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Buinho residency program (Portugal) - 2023

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Event History

The Buinho Residency program is for creatives and researchers from various backgrounds. Buinho creative hub opened in Alentejo (Southern region of Portugal) with the support of a curatorial team with over ten years of experience in the organization support of other residency programs in Portugal. Buinho has been successfully growing the number of applications since 2016 making it a sought-after artistic residency program. Today Buinho is a European reference for being among the only artistic residencies based on a Fablab that enhances creative experimentation. We began with one house which accommodated two residents and the fablab, but the residency has grown to three houses, shared and individual studios, the digital fabrication workshop, and exhibition spaces. And finally, together with the local municipality, we now also offer access to a metalworking workshop dedicated to sculpture and plastic recycling. We have received visual artists, performance artists, photographers, curators, writers, sculptors, designers, media artists, which confirms the eclectic nature of our program.

What Makes this event different?

This artist in residency program offers a truly unique working experience in Southern Portugal. The historic town of Messejana is full of delightful contrasts, between the past aristocratic houses with their hidden patios, small rural dwellings, and baroque white churches which are surrounded by endless plains and old cork trees that characterize the Alentejo region. The residency is located in the sunniest part of Europe, with more than 3000 hours of sunshine per year. Messejana maintains a strong local identity with its population of 800, full of traditions, folklore, and festivities. The area is also famous for its gastronomy and is just 1 and 1/2 hours from Lisbon and other major cities in Portugal. Buinho is one of the very first rural FabLabs in Portugal, that provides artists with endless possibilities for experimentation. In fact, we are among the only FabLabs in Europe that run a residency program directed at artists and designers. We enable our residents to work and engage with 3D Printing, Lasercut, CNC, and more. This opportunity provides some artists their first contact with these technologies. The Buinho Education program, coordinated by Buinho and directed to social design projects, enables the artists in residency to pursue a special engagement with the local community. Mostly directed for activities with local children and young people, the Buinho Education also provides new activities, equipment, and space renovations to a group of local institutions and informal groups of the town of Messejana. Recently we added an educational makerspace in Messejana where we develop free activities for families children. We recently added another workshop in collaboration with the local municipality for working with residents and the local community in plastic recycling. We have four machines of the Precious Plastic Machine, which are at the disposal of our residents for experimental art projects, learning, and social sharing. To know more about the Precious Plastic please visit their website at

Copyright Policy

The artist maintains copyright ownership of the works unless commonly agreed otherwise.

Image Usage Rights

Images will be used for promotion in social networks and Buinho website, but only with the permission and consent of the artist.

Call for Artists from Different Backgrounds

This residency program is for artists from different disciplines (Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, New Media, Video, Sound, Performance, Design, Writer, Curators, among others). The program we offer gives artists the opportunity to reside and work in the town of Messejana ranging from two weeks up to three months. The artist residency provides a maximum of four individual rooms for accommodation and studios in a private format to ensure maximum quality and adequate support. Also provided are, shared and private studio space, access to fablab, library, makerspaces, precious plastic, and other workspaces and projects.

The program offers creative individuals the time, space, and resources needed to experiment and try different project solutions and approaches. Through residing in Messejana's unique atmosphere, creatives can gain new insights that will inform the development of their practice. Work in progress is displayed in an open studio promoted by the residents and with the support of Buinho, where the local community of Messejana has the opportunity to meet with the artists and provide feedback on their displayed work. Buinho also offers the possibility to exhibit in the local ethnographic Museum, as well as other exhibition spaces through a network of local partners.

Our Spaces

The Buinho Artist in Residency program provides private accommodation and shared work-spaces in five different locations:

a) Sao Joao house is a XIX century shepherd’s house that was remodeled in 2019 to offer a unique charm. The Sao Joao house is located in the street of the museum, on top of a hill, offering a unique view over Messejana from the garden. With its high white walls and tranquil environment, the studio offers the perfect setting for visual artists and writers.

b) The Buinho main studio and Fablab, is also a traditional house that was entirely renovated to provide a modern studio-style residence. The building is divided into three spaces where artists can generate their ideas, share them in a social area, and have the ability to materialize them in the Fablab. The Fablab is equipped with tools and machines (workstations, laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC’s, vinyl cutters, among other equipment) to enhance the possibilities of experimentation for our residents.

c) Joaquina's House is a small but very cozy traditional house that was completely remodeled in 2018. Due to its central location and space characteristics, it will host only one artist, a studio-house with all the commodities and increased privacy.

d) Precious Plastic workshop started in 2019 with the purpose of creating a community plastic recycling center for the community. It soon became a very popular working space to our residents and was incorporated into our residency program. It provides unique equipment to further research and experiments with plastics and biomaterials for artistic purposes.

e) Educativo is a new project space shared between the local municipality and Buinho in the heart of Messejana. A former health center that is currently being transformed in a creative and educational hub for the children and young people of Messejana. A traditional house in the main street of this town, it also offers complementary working and exhibition spaces for artists in residency.

