Through a collaboration with Aġenzija Żagħżagħ, Arts Council Malta will be offering two mentoring programme, the Young Artist Development Programme and Artivisti. The programme spreads across a period of two years.
Artivisti (18-24 years) is developed to encourage young artists to hone a focus on bringing change and leaving an impact on the wider society through art. ARTIVISTI aims at:
The programmes which include an 18-month mentoring programme is designed to provide the necessary incentive to young artivists to support participation in creative endeavours and opportunities for creative growth.
For more detailed information about the programme, refer to the guidelines here. The next call will open in 2021.
Here are the 5 Artivisti for 2019:
Emma Fsadni is a visual artist born in Belgium and educated in Australia, the Netherlands and Malta where she received her B.A. Honours in Fine Arts (First Class). Emma's work tends to stem from a certain emotion or thought that would be surfacing at the time. She references contemporary observations and conflicts surrounding themes such as habits, perception, conditioning and social conformity. Emma translates the complexity of her concepts through means of a minimal aesthetic; condensing her ideas visually, while retaining levels of intricacy in process. She gravitates towards two-dimensional media, namely drawing, printing and painting. She finds that such mediums allow a level of sensitivity in execution to be maintained. Her work typically takes form through series, which is very much tied to the comfort she finds in sequence, routine and repetition.
Emma has taken part in a number of local collective exhibitions. She also recently launched an ongoing series of illustrative limited edition fine art prints under the primary title 'Repose', which can be found on her website. As the title suggests, they are done in her downtime and are more instantaneous and playful compared to her other work.
Photo by Justine Ellul.
Her mentor is Margerita Pule
Margerita Pulè is an artist, curator and cultural manager, with a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts. Her practice and research are concerned with the contradictions of politics and social realities. She is founder-director of Unfinished Art Space, an independent and nomadic space showing contemporary art in Malta, and one of the founders of the Magna Żmien Foundation. She is currently editor of Artpaper, Malta’s quarterly art publication. Recent curatorial projects include group shows Strangers in a Strange Land (2020) and Hackable Animals (2019), Alex Urso’s Grand Hotel Europa Part III (2019) and Daily Bread (2019).
Nathalie de Gabriele Ferrante
As a child, Nathalie could rarely be seen without a book in hand. She surrounded herself with all kinds of stories until, at the age of 12, she tried her hand at writing a story, instead. Taking on different personal projects, ranging from lyrics to poetry, and from short stories to full-length novels, Nathalie has experimented with many a writing style, be it in English or in Maltese.
Using her vivid imagination as a coping mechanism for stress and the troubles of life, she has continuously matured and has even published a couple of her short stories online and in the Tahziz 2018 anthology. However, she hopes to keep creating new sources of literature that will help readers like her find a release from their regular lives through stories that can inspire hope.
Her mentor is Chris Gruppetta
Chris Gruppetta has for the past twenty years been the publisher and editor at Merlin Publishers. He studied law at the University of Malta, followed by a Masters in Publishing Studies in Aberdeen where he researched the science of children's book cover design. His career at Merlin has been marked by efforts to professionalise the industry with focus on content, editorial and design aspects of the book, and a fresh approach to book marketing. He lectures at the University of Malta on literary editing and on the history of children’s literature.
Photo by Mark Zammit Cordina.
REA (Rachelle Deguara)
REA is a product of the emerging hip-hop scene. From an underground form of expression to being chosen for a literary biennial event, REA is a 22-year-old woman who has been producing songs and poetry on themes of social justice and emancipation.
Her mentor is Annalisa Schembri
Annalisa Schembri is a freelance professional in the creative, entertainment and education industry, coming from Malta but working across Europe. She has been in the event management and event production industry for the last 12 years, producing and working on a variety of creative jobs ranging from theatre to film and live TV, contemporary dance, live concerts, festivals, musicals, conferences and large-scale events.
Annalisa is also a speaker, a soft skills trainer, an SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) broker and a part-time lecturer on creative production, Conference and large scale event organising, as well as the co‐founder of WePitchIt.com a recent start‐up that brings together storytellers, creatives and the business community to create the best pitch for the next big presentation.
As an active citizen, she has served in leadership positions, developing young people in a number of different NGO’s including JCI - Junior Chamber International, where she held various leadership positions on a European level, including chairing the 2017 European Development Council and being the European Partnerships Appointee for 2018 and 2019. Currently, she is sitting on the Conference Organisation Committee for the 2020 European Conference in Dublin and is also chairing the 2020 Conference Organising Academy in Estonia. JCI is a worldwide community of young active citizens committed towards creating positive change.
