Partnership with the City of Tossa de Mar
A creative Collaboration between INDEPENDENT Artists and A THOUGHTFUL City government
Tossa de Mar, a town of approximately 6,000 permanent residents located one-and-a-half hours north of Barcelona has a history of being a place for the conception, creation and exhibition of modern art. That history was interrupted during the Spanish Civil War and WWII yet the presence of so many artists escaping tyranny and oppression in the 1930’s and 40’s is still felt through manifestations of cultural momentum as seen in Tossa’s Municipal Museum and certain durable iconic buildings, spaces and locales in the city. It was with the intention of recapturing the character of Chagall’s “Paradis Bleu” and fostering an active return of the arts to Tossa that AIR.CAT mentors Dennis Hollingsworth (a longtime resident) and Gerard Smulevich (a longtime recurrent visitor) approached the City of Tossa de Mar with an idea to bring thoughtful, energetic and forward-looking artists from around the world to Tossa for a one-month intensive immersion in the region’s landscape and culture. This idea was centered on creating an Artist Residency that could over time lead to attracting other aspects of cultural and artistic capital such as galleries, collectors and culturally-driven tourism.
It was with great delight that Hollingsworth and Smulevich encountered a remarkably enlightened and enthusiastic City of Tossa de Mar government, in particular its Cultural Affairs Department and newly elected Mayor whom embraced the idea of international artists converging on Tossa de Mar to create work that reflected on the influence of" “place” in the making of art and culture. As AIR.CAT 2019 started-up its maiden voyage and developed over that summer, many conversations were held between artists and government officials resulting in a full endorsement of the AIR.CAT artist residency program for 2020 by the City with a strong and very generous commitment to support the program both financially and intellectually. By assisting the resident artists with free lodging and work-space as well as a generous stipend for materials and other expenses, the City of Tossa de Mar took a very enlightened and thoughtful step towards a ground-up revival of the arts in this unique city.
AIR.CAT believes very strongly in the importance of nurturing a strong relationship between the very broad and sometimes uncanny nature of art production with the very direct and often finite nature of public policy. It is the will of the people of Tossa de Mar through their elected officials that is driving the development of this residency program and AIR.CAT is honored for the trust that this wonderful community has placed in its vision for a renewed Paradis Bleu.