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What is an art residency?
An art residency is a season of creative research and production taken by an artist or other creative, typically away from the normal context of life and often in another culture. Art residencies serve to allow creatives the opportunity to explore new materials, processes and ideas towards the development of their work. For centuries, artist, poets, craftsmen, writers and other creatives have left ‘home’ and travelled to other lands with the intent to broaden their vision and deepen their art. Residencies can take many different forms, from a quiet studio in the mountains to a brief immersion in a cultural event, to a season of dialogue and collaboration with peer artists on a particular theme. At Green Olive Arts, we believe that artists experience the best outcomes on many levels from such times when they are actually supported and resourced by a team of people who know art practice, speak the local language and have knowledge of and relationships within the local community.
Does Green Olive Arts offer subsidies or grants to artists?
At this time, we are not set up to subsidize our artists. Though we can recommend resources for artist funding and hope to offer selective funding in the future. Artists who have applied and been accepted for a residency with Green Olive Arts will receive an official acceptance letter which can be used in requesting funding. We also recommend to artists that they approach their local arts council (and other local arts promotion initiatives) and ask about funding opportunities. Morocco and the region is a place of particular interest currently, and a local arts council might be willing to help fund a local artist to come and produce some work inspired by Morocco and North Africa in order to bring it back and share in the local community. For more resources, see our Funding Resources for Artists page.
Can I do printmaking as part of a residency?
Green Olive Arts now has a press for printmaking!!! It is a professional small etching type of press with a 40cm x 80cm bed and sits on a beautiful custom wooden cabinet with built-in drying rack shelves, storage drawers and shelves for inks. The general specs are below (and here’s an image!):
- Working area: 400x800mm
- Maximum height between cylinders: 55mm
- Diameter of the rollers 90mm
- Rollers turn on very heavy high quality bearings with a 5-spoke crank
- Dimensions: 517 mm x 475 mm x 405 mm
- Weight: 39kg
- Brand: MREIG Model: sm-400
We have a very small selection of Akua and Speedball inks, so we recommend that you plan to bring your own inks. We have blank linoleum and EZ-cut plates for sale with the gouges to carve them. We also have a set of small Gelli Print Plates for monoprints and collograph.
Additionally, the French Institute of Tetouan has a full printmaking suite with multiple and and varied presses as well as intaglio/acid-etch and litho capabilities. We are working to develop a partnership with them for our artists to be able to use their facilities in exchange for workshops/exhibitions/etc. … but this is still in the conceptual stage.
Do you accept writers for residency?
Yes, we do accept writers! In fact, our studios provide a great space for writing. Feel free to ask past writers in residence Fiona Leonard (email@example.com), writer and author of the novel The Chicken Thief … and poet Yahya Frederickson (firstname.lastname@example.org ) about their experiences. They both enjoyed times of creative writing inspired by their experiences in Moroccan culture and interaction with local creatives. Our studio spaces are in what was a prominent Tetouan family’s home, so each room still has a bit of home feel to it, and can be furnished to your liking with tables, chairs, lighting, etc. Each studio has it’s own balcony with windowed doors for plenty of sunlight.
Do you accept groups for residency?
Green Olive Arts holds a strong value of community in art making and supports collaborative and concurrent residencies seeking large or multiple studio spaces. Members of groups seeking residency at Green Olive Arts will need to submit individual applications with notes referring to the nature of the group’s focus/project. Two or more individuals applying ‘together’ who are awarded residencies will also receive a special reduced studio fee.
Is an exhibition or other summative event required?
Artists are not required to aim for an exhibition to conclude their residency. That said, we encourage residents to engage the local community in the arts. We would be happy to arrange an exhibition of your work in our own gallery or another local gallery towards the end of your residency. Green Olive Arts has a 32 meter square exhibition space with a versatile hanging system and LED projection lighting that can be used for gallery style exhibitions as well as readings, performances and presentations. We can also negotiate exhibitions and performances in other well-known venues and galleries in the region, according to the scope and requirements of the project, within reason. Even if an exhibition of finished works is not the goal, scheduling Open Studios offers an opportunity for local audiences to see international work, be exposed to creative process and engage directly with the artists.
Do you accept application proposals by email?
No, we don’t. Sorry! Artists wishing to be awarded a residency at Green Olive Arts must apply via our online application form. We are happy to dialogue with artists prior to their applying formally. Therefore if you have an idea or proposal about how you hope to use your time at GOA that you would like to send us before you apply, you are welcome to send it. We will do our best to respond with our thoughts on whether your proposal would fit in our context and spaces. But we do not guarantee that such a dialogue will lead to an awarded residency.
