Green Olive Arts is an international art studio and urban art residency in Tetouan, Morocco, specializing in connecting the creatives of the world with the culture, beauty and creatives of Morocco.
Our mission is to resource creative individuals of both emerging and established artistic talent from around the world in seasons of inspiration, production, collaboration and cultural exchange here in Morocco.
We invite artists from a wide range of disciplines and mediums to apply for residencies of 2-12 weeks during most months of the year. We accept visual artists, writers, filmmakers, poets, curators, scientists, choreographers, puppeteers, and more. Our local Selection Panel awards residencies based upon artistic excellence of current work and intended residency proposal. Artists are encouraged, but not required, to engage the local community as part of their residency through workshops, mural projects, performances, readings, round tables, and other collaborations to bridge cultures and nurture creativity.
Green Olive Arts provides a space for artists to travel away from normal settings to do research and produce new works in a context offering an abundance of fresh inspiration and engagement with local creatives. GOA offers fully equipped production spaces, and opportunities for interaction and collaboration with other artists.
In addition to providing production space for groups and individuals, GOA offers resident artists a wide array of concierge services including arranging housing, custom designed and artisan focused tours, gallery connections, and personal connections with Moroccan artists.
Green Olive Arts was started by artists for artists as the culmination of the vision of American artists Jeff McRobbie and Rachel Pearsey. Having spent several years each creating art in Morocco, a shared dream began to emerge of how they could create a collaborative art space, where foreign and local artists could experience the richness of creating art alongside each other in a multicultural environment.
Tetouan, Morocco is a jewel of a city, clearly off the well worn paths of Moroccan tourism and commerce. Situated in the North of Morocco, on the North-Western tip of Africa, Tetouan sits by the Mediterranean Sea in a beautiful valley at the intersection of two rugged mountain ranges. Tetouan's ancient walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a rich history and culture hidden within stuccoed walls. Here you will find Morocco’s prestigious National Institute of Fine Art, the starting point of many Moroccan artists, the National School of Architecture, the Royal Artisan School for children and Morocco's new Museum of Modern Art. Tetouan's architecture and second language reveal its place in history as the capital of the Spanish protectorate, a heritage that remains visible at every turn. With its annual International Festival of the Lute, countless fine arts festivals and associations, Tetouan has art “in its blood” on a grassroots level that is rarely seen in this part of the world. Green Olive Arts is located in the heart of this city, a few blocks from the king's palace, numerous transportation arteries, museums, galleries and the gates of the medina itself in the 10-room home of a prominent Tetouani family. Three large sunny studio spaces, a wood shop, supplies area, kitchen, laundry and 32 meter square exhibition space and an array of easels and other furniture accommodate artists' needs.
Residency Length: 1 week to 3 months
Average number of artists in residence at a time: 2-3
Number of artists accepted in most recent year: 24
Application type: Open application
Collaboration: Must apply and be accepted individually
Geography: Open to US artists, Open to non-US artists
Additional eligibility information:
Green Olive Arts is open to emerging artists, mid-career artists and established artists. We welcome individuals and groups to apply and to come with their own plan for their residency time with us, although we do encourage collaboration and interaction among our resident artists.
Application deadline: March 01, May 01, July 01, September 01, November 01, January 01
Application Ongoing: Yes
Additional deadline info:
8 studio spaces are available. Applications will be assessed and Residencies awarded by our local Selection Panel according to caliber of the artist's work and fit of the artist's residency proposal with the goals and capacity of Green Olive Arts. Approved applicants may expect a phone interview request before a final decision.