Sheldon Saliba is a 19-year-old student from Tarxien. His interest in Art began at an early age and won first prize in the Dreams of Beijing Olympics art competition in 2008. He started studying arts formally in 2017. Recently he head the opportunity to exhibit his work at the Visual Arts expo young Artist (2018) and during Ħolqa 2019. He has also participated in a workshop led by Vince Briffa as part of the Venice Bienale Malta Pavillion.
His Mentor is Tom Van Malderen
Tom Van Malderen‘s work ranges from buildings to objects, installations and exhibition design. His practice probes the intersections between art, design and architecture, and looks at the material gestures of everyday design and the construction of social space. After obtaining a Master in Architecture at Sint-Lucas Brussels, he worked with Atelier Lucien Kroll in Brussels and Architecture Project in London and Valletta. He forms part of the contemporary art platform FRAGMENTA Malta and the KINEMASTIK international short film festival, and regularly contributes to international magazines. Since the summer of 2018 Tom runs his own studio. Alongside his visual art and exhibition design practice, he consults in the fields of architecture and design.
Gabriel’s interests include creative writing, poetry and prose, the performing arts and visual arts. He’s interested in the wider practice of all which is art and performance. He likes walks in the countryside and finds walking and travelling as a source of relief and inspiration. In 2014 Gabriel was awarded the Award Frans Sammut for creative use of the Maltese language. This served as an encouragement to persevere in writing.
Gabriel took part in several productions, and his writings were read at events organized by Għaqda tal-Malti. His creations were also featured at the Malta International Arts Festival and Notte Bianca.
His Mentor is Glen Calleja
Glen Calleja is a Maltese artist with a special interest in poetry and the book as object. His work often involves alternative book structures, found content and performative elements. Glen is co-founder of Studio Solipsis. He has led and participated in a number of interdisciplinary projects and is currently continuing his formation in traditional bookbinding techniques. His poetry books include eki t’eki (2002), IR-RAĠEL (2010, 2012, 2017), kull flgħaxija kif mal-għabex tnin u tmut saħħet il-jum (2014) and Iswed Assolut (2016).
Here are the 10 Artivisti for 2018:
Keit Bonnici, 25, Visual Art (design)
Keit Bonnici recently graduated with a BA in Design, with 1st Class Honours, from Goldsmiths – University of London. The artist’s background includes studies in Design/(thinking), Art and Engineering. He has also received formation in circus arts and movement.
“My aim is to carve out my own creative interdisciplinary practice; and become a freelance designer working with the space between art and design.”
Luke Camilleri, 19, DJ Funky Monkey – Music (DJ/Producer/Beatboxer)
Luke Camilleri started off playing the althorn and piano. At age 14, he got interested in electronic music and his focus shifted onto DJing. He also produces his own music. In 2015, Luke launched his first single Back In Town, which features in his upcoming debut album The Beginning (14 tracks), to be released on 14 July 2018. Records. Another single from the album, was released in September 2017, along with itsmusic video. His latest single, with Russian born artist Abel Nesian, is titled Robustus.
“Within the next three years, I would like to experiment more with the art of DJing as well as collaborating with more artists to find my sound, resulting into more creative and professional mastered productions.”
Joanna Portelli, 24, Fine Arts
Joanna Portelli completed her degree in Fine Arts, 1st class qualification, at the Institute for the Creative Arts in 2017. Her diverse work encompasses painting, photography, sculpture, video and multimedia installation.
“ To strengthen and develop artistic skills, included but not limited to fine art painting, to become more knowledgeable about the local scene and its exhibitions, and to participate in such an exhibition within the next year or so...”
Diane Cutajar, 18, Literature / Writing
Diane Cutajar is a first year Maltese and Psychology student at the University of Malta. Besides furthering her studies in Maltese Language and Literature, she is focusing on the human element. Joanna participated in Taħżiż 4 creative writing programme, with the opportunity of peer discussion and creating in a team.
“Throughout the coming years, I would not only like to succeed in my academic studies, but explore new genres and techniques in creative writing, not only to share my work with an audience, but to find myself as a writer and express my thoughts and ideas in the best way possible...”
Michel Angelo Muscat, 16, Voice (Tenor)
In 2011, Angelo Muscat started out with the young section of the Chorus Urbanus. The following year, he was asked to join the Tenor Section, and he soloed in the Christmas concert. In 2014, Angelo started taking professional vocal lessons under the tuition of Juliette Bisazza. In 2016, he soloed with the MPO, under the direction of Mro Dr John Galea. This summer, Angelo performed in feasts around Gozo.
“I’d like to further my studies in vocal and music as well as doing my exams in voice and studying acting and theatre. I would like to take opera as my professional career path in the future.”
