Current: The new artistic space in Arroios offers workshops, exhibitions and much more

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Director Leonor Bettencourt Loureiro and communications specialist Catarina Monteiro have known each other since their youth. Two years ago they started sharing some ideas on how to create a project together. One pandemic later, in December 2020, they decided to get serious. And after a couple of weeks they found that the room that used to belong to an antique shop was empty: the current was born very quickly.

“This wasn’t a very planned thing, but the result of a walk around our area in Arroios. We saw that the business that we already knew was available and it was spontaneous so that everyone had already formulated part of the project and it was like that, ”explains Leonor Bettencourt Loureiro NiT.

“We worked together for a long time, we had a lot of ideas, but between work and I don’t know that we could never put this into practice. When we saw the room, it was: it’s now or never, ”adds Catarina Monteiro. “We both liked having a bright space close to home that allowed us to do other things than just be a work space.”

Number 99 on Rua Passos Manuel, which was previously inhabited by huge furniture and whose walls were dark and heavy tones, has been completely changed. The chain is a clean and clear space, much more minimalist, with more space, plants and a preference for green tones.

While they were redesigning the place, sofas or chairs appeared spontaneously, for example from offices that were closing nearby. “Despite all the uncertainty we could feel, these little things alleviated it,” explains Catarina. “It was like life gave us lemons. We have to be on the right track, we thought, ”adds Leonor.

Catarina Monteiro and Leonor Bettencourt Loureiro have known each other since their youth.

The Corrente is intended to be a multidisciplinary artistic space that houses artistic residences – for which it has its own workplace – but also receives short-term initiatives such as workshops, courses, pop-up installations or other activities. In addition, there is a middle course program, for example exhibitions, which can last several weeks.

The goal has always been to create a local, independent communal space that can be in constant dialogue (and mutation) with all interested parties, whether artists, craftsmen, brands or independent projects (and digital ones who want to get personally involved) -face events ). The area is about 100 square meters and has a huge window that represents exactly this opening for the community.

It opened on April 16 with a lack of clarity. The main initiative of the program is currently the group exhibition “Surroundings”, an ongoing project in residence that will take place in three phases: from April 16 to May 15, July 9 to August 8 and September 17 to October 17.

New works by various artists can be seen in each issue. In this first edition, pieces by Mantraste, the resident Paola Sabily or Tiago da Bernarda (O Gato Mariano) can be discovered. The exhibition can be visited every Thursday and Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The work area is used regularly.

However, as the officials explain, the chain is a space that is not only open to the public, but is also regularly “inhabited”. People are always working there, meetings are held, friends and neighbors come and go. At first they wondered if they should have a business – but they believed there might be a conflict with all of the ideas they were trying to achieve.

“With this idea that the chain could be something different every week, there wasn’t a big place that could have a permanent thing other than the work area. This transformation also enables us to reach different types of people. Perhaps the audience that comes to an exhibition is not the same as that that comes to a pop-up to see a performance or attend a workshop. And that is also a very important part of our project. We want children, adults, young teenagers, older people, we really want it to be a space for everyone, ”they explain.

The kids’ activities haven’t started yet, but they’re keen to bet on it. “We had the feeling that there are a lot of families here. Parents asked us, ‘Please say this will have things for children. ‘Since the room is attractive, has color and light, people started speculating. We think it can be a nice addition to the rest of the activities, and there’s a daycare center here on the street too. “

At the moment, web designers, illustrators, communication agents and members of a concert promoter work regularly on the site. The idea is that they also serve as a bridge between creatives so that new initiatives and projects emerge.

The room is wide and with several plants.

Catarina Monteiro and Leonor Bettencourt Loureiro anticipate that they will soon have an exhibition of paintings by Rodrigo Veloso, who was traveling in Egypt and will present a number of works based on the Nile.

In June they will have an immersive installation with plants from BAGO Plantshop. “You will bring strange items which are a number of plants that we are not used to being sold in stores because of their somewhat strange shapes and sizes.” And of course, visitors can buy and take home.

With the disclosure they have received in the first few weeks since it opened, they have received immense contacts from people interested in working together. “We have now received an avalanche of suggestions, now our difficulty has been answering and following them all. Because it might not make sense … The effort put into an exhibition might not make sense to just stay for a week, like a pop-up that can only be for a weekend. In terms of timing, we all have to manage these proposals, we have them almost by next year which is great. “