Free Wi-Fi access is available in all interior and exterior spaces of the houses.

All houses are equipped with fully furnished kitchens, linens, and towels for the comfort of their residents. Moreover, residents have individual storage space and a fridge to prepare and keep their food. 

The cleaning service comes once a week to each house, but residents will be responsible for their laundry and the organization of common spaces.


We provide both curatorial and production support to each artist, together with other events that compose the residency. The events include artists' presentations/talks, encounters and engagement with the local community, development of workshops and tutorials in several disciplines, among other initiatives.

The residency program provides production support and access to the equipment and spaces. We offer the unique opportunity to work within a fablab. This means that artists have access to different digital fabrication technology. Visit the following link to view the more detailed list of equipment.

We offer free weekly tutorials and workshops covering 3D printing, 3D modeling, laser cutting, and plastic recycling. The program also includes weekly connections with the locals from Messejana where we explore traditional practices including goat cheese or bread making, or visits to traditional artisan’s workshops.

A local ethnographic museum, as well as other spaces, are available for installations, interventions, presentations, exhibitions, and/or performances.

Addressed to: Artists, designers, makers, photographers, writers, researchers, of all ages and nationalities.

Disciplines: Visual arts, Sculpture, Photography, Writing, Design, New Media, Curatorial, Performance,  Research


Practice and research

The Buinho Residency offers access to both its physical and digital library filled with monographs, magazines, and catalogs in both Portuguese and English, ranging from the areas of Design, Contemporary Art and Technology. With regard to the possibility of joining theory to practice, Buinho possesses rapid prototyping equipment, which is complemented by other traditional technologies.

Enjoy Portugal, enjoy Messejana

Messejana is a rural town located in the southern Alentejo region. It is regarded as one of the best-preserved communities of South Alentejo, with abundant heritage, and an immediate sense of belonging. The natural setting surrounding the town makes it a unique place to experiment, create and learn.

To know more about Messejana please access the two videos we prepared by clicking on the links:

VIDEOS:  Messejana village of Makers and  Messejana Dança dos Pássaros

Fees 2023

We do not have public or private funding for the residencies, and aside from the normal house bills and work consumables, we have a full-time person just for production support of the residencies. As such, we have to apply fees, but we do keep the fees to a minimum since we are a not-for-profit association based in a rural area.

We try to differentiate the value of the residency fees according to the characteristics of the accommodation since each house offers bedrooms and spaces with different dimensions and privacy. 

Monthly fees are the following:

1. São João larger bedroom with private bathroom - 850€;

2. São João other two bedrooms - 750€;

3. Joaquina's studio-house - 900€;

Accompanying person has a 50% discount but must share the accommodation. It is an additional measure to support couples, artists with children, or possible artistic collaborations.

The minimum duration of each residency is two weeks and the maximum is three months. Residencies should start either on the 1st or on the 15th of each month.

Please note that after the acceptance in Buinho AIR program, we will ask for an initial deposit of 50% of the total value of the stay. The remaining 50% is to be paid during the first week of residency. For payment of the deposit, the resident can choose either bank transfer or PayPal payment. Buinho will issue a receipt or send a formal acceptance letter if needed.

Cancellation requests with a full reimbursement of the deposit should be made by writing within 4 months before the start of the residency program period. All other cancellations will not result in a refund but the applicant is invited to change the dates of the artistic residency program´s period of stay.


Application Information

Artists interested in participating should send by email ( a short curriculum, motivation letter and description of the project. Equally important is to mention the proposed dates for the residency (start and length).

Applications are evaluated by an advisory committee and take into consideration the following parameters:
a) artistic quality;
b) relevance of the project;
c) motivation of the candidate.

Our AIR program values multidisciplinarity, so we expect the acceptance of creatives from different backgrounds, media, and experiences.  We also try to support emerging artists that seek opportunities for international visibility and curriculum. The level of scrutiny of the portfolio's quality is proportionate to the artist's experience. Although Buinho AIR residency program is self-funded in order to cover the operational expenses, we can offer special conditions to struggling artists, depending on the availability of spaces and relevance of the proposed project.

About Buinho

Buinho is a non-profit cultural association. It is distinguished by being the second Fablab accredited by the MIT Network for the  Alentejo region, and the only space with these characteristics in a rural area. Buinho aspires to be a space of experimentation and social transformation, contributing to the increase of the attractiveness of rural territories. Get inspired by the daily life and environment of Messejana and stimulated by the endless possibilities and different combinations that our project has to offer.

If you wish to know more about our creative residency program, please contact us by email to


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