AiR351 presentation

Let us start by our name: “AiR” derives from “Art-in-Residence” and “351”, corresponds to the country´s locator. Therefore, AiR 351 is an international residency program located in Portugal.

AiR 351 is an independent, non-profit organization, a studio-based program, operating within the visual arts. By bringing together international and national artists, curators and other selected interlocutors, it opens up a space to share ideas and research, through confluence and dialogue, creating a sense of community.

AiR 351´s mission is to expand critical mass while furthering artistic projects and exchanges.

So far we have hosted more than 80 international artists and curators from over 25 countries. Gary Hill, Ellie Ga, Vittorio Santoro, Emily Wardill, Veit Stratmann, Ohan Breiding and Shoghig Halajian, Katarína Poliačiková, Thiago Honório, Cécile Bourne-Farrell, Jessica Segall and Mathilde Walker-Billaud are among our alumni.

AiR 351 builds up collaborations and regularly presents public programs at our headquarters and in other partnering venues. Our professional development program anchors itself on the thriving local art scene and stretches over an international network.

Our team provides daily curatorial and technical expertise, keeping track of the production of new works. Through institutional partnerships, AiR 351´s activities encompass a variety of contexts such as museums, art centers, universities and art schools.

AiR 351 works actively towards creating grant opportunities for artists and curators through partnering with sponsors and applying for public funding.

We rely on the expertise of an international Strategic Advisory Board, from a diversity of cultural backgrounds and also on the assistance of an external International Selection Committee.

AiR 351´s headquarters in Cascais are located in a charismatic building, Escola Monumento D. Luiz I, a former primary school, which was fully renovated by the municipality for this purpose. There are six individual studios with independent access. Residents may also share common spaces such as a kitchen, a small library and the school yard. Here, spontaneous gatherings and planned meetings occur on a regular basis. The quiet setting and the proximity to the ocean make it a privileged retreat to think and create while having an easy access to Lisbon, either by car or train (30-45 min away), which is 5 mins walking distance. In the surroundings there is a park (Parque Marechal Carmona), impressive cliffs in walking or biking distance (Guincho beach and Boca do Inferno), and a variety of nice places where to eat just around the corner.

From 2024 onwards, AiR 351 also develops a residency program at CAC (Centro de Artes e Criatividade) / Torres Vedras, following the same model as in Cascais. AiR 351 / CAC – Torres Vedras program will also pursue to be strongly rooted in the context while connected with partners, organisations and interlocutors from the region and beyond.

Many times a residency at AiR 351 is just the beginning of a long term engagement with AiR 351 and with the local community that extends in manifold ramifications.

If you wish to learn more about us from different perspectives you can also read some of our residents´ Testimonials here.

Photos: @Nicholas Knight


—to build a stimulating atmosphere towards unfolding the creative and research processes;
—to enhance production and dissemination of contemporary art;
—to stimulate experimentation and exchange;
—to strengthen the internationalization of art professionals;
—to contribute to artistic professional development;
—to work in collaboration with national and international individuals, communities and organizations, namely art schools, universities, museums and art centers.

Facilities / Cascais

Facilities / Torres Vedras


Luis Campos e Cunha

Founder and Chairman
Professor at Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Luís has a long professional career in the areas of economics and management (Vice-Governor of Banco de Portugal, Dean of Nova School of Business and Economics, and Finance Minister). Nevertheless, Luís has always maintained a close relationship with the world of contemporary art: he was Vice-Chairman of the Serralves Foundation and Vice- President of Centro Cultural de Belém Foundation. In the early 80s he studied painting and art history at Columbia University (NY), while taking a PhD in Economics. In 2016 Luís received the Grã-Cruz of the Ordem do Infante D. Henrique from the President of the Republic of Portugal as a recognition of his public service.

