An artistic oasis: Las Cicadas opens its doors to international artists during month-long winter residency

Las Cicadas Artist Residency

Ibiza, with its abundance of natural beauty, mesmerising natural light and open-minded, welcoming attitude, has been drawing in artists with a seemingly magnetic pull for many decades.

Alas, not everybody has the opportunity to set up camp – or should we say, studio – long enough to alchemise the plentiful inspiration the White Isle offers into physical form. 

With the mission to introduce international artists to the magic of Ibiza’s tranquil winter months and the island’s eclectic, vibrant community, this winter, stunning private hire venue Las Cicadas welcomed a diverse selection of artists to live and work in its beautiful grounds.

Organised by Las Cicadas co-founders Tavis Buschmann and Nora Bullerjahn together with gallerist and art curator Sarah Suco Torres, from January until March 2024 two groups of multi-disciplinary artists spent a month each under the 500-year-old farmhouse’s roof to let their creativity run free and, cocooned by the peace of Ibiza’s quietest months, focus on their respective practices.

Las Cicadas Ibiza
Las Cicadas is an authentic Ibicencan farmhouse, and over 500 years old.
Gallerist and art curator Sarah Suco Torres has been instrumental in bringing the artist residency to life.

Originally from Belgium, Sarah had the idea for an artist residency 10 years ago.

She says, “It was actually my final project at university, and it was inspired by the artist Donald Judd’s residence and studio spaces in Marfa, Texas. He was living in New York City in the 1970s, and it was so intense that he decided to find a place with more light, space and calm to work from.”

Having worked in contemporary art galleries in busy metropolitan cities such as Paris, Brussels and New York herself, when Sarah visited Ibiza for the first time in July 2020, she quickly realised it was the perfect place to bring her dream to life. In 2023, she left her job at the renowned Perrotin group of galleries to pursue her vision.

“My first attraction to the island was the architecture. Then, there was also the nature and the beautiful landscapes. Like many people, I had preconceptions about Ibiza, but when I arrived I fell in love instantly.

“There is so much space, and in the winter it’s very quiet – but there is an energy that co-exists with the tranquillity. So for me, it’s a place that can be incredibly inspiring to artists.”

Las Cicadas art program
Co-owners Tavis and Nora have always envisioned Las Cicadas as a ‘creative hub’. Artwork pictured by Thomas Perroteau .
Artists in residence at Las Cicadas
Romain Sarrot was part of the first group of 2024 residents.
Las Cicadas art studio
The 65 square metre onsite studio at Las Cicadas is a bright and versatile space.

After reaching out to a number of potential venues, Sarah found that her idea for an artist residency was in alignment with Tavis and Nora’s vision for their ‘creative finca’.

“Nora is a painter and I’m a musician, so we always wanted Las Cicadas to become a hub for artists, and enjoy this space with our friends and fellow creatives,” explains Tavis.

“We have worked with artists in the past on shorter programs, but when we met Sarah it really took off. 2024 has been the first year where everything has come together how we envisioned it.”

And what a paradise to live and work from Las Cicadas offers!

Las Cicadas houses six private bedrooms and many charming nooks and crannies.
Las Cicadas artist retreat
Caroline Monnet joined the second group of artists who spent a month living and working at Las Cicadas.

Located just a stone’s throw from the charming village of Santa Gertrudis at the heart of the island, the centuries-old property sits amongst a flowering oasis of olive, palm and fruit trees, with many nooks and crannies to disappear into.

Lovingly and respectfully restored, authentic Ibicencan features such as the thick white stone walls and Sabina wood beams are complemented by an elegant bohemian aesthetic, with quirky furniture finds and colourful artworks adding further character to the living spaces.

It’s unsurprising, then, that during the spring and summer months Las Cicadas is a sought-after private hire venue, providing an enchanting space to spend your holiday or celebrate a special occasion.

This year, from January until March 2024, a total of nine artists got to enjoy the hospitality of this magical place. Group one was made up of John Fou, Romain Sarrot, and Nicolas Momein; three peers that were already well-acquainted before staying at Las Cicadas.

