C.R.E.T.A. Rome is an international centre for ceramics and the visual arts that organises artist residencies, relaunching the concept of the 'Grand Tour' to rediscover the immense cultural heritage that Rome represents. Co-founded as a non-profit organization, its name reflects the bilingual character of the center: "CRETA", the Italian word for clay, combined with the English spelling of their city, “Rome”.
Located in the heart of the historical center, between the Capitoline Hill and the Jewish quarter, the main studio of CRETA Rome in the 16th-century Palazzo Delfini reflects the layering of the eternal city. Rising above the ruins of ancient Roman apartments, the building backs onto the Crypta Balbi Medieval museum. The 15th-century vaulted gallery space preserves the memory of St Ignatius who composed the rules of the Jesuits here. It also concealed and thus saved a Jewish family during the Holocaust.
The acronym C.R.E.T.A. spells out their main activities: ceramics, residencies, exhibitions, teaching, and the arts. The interdisciplinary program has hosted more than 140 resident artists from 24 countries and 5 continents since 2013. Emerging, mid-career and established artists selected by an international committee converge on Rome for periods of 1-3 months. Housing in the historical center provides direct contact with Roman life and a second studio in the countryside offers the possibility of reduction firing, collaborative projects, and for artists to be accompanied by their partner and/or family.
Interaction with the local and international community is an important aspect of CRETA Rome’s mission. 8-10 exhibitions per year provide a forum for resident artists to present their work to the public as the culmination of their experience. In addition to clay, CRETA Rome has hosted fiber artists, graphic artists, painters as well as writers thereby integrating ceramics into the contemporary art sphere.
Artists are encouraged to submit a proposal for inclusion in a final group exhibition to display the work created during the residency period (optional). For visual artists, the donation of one piece is requested (optional).
The Rome center studio is located in the mid 16th-century Palazzo Delfini. Two to four artists in residency share the studio space. Each artist is provided with wall space, a table and shelving units. For ceramic artists, there are wheels, electric low- and high-fire kilns and a range of ceramic tools as well as access to clay, glazes and raw materials.
In the countryside studio, the studio is private. The artist is provided with wall space, tables and shelving units. For ceramic artists, there is a wheel, electric and gas low- and high-fire kilns and a range of ceramic tools as well as access to clay, glazes and raw materials.
- Housing for the residency is in the historic center of Rome. Each artist has a private room. Linens and towels are provided. Accommodation is within 5 minutes of the c.r.e.t.a. Rome studio.
- For the countryside residency, accommodation is in a 1-bedroom house with a garden and private studio. Spouses/companions and/or children are also welcome (supplemental fee).
There is a small reference library of art books as well as local guides and dictionaries.