Luisa Especial

Founder and Artistic Director
Luísa Especial is the Artistic Director of AiR 351 and its co-founder (2015). Additionally, Luísa has collaborated as an independent curator and researcher with several institutions such as the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Serralves Museum, Culturgest, MAAT, Contemporary Photography Collection /Novo Banco, Berardo Museum, among others. Recently, Luísa edited No One Knows, (AiR 351, 2022), a book dedicated to Luísa Jacinto´s recent work and wrote the Afterword for Sara Bichão´s publication Antes que Adoeça, Before I Get Sick (Documenta, 2021). She was the Editorial Coordinator and Text Editor for Photography, a User ́s Manual (Documenta, 2015). Luísa co-curated Negócios Estrangeiros / Affaires Étrangères (2022), a collective performance and exhibition program conceived by Art by Translation (Maud Jacquin and Sebastien Pluot) and AiR 351 and presented in Les Laboratoires d´Aubervilliers, YGrec, CAC Torres Vedras and Palácio de Belém within the framework of Saison France-Portugal. She also curated Diogo Bolota´s exhibition Defeito Desfeito at QuARTel de Abrantes (w/ book publication, 2020), Katarina Poliacikova exhibition Souvenirs of Fire at Museu de História Natural de Lisboa and co-curated Gary Hill´s exhibition Linguistic Spill at the Boiler Hall and also Second Nature at MAAT - Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology and at the Kreeger Museum in Washington (w/ catalogue publication). In the past, she organized projects, implemented partnerships and supported the artists in residence while working in non-profit organizations such as Residency Unlimited (Brooklyn), Carpe Diem Art and Research and Atelier Concorde. Luisa holds a PhD in Art Sociology, a master’s degree in Curating Studies and a degree in Art History and benefited from grants from the FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e para a Tecnologia for the development of both theses.

Heitor Fonseca

Production Manager
Visual artist with public activity since 1991, Heitor works since 1994 as assistant setting up exhibitions in the context of the visual arts as a freelancer. He was set up assistant of exhibitions at Culturgest between 2004 and 2017 regularly and collaborated with other institutions, among them the  Museu de Arte Antiga (MNAA), Fundação Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB), Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea (MNAC), Museu de Arte, Arquitectura e Tecnologia (MAAT), Fundação Carmona e Costa, Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, Chiado 8 and MUHKA (Antwerp). Additionally, Heitor has experience as direct assistant to visual artists such as Carlos Roque, Rui Toscano, Marta Alvim and Alexandre Estrela, in the execution of national and international exhibition projects. Heitor holds a degree in painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon.

Cátia Ramos

Cátia Ramos (1997, Funchal) studied photography at Ar.Co - Centro de Arte e Comunicação Visual (2016-2018). She has always been interested in analogue photography and all the processes behind it, including the alternative ones. She has a bachelor's degree in programming and cultural production at Escola Superior de Artes e Design in Caldas da Rainha (ESAD - 2022). Cátia participated in the exhibition "Plastic Ways of Seeing", of Social Art Practices in December 2020 in ESAD and curated the exhibition "Dancer-Danger" in Caldas da Rainha and Óbidos in Galeria NovaOgiva, Centro de Artes: Espaço da Concas, Atelier 6, Museu Leopoldo de Almeida. She is very curious about the world of curating.



— Luís Campos e Cunha
— João Martins Claro
— José António Girão

Cristina Pereira Gaspar, Assistant to the Board


— Isabel Carlos (PT), Independent Curator (Portugal)
— Nathalie Anglès (FR/USA), Executive Director and Founder of Residency Unlimited, Brooklyn
— Sébastien Pluot (FR), Curator, Co-Director of Art by Translation program


— Adam Budak (Czech Republic), Chief Curator at the National Gallery of Art, Prague
— António Gomes de Pinho (PT), Collector, President of Arpad Szenes – Vieira da Silva Foundation, Lisbon
— António Homem (USA), Collector, Director of Sonnabend Collection, New York— Isabel Carlos (PT), Independent Curator
— Delfim Sardo (PT), Curator, Fundação Centro Cultural de Belém Board Member(Portugal)
— James Lingwood (UK), Co-Director of ArtAngel, London
— José Pedro Croft (PT), Artist
— Luiz Augusto Teixeira de Freitas (BR), Collector, Founding Member of Patronage of Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid
— Narelle Jubelin (AUS), Artist
— Pablo Berástegui (ES), Salut au Monde
— Suzanne Cotter (UK), MUDAM Director, Luxembourg
— Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi (Nigeria), MoMA

Other Founding Members

— Alexandre Abrantes, Professor at Universidade Nova de Lisboa
— Inês Mourão, Director of the Cooperativa Comunicação e Cultura (CCC) in Torres Vedras, AiR 351 Board Member
— Matilde Ferreira de Almeida, Managing Director of SPARK Arts Consulting
— Marta Alvarez, Cultural Producer
— João Salgueiro, Professor at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Nova SBE
— José António Girão, Professor at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Nova SBE
— Mário Rui Porta, Lawyer, AiR 351 Board Member
— Nuno Filipe Valentim, Architect


Leading Sponsor

Grant Sponsors

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