Évora Art and Culture Center celebrates 10 years with ‘eyes set’ on the world

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Celebrating 10 years, the Eugénio de Almeida Foundation (FEA) Art and Culture Center in Évora, affirms itself as an “unavoidable place” for contemporary art in the south of the country, and wants to reinforce internationalization with future programming.

“The project has reached a cultural, artistic and relationship maturity with the local community and the different audiences that makes it an unavoidable place and, definitely, the largest contemporary art center south of the Tagus”, says to the Lusa agency the secretary general of the FEA, Maria do Céu Ramos.

Inaugurated in July 2013, the Art and Culture Center (CAC) operates in the building of the former Palace of the Inquisition, dating back to the 16th century, in the historic center, ‘half walls’ with the Roman Temple, the city museum and the Public Library of Évora.

Considering that this first decade of the space was “very successful”, the FEA Secretary General stresses that the CAC “is today a place of freedom, critical thinking, dialog, reflection that has art as a pretext”.

Before, “there was no place [in Évora] where through art reflection, questioning, learning and also the pleasurable experience of being in relationship with art, even when it is not beautiful, even when it is disturbing”, he points out.

According to Maria do Céu Ramos, since its opening, the center has presented 65 exhibitions, with an annual average of six shows, involving disciplines such as installation, photography, sculpture, painting, video, ancient art and contemporary art.

Currently, the CAC hosts the exhibitions “No tempo dos dias lentos”, with photographs that reveal the connection of the Eugénio de Almeida family to the city of Lisbon, and “Fenda”, which presents ancient and contemporary art, inviting a reflection on poverty.

The head of the FEA emphasizes that the foundation’s mission is to promote art, culture and education, stressing that the CAC combines all this with a “pluralistic program, which represents various currents and gives opportunity to emerging artists and those who have work”.

“All the exhibitions that are made at the CAC are original”, making the space “a center for the production of temporary exhibitions”, some in co-production with other art centers in the world and others with exclusive production, he highlights.

The educational service, underlines the FEA secretary general, is one of the components of the space and one of the foundation’s bets, with an informal education concept and initiatives that include guided tours of the exhibitions and others.

In 2022, the educational service carried out 738 activities, which included initiatives with schools at all levels of education in the municipality, workshops for families, among other projects, says Maria do Céu Ramos.

This year’s program of the Art and Culture Center is marked by the beginning of the itinerancy of some of its exhibitions, with shows ‘traveling’ to the neighboring municipalities of Reguengos de Monsaraz, Redondo and, in October, also Estremoz.

“But there is another line of work that is already old in the foundation, which is cross-border cooperation”, notes the person in charge, referring to the “annual exchanges” with the Estremadura and Iberoamerican Museum of Contemporary Art in Badajoz (Spain).

In fact, he concludes, the FEA has defined a strategy for its programming for the coming years that aims to “strengthen the international component” and “the link between the city’s identity and the European identity”.

Created by Vasco Maria Eugénio de Almeida, with the aim of developing and enhancing Évora and its region, in the cultural, educational, social and spiritual fields, the FEA is celebrating 60 years of existence.

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