“Bringing knowledge and other types of relationship with the community, taking up unoccupied spaces which can be valued through public art.” João Pinharanda, curator of the EDP Foundation Public Art programme, spoke of objectives at the press conference where the three first art guidebooks from this EDP Foundation project were presented, a project which brings together Portuguese artists and rural communities.
Already present in five regions – Algarve, Alto Alentejo, Ribatejo, Médio Tejo and Trás-os-Montes –, the plan is to continue to spread art throughout the country: there will be a new branch in Minho and new interventions in Médio Tejo, signed by artists such as Alexandre Farto (aka Vhils) and Manuel João Vieira.
In each of these regions, the work carried out by artists with the communities is then used as a basis for a public art guidebook. Produced by the EDP Foundation, these guidebooks reveal the journey through each of the routes. At MAAT’s shop, the guidebooks from Alto Alentejo, Ribatejo and the Algarve are already available, soon to be followed by the ones from Trás-os-Montes, Médio Tejo and Minho.
At the press conference, several interventions were presented, and there was a debate on the important role played by street art in regions with low population density and the creative process developed with local residents through community assemblies. Among the artists present at the Power Station’s Turbine Hall were XANA, João Seguro, Luis Silveirinha, Priscilla Ballarin, André NADA, Alecrim and Manuel João Vieira.
The beautiful thing about art can be this relationship between the artist and the community, brought together to build a better future, XANA.