Matteo Depares, 23, Music Production
Matteo Depares studied for an MA in Songwriting and Production at the University of South Wales. He now works as a freelance music producer through his brand Matteo Makes Music. Throughout this last year, he has worked on a number of projects for local upcoming talent and for main Maltese music festivals including L-Għanja tal-Poplu. He has also worked on a number of projects within the local community, including a project for the Salesians of Don Bosco in Sliema and for the University’s student council (KSU). Most of his days are spent at Wicked and Loud studios, where he works as an assistant to the established local composer and producer, Elton Zarb.
“Within the next three years, I aspire to be one of the leading influencers within the Maltese music scene. I would like to collaborate with the island’s top musicians and artists to create works that resonate with local listeners and have already started working towards this, by actively producing work with up-and-coming artists within the community.”
Gabriel Buttigieg, 24, Visual Arts
Gabriel Buttigieg studied art at the Junior College under Caesar Attard. He studied at the University of Malta under a number of artists, including Robert Zahra, Lino Borg and Vince Briffa. He participated in a number of collective exhibitions, hosted at St James Cavalier, Palazzo De La Salle and Studio 104. He also held two solo exhibitions: Paintings (2016) at Heritage Malta, and Nudes (2016) at Pjazza Teatru Rjal. Another exhibition, in November 2017, at Marie Gallery in Mosta is also in the pipeline. He is also planning an exhibition of large‐scale paintings for June 2018. He was an active member of the Xarolla group of artists. His works can be found in private art collections in Malta and the UK. Gabriel has just embarked on a degree in Psychology at the University of Malta.
“Over the next three years I intend to keep learning my craft, acknowledging that I am very much at the start of a long journey towards achieving excellence and a professional career in the arts.”
John Cutajar, 16, Music (Piano, Trumpet)
John Cutajar has been playing the piano for 10 years, and is currently studying for the ATCL Diploma under Sr Benjamina Portelli. He has now also started playing the trumpet under Mro Ryan Mallia. John has already made a name for himself as a young pianist, and has performed in a number of prestigious events.
“My goal is to become a renowned versatile musician where I can perform in many different concerts and in different venues. My dream is to take my music all over the world – both in the classic world and the jazz era.”
Maria Gauci, 24, Dance
Maria Gauci has been training in dance since the age of seven, when she started her training with Alison White Dance Studio. Her first training choices were Ballet, Jazz and Tap – which she continued to study for 11 years. Maria also trained in Spanish dance with Ingrid Sciberras and Janet Vassallo for four years. In 2014 Maria joined Opening Doors Association, with whom she travelled to Poland (2015) for the ART IS interdisciplinary art project. With Opening Doors, Maria has continued to train in Ballet and Contemporary dance and performed in Aħdar Id-Deżert at The Box – A Creative Arts Space (2016), Teatru Salesjani (2017), Art-Is Festival (2015), Disability Week (2015) and This Is Ability Arts Platform at Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta. Maria has also participated in a workshop with Street Elements Hip Hop Dancers during 2016 as part of ‘Premju Soċjeta Ġusta 2016’ at Hotel Meridien in December, and in Valletta square in November 2016. Maria was also one of the dancers performing in a folk dance created by Alison White in 2017. This performance was part of an international conference organised by the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education and the Ministry for Education and Employment, as part of the EU Presidency programme hosted in Malta.
“I would like to be involved in more performances both in Malta and abroad. I want to have more training on a regular basis to expand my skills in dance. I want to express rhythm through my body. I would like to learn more tap dance, to strengthen my body for dance and develop greater technical ability, to watch and learn from other creatives and collaborate with them. I would like to someday participate in a professional musical.”
Martina Joy Azzopardi, 18, Dance (Flamenco)
Martina Joy Azzopardi started out with ballet, at the age of three, under the tuition of Alison White. At seven, she ventured into other genres, particularly tap, hip hop, flamenco and modern jazz. Martina soon realised that her true passion for dance lies with flamenco, and started taking classes at Alegria Academia de Baile Flamenco. She attended a number of workshops with visiting flamenco maestros, and in 2015 she was awarded a summer flamenco workshop with Puerto Flamenco. Martina has performed in various Alegria Academy performances, charity events and private functions. She aspires to travel to Spain to get a feel of the pure flamenco, and to be able to attend workshops – especially to the Jerez Flamenco Festival and the Biennal de Seveilla. Martina has also concluded her piano and theory exams at the Johann Strauss School of Music.
“Having now completed my Flamenco coursework it is now time for me to step up my development. This will involve attending master classes particularly with international artists... I will continue to explore and grow in other forms of dance which combined with flamenco would result in an artistic project which can be shared and enjoyed by a mature and young audience.”