind in the islands and were consequently built with a mechanism that made it possible to rotate the entire mill in a semicircle of 180°.
The renovated mills at Terra do Pão are cultural monuments.
The Portuguese overseas territory was settled by the Portuguese in 1453. The archipelago is comprised of nine inhabited islands. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the windy subtropical climate does not suffer from great temperature fluctuations. In summer, the temperatures range around 25°C and in winter around 17°C. There are several nature reserves and UNESCO cultural heritage sites on the Azores.
The island – the home of Portugal’s highest mountain – is 40 km long and 15 km wide. World-famous vineyards, an abundance of local produce, from fruit to beef, and a clean ocean with a rich underwater life make it the perfect place to escape reality.