The second selection of artists, whose stay is coming to an end on March 10th, was a larger group that included Carrie Bencardino, Miriam Dema, Caroline Monnet, artistic duo Pangea, and Rafael Ulecia.

Artist at work at Las Cicadas
Carrie Bencardino is a painter from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Painter at Las Cicadas
Las Cicadas’ artist program is not restricted to a certain medium, and all disciplines are welcome.

Each of the residents was provided with a private bedroom and ensuite bathroom, full use of the communal areas, and access to the 65 square metre onsite studio.

Both of the month-long retreats culminate with an ‘open studio’ exhibition, during which the works are displayed throughout Las Cicadas’ sprawling grounds and the artists have the opportunity to show their work to Ibiza locals and island visitors alike.

Sarah explains, “We are used to seeing art in a gallery or a museum, so my challenge was to present it in a different way. I wanted to take it out of ‘the white cube’ to modernise and rethink the space, and thus the time. 

“The idea is to forge a triangle of communication between us, the artists and the island community, through which the diverse international talent can be discovered. We also invite people who want to support the project in other ways; for example, today we have a curator from a museum in Paris coming, as well as a photographer who is going to make a documentary about the artist residency.”

In exchange for the fully hosted immersion into Ibiza’s thriving art scene and island life, the artists are encouraged to leave behind a piece of their work. 

“Throughout the finca, visitors can discover the works created at Las Cicadas. It’s a nice way to keep a legacy of what’s been going on here,” says Tavis.

Miriam Dema says she has enjoyed the dynamics of sharing a studio space with other artists.
Pangea artist duo
Pangea is an artistic duo consisting of Laëtitia Rouget and creative director Colombine Jubert.

Unsurprisingly, the feedback from the artists has been overwhelmingly positive.

Miriam Dema, a painter from Barcelona, says, “It has been amazing, really, it’s a great opportunity to focus on my work but also to experience the dynamics of sharing a studio with other artists that have very different practices from my own.”

Musician Rafael Ulecia, who has been working on his record during the artist residency, agrees, “It has been very nice. Here, in the tranquillity of the island, I found the focus to work on something that takes a long time.

He adds that the community feel of the program has also been a welcome element of the retreat. “I usually work on my own, but after being in the studio all day we have this moment of sharing with the other people – over dinner, for example. It’s really nice, because otherwise it could be very heavy being on your own all the time.”

Rafael Ulecia has been working on his record from the onsite studio at Las Cicadas.
Dining Room Las Cicadas
The community feel of the artist residency is an important element of the program.
Residents are encouraged to leave behind one of their works in exchange for their stay. This beautiful piece is by Miranda Makaroff.

The social aspect of Las Cicadas’ artist residency, as well as forging a connection with the island and its residents, is an important element of the program.

Tavis concludes, “I guess there are artist residencies all over the world, but we really love hosting people – because that’s what our core business is here at Las Cicadas. We do everything we can to make sure the residents have a good time. We introduce them to fellow artists, we show them the local places, and, of course, the island community is a really key part in their experience.”

With the final ‘open studio’ of 2024 just around the corner, you might be wondering who can apply for future residencies?

Sarah explains, “The focus is mostly on contemporary visual art, but we are very open-minded if someone would like to propose something else. And we don’t restrict the residency to certain mediums.”

Just like its island home has been a haven for artists for many decades, at Las Cicadas, the doors are wide open to those seeking artistic refuge.

The final Open Studio of 2024 will take place at Las Cicadas on Saturday, March 2nd, from 12:00 to 17:00. For further information or to apply for the artist program, please get in touch via art@lascicadas.com.

Photography credits: Portrait of Sarah Suco Torres and pictures of the artists at work by Valentine Riccardi. Las Cicadas exterior and interior spaces by Ana Lui.

Las Cicadas Open Studio
During the Open Studio, artists display the work they created at Las Cicadas.
Art exhibition Las Cicadas Ibiza
John Fou puts the finishing touches to his display.
Sarah Succo Torres and the artists
Nicolas Momein, Romain Sarrot and John Fou with Sarah Suco Torres.
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