Past Residents & Quotes
2016: Maartje Jaquet – drawing (Netherlands), Nancy Walter – printmaking (Canada/USA) – CONVERGENCE residency, Gerry Craig – mixed media (USA) – CONVERGENCE residency, Britt Smelvær – printmaking (Norway/Denmark) – CONVERGENCE residency, Maria Velasco – installation art (Spain/USA) – CONVERGENCE residency, Rana Jarbou – filmmaker (Saudi Arabia) – CONVERGENCE residency, Alinah Akbar – drawing/miniature painting (Pakistan) – CONVERGENCE residency, Juliana Coles – visual journaling (USA) – CONVERGENCE residency, Taeesha Muhammad – sculpture/collage (USA) – CONVERGENCE residency, Kian Blethyn – painting/poetry (Australia) – CONVERGENCE residency, Barry Walkiewicz – watercolor/drawing (Canada), Gretchen McCullough – writer/novelist (USA/Egypt), Bart Rawlinson – writer/novelist (USA), Annie Raab – writer (USA), Tony Ingrisano – acrylic ink drawing (USA), Laura Cloud – sculpture/drawing (USA), Dale Roberts – oil/encaustic (USA), Lisa Waldron – photography/choreography (UK), Linda Ruth Paskell – photography/painting (USA), Elizabeth Hardy – sculpture/installation art (USA), Haya Alghanim – film/video/photography/new media (USA/Kuwait), 2015 Carrie Mixon – painter/fibers artist (USA), Yvonne Yuen Man Lo – digital photography collage (Hong Kong), Jane Zweibel – mixed media (USA), Erin Bolte – painter/fibers artist (USA), Hannah Leighton – painter (USA), Madiha Sebbani – Painter/video artist (Morocco), Sarah Gibson – painter (Australia), Digby Duncan – photographer (Australia), Eman Salah – graphic & street artist (Egypt), Jeff Olson – painter (USA), 2014: Fiona Leonard – writer (Australia/Ghana), Norio and Chifumi Ishiwata – mixed media artists (Japan), WeArt – a group of 5 artists of various mediums (Morocco), Sam Paonessa – plein air painter (Canada), Zora Buchanan – painter (Canada), Sook Chang – painter (Korea/Canada), Ashley Widman – mixed media artist (UK/USA), Frances Valesco – painter (USA), 2013 Janet Pelling – painter (UK), Elaine Muller – photographer/printmaker (USA), Carleigh Boyd – artist/art educator (USA), Yahya Frederickson – poet/writer (USA)
"I felt very inspired in Morocco. I loved walking through the old city of Tetouan... drinking in the atmosphere of the places and the smells. The sensory impressions were so unique, I couldn't get enough of that. Tetouan is such a 'real' city... unlike some other cities that seem to be more tourism focused. The sensory details of this place will overwhelm you and 'swamp your boat', in a good way. [Green Olive Arts] worked hard to make connections for me, to point me in directions, and introduce me to people. The arrangements were wonderful, and the opportunity to travel that they arranged for us really enriched our time there. Green Olive Arts offers something special."
— Yahya Fredrickson
Facilities & Services
We are happy to arrange your housing from among a wide range of options to suit your unique preferences and goals, and we've secured discount prices for residents of Green Olive Arts. Almost all of the housing options are within a short walk of the studios, near the center of Tetouan. You can choose from: an apartment attached to the studios, a private apartment, a home-stay with a Moroccan family, a Moroccan Riad (4 star B&B), 3 star hotel, or a 2 star hotel.
Meals: No meals/food provided
Most of our housing options offer bed and breakfast or have an attached restaurant, but the studio facility itself has a kitchen so that residents may prepare their own food if necessary at the studios. On Fridays we offer a shared meal of traditional couscous for anyone working in the studios.
Computer/internet access: Computer and internet connection provided in common area (shared), Wireless Internet
Companions: Spouses/partners allowed for full stay, Children allowed for full stay
The studio is located on the second floor, with stair access only. The city has a few steep hills and the streets and sidewalks are sometimes uneven or broken. It can be a challenge to get around if you have a physical disability that makes walking difficult.
Artists who have specific facilities’ needs should contact Green Olive Arts to determine if our studios will accommodate their work.
Shared Studio, 1 -5 weeks - $240 USD (215€) per wk / Private Studio, 1 -5 weeks - $360 USD (320€) per wk with reduced rates for longer residencies. These fees are for non-Moroccan artists. We offer a reduced fee for our Moroccan artists in residence since they are fluent in both language and culture here.
Stipends / other support
Artists willing to engage the broader Moroccan community in English may be eligible for special stipends and grants from the American Language Centers of Morocco, the US and other Embassies, and particular local associations and educational institutions.
Additional expectations / opportunities
Accepted artists are responsible for travel, studio fees and housing/board. These costs are typically covered by personal funds or grants available to artists seeking overseas residencies. We help our approved applicants work out the best combination of studio, tour, and housing options to suit their art residency goals, comfort, and budget. Reduced rates for residencies longer than 6 weeks Collaborative relationships with local artisans and artists can be arranged for skill exchange and production Opportunities for architects and city planners to network with local colleagues and the National School of Architecture can be arranged Painting and sketching outings can be arranged with experienced guides and artists
B.P. 10001 Sidi Al Mandri Tetouan, Tetouan 93000 Morocco