What do I need to know regarding the customs and how to dress?
Like many North African countries, Morocco is in the throes of cultural shifts and changes, but for the most part there is a strong value of modesty of dress in the culture. The general rule is that the more conservatively a woman dresses, the less inappropriate attention she will be given. The local idea of modesty for women generally means loose fitting clothing (or at least outer layer of clothing) shirts that have a high neck-line, 3/4 length sleeves, and tops that are long enough in length to cover your hips. Trousers or dresses/skirts that go to at least mid calf are acceptable too. As foreigners, there is no reason to cover your head with a scarf unless it is something that is already part of your practice. In general, the less skin showing the better. Inside the home and studio there is more freedom to “un-layer” so long as there are not male guests.
Another note for women: It is best not to make eye contact with or smile at men passing by. It can be perceived as propositioning. This habit is a bit more difficult to adjust to, but it helps in avoiding unwanted attention. Do not respond to catcalls or comments from men on the street … just look ahead and keep walking.
What is the best way to get or exchange money?
Moroccan Dirham (MAD) is the local currency, which is divided into 100 centimes. It’s a restricted currency, so it can only be bought inside the country. Standard ATMs are widely available in the neighborhood of the studios (& in most larger towns) and are the best/easiest way to get funds. Make sure you have informed your bank about this trip so they don’t lock your card suspecting overseas fraud! Do not bring Travelers’ Checks or Australian dollars. Currency Exchange Rates are fixed by the government – xe.com provides up-to-date rates. Nearly brand new Euro, UK pounds, and USD notes can be exchanged at banks or official Bureaux de Changes. You cannot re-exchange money when departing. Major credit cards are accepted in some larger shops, hotels and restaurants, but not AMEX.
What do I need to know about safe eating?
It is generally advisable to drink bottled water and be selective in the case of street or restaurant food. You don’t want to spend your precious days here sick, while waiting for your system to adjust. The GOA studio has a water filtration system for you to refill cups and bottles to stay hydrated the whole time.
All food provided by GOA will be safe to eat, and if you have already communicated to us any dietary restrictions you have, we will make accommodations for these. GOA artists are also welcome to use the shared refrigerator for any extra food items they may need. Please label your food or a plastic bin with your name. All unlabeled food items are open for anyone to use.
Regarding food in restaurants or on the street – avoid eating fresh (unpasteurized) dairy products, fruits that you don’t peel, and any uncooked vegetables.
You can disinfect your own fruits and vegetables by soaking them for 15 min. in a large basin with 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar… That requires a lot of vinegar though, so we recommend 12 drops of Agrisept grapefruit seed extract in a basin of water (you might want to buy your own bottle and bring it!). This is strongly recommended to avoid picking up parasites and other bacteria to which your body may not be accustomed.
Can I use my phone in Morocco?
If you have an unlocked phone that is usable here, you can purchase an inexpensive local SIM card. You can buy minutes for your SIM at most “teleboutiques” – simply tell them your carrier, phone #, and the amount in dirhams of charge you would like to add. (usually 50 or 100 dirham). Cheap phones are also available here.
What is the electricity and what kind of adaptors do I need?
Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. PLEASE CHECK to make sure your technology can handle 220 volts before plugging it into the wall OR YOU WILL DESTROY IT. European two-pin round plugs are standard. Adaptors are not easily found in Morocco, so you will want to bring your own (we have a few but not many). The same goes for transformers if your piece of technology requires conversion to 110 volts from 220 volt source.
Do artists in residence have access to WIFI internet?
GOA provides free secure Internet for all artists in residence. You will receive the passcode from GOA staff. Please do not share this code with anyone other than GOA residents. Depending on the type of housing you choose, there may be wifi there too. Internet cafes are everywhere, however keyboards are usually in French (non-qwerty!) and may log your keystrokes, so don’t use them to access bank or credit card sites. Many riads and hotels now offer free Wi-Fi.
How can I do laundry there?
The following options are available to you:
- There is a shared washing machine at GOA, drying rack or rooftop clothesline, and you are welcome to use these for your laundry needs.
- The shop across the street, Pressing AltaTec will do laundry for a per-item fee. Their hours are 9am – 1pm and then 3pm – 8pm. Clothes will be washed, dried and folded for you within the same day, typically.
- The local hotel Riad El Reducto offers same-day laundry services for a per-item fee.