Residency session: 26 August – 30 September 2020 | Exhibition opportunity: opening 25 September 2020

VIAINDUSTRIAE and the Mahler & LeWitt Studios are pleased to announce an Open Call opportunity for an artist, writer or curator to join our ‘WORD PLAY: Art & Poetry’ residency session, organised in collaboration with poet Rachael Allen, for up to 4 weeks between 26 August and 30 September 2020. As part of the residency opportunity, the awardee will develop a display of artist’s books and ephemera, relating to their own practice and the broader concerns of the residency session, using the VIAINDUSTRIAE archive and collection of artist’s books and documents on the history of contemporary art.

The ‘WORD PLAY: Art & Poetry’ residency session is a research focussed program exploring the dynamic relationship between poetry, experimental writing and the visual and performing arts. The 2020 residency session will be followed by a second, related residency session in 2021, which will include a week-long symposium.

Viaindustriae is a non-profit organization and a collective, active since 2005, developing contemporary art projects – publications, residencies, exhibitions and events – which respond to educational needs and conceive cultural projects as a creative, modular and open practice that can be inclusive and socially permeable. It is based in Foligno, Italy, in a former clothing factory. With its practice, it aims at investigating the intermediate territories between art and architecture, off-media publishing. Viaindustriae establishes a relationship with artists who seeks to engage with and enhance co-operation and co-generative instances of artistic production. In 2009 Viaindustriae launched INbook OUTbook IFbook, a biennial research and residency project on the possibilities of display and archive of artist’s books. Word Play: Art & Poetry is part of 2020 INbook OUTbook IFbook program.

Rachael Allen’s first collection of poems, Kingdomland, is published by Faber & Faber. She is the co-author of a number of collaborative artists’ books, including Nights of Poor Sleep with Marie Jacotey, and Almost One. Say Again! with JocJonJosch. She has written about art and poetry for ArtReview, TANK magazine and Music & Literature, and is the poetry editor for Granta magazine and Granta Books. She is currently a Burgess Fellow at The University of Manchester.

The Mahler & LeWitt Studios is established around the former studios of stone sculptor Anna Mahler (1904-1988) and conceptual artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) in Spoleto, Umbria IT. The Torre Bonomo, a medieval tower once used as a residency and exhibition space by the gallerist Marilena Bonomo (1928-2014), is also central to the program. The residencies provide a focused and stimulating environment for artists, curators and writers to develop new ways of working in dialogue with peers and the unique cultural heritage of the region. Each residency is facilitated in response to an individual’s needs and interests: experimentation is encouraged. The studios curators facilitate research as well as events or exhibitions, when appropriate, during the residencies. Each resident is provided with accommodation and 24 hour access to a studio. There are facilities for making ceramic as well as a range of other tools for production. Several libraries are also accessible. For detailed information and to learn more about the work of previous residents and our projects, please visit our website

Exhibition – the residency program concentrates on the process of research and development. However, this Open Call opportunity incorporates a connected exhibition opportunity inside Viaindustriae’s LIBEROLIBRODARTISTALIBERO/FREEBOOK 10th biennial exhibition on artist’s book practice. The exhibition will open on 25 September 2020 in a venue (to be confirmed) in Spoleto.

Documentation  – As part of the process of evaluating the residency and reflecting on their work in Spoleto, each resident is asked to develop a contribution to an end-of-year publication, made available online and in print. Previous contributions have included interviews with the curator, texts, original artworks or a combination of all three.

The residency includes:

  • Up to 4-week residency

  • Use of studio space and other facilities at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios

  • Archive and collection access at VIAINDUSTRIAE, with curatorial support

  • Round-trip travel expenses

  • Self-contained accommodation with a private bedroom, bathroom and kitchen

  • 30 euros per diem

  • Curator mentoring and feedback

  • Development of a collection display based around related research themes to the residency session, to be presented as an exhibition in Spoleto on 25 September 2020.

  • Production budget (up to 500 euros)



Open to artists of all disciplines, as well as writers and curators.


The safety of artists attending our residency sessions is of upmost importance to us. All our accommodation is self-contained and each resident has their own bathroom and kitchen. We are implementing extra vigilant cleaning protocols and we are adhering to guidance outlined by local government. If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


The deadline for submissions is 10 August 2020

Applications should include:

  • Artist’s Statement / description of practice (500 words max)

  • A brief outline of how you would use the residency period and why it

  • would be helpful to your practice (250 words max)

  • Up to x10 images of work or x1 short video (5 mins max)

All submissions or questions should be clearly marked ‘Open Call: Art & Poetry’ and sent via email to and


For more information please visit and