Despina | Largo das Artes

General information

Brief description of organisation

Despina is a non-profit cultural association committed to develop platforms for creation, dissemination and collaboration in the field of contemporary art.

The projects developed by Despina are based around the following proposals:

– create a lively, supportive and dynamic environment for the development and exhibition of contemporary art

– facilitate experimentation and innovation in contemporary art practices by stimulating dialogue between artists and across cultures

– encourage the professional development of artists through a non-judgemental and process-based art residency programme

– widen access to contemporary art, instigating critical thinking

– contribute to the urban and cultural revitalization of the city centre of Rio de Janeiro, where the space is located.

Despina is one of the cities imagined by Italo Calvino in his work “The Invisible Cities”, originally published in 1972. In this book, the Italian author describes a city that looks different to those arriving by land or by sea, suggesting a reflection on the contradiction and duality of the human spirit as well as the diversity of perspectives that a single object can provide.

Organisation founded in


Brief description of residency program

Despina Residency Programme is designed for artists and curators wishing to immerse in their work and/or research. We provide them with the space to explore practices, concepts, new ideas and materials; and to develop a project while receiving professional feedback and support. Selected artists/curators participate in talks, meetings, studio visits, a final exhibition and are encouraged to propose educational activities to the public. The support, networks and creative environment offered by Despina Residency Programme encourages professional/artistic development and international contacts.

Residency program since


Disciplines and media
  • Visual Art
Type of organisation
  • Independent Association/Foundation

Residency conditions

Duration of residencies
  • between 1 and 3 months
Number of artists resident at one time


Companions allowed
  • Partners
Expenses paid by artist
  • Travel
  • Supplies
  • Food
Expectations of the artist
  • Leading Workshop or Class
  • Exhibition
Expenses paid by the organisation
  • Housing
Application who/how

Open Call

Selection procedure

By Committee

Presentation of artists' work

Exhibition at end of Residency

Description of residency



  • Internet Connection
  • Library
  • Kitchen
Number of studios

between 5 and 10

Type and size of studios

Private Studio

  • Private Apartment
  • Shared Apartment
Working language(s)
  • English
  • Portugese
Other activities happening at the space
  • Workshops
  • Presentation
  • Exhibitions
Contact information

Despina | Largo das Artes
Rua Luis de Camões, 2
20051-020 Rio de Janeiro

Phone: + 55 21 3197 6002

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