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Founded in 1973 as an independent art school, Ar.Co is dedicated to the experimentation, training and divulging of arts, crafts and visual communication.

From early on in the school’s history, the alternative nature of the pedagogic project has consisted mainly of bringing together a strong emphasis on practice, a daily multi-disciplinary atmosphere and a view of artistic training as a service that should “make a difference” for a public with the most diverse objectives.

The main training areas – Drawing, Painting, Photography, Jewellery, Ceramics, Illustration/Comics, Cinema/Movement Image, Art History and Theory, Individual and multi-disciplinary projects – offer complete professional programs, as well as topical opportunities for an introduction to a particular technical/aesthetic area, or for professional recycling. The therapeutic dimension of the training in the arts is, likewise, not forgotten.

As part of the overall training program, Ar.Co frequently promotes conferences and informal meetings with specialists in a number of different areas and organizes public exhibitions of the students’ production and, eventually, of national or international production in one or more areas connected to its departments’ activities.

Ar.Co collaborates regularly with other schools and institutional or private entities, both national and international, promoting initiatives relevant to the school’s objectives and voccation.

Ar.Co is a non-profit cultural association of public utility.

Manuel Costa Cabral (Chairman)
Fernando Olavo(Vice-Chairman)
Elisabete Ruivo (Secretary)
Isabel Balreira(Secretary)

Bruno Silva da Costa Cabral (Chairman)
João Assis Gomes
Guilherme Castro Caldas

Sérgio Gomes
Manuel Costa Cabral
João Assis Gomes

Manuel Castro Caldas(Chairman)
Miguel Branco(Vice-Chairman)
Marcelo Costa (Treasurer)
Ana Bustorff Martinho(Secretary)
António Marques (Voter)
Jorge Nesbitt (Voter)
Maria Ana Vasco Costa

Manuel Castro Caldas

Manuel Costa Cabral (Chairman)
José Manuel Galvão Teles
Manuel Castro Caldas
Tereza Seabra
Pedro Calapez

Afonso de Burnay
António Gomes de Pinho
Emílio Rui Vilar
Estela Magalhães Barbot
Francisco Sarsfield Cabral
Inês Soares dos Santos Canas
João Francisco Emauz Vasconcelos Guimarães
João Malhadas Teixeira
José Monteiro Fernandes Braz
Manuel de Castro Caldas
Manuela Franco
Maria da Conceição Oliveira
Mary Espírito Santo Salgado
Ricardo José da Cruz Filipe
Teresa Patrício Gouveia

Location Almada
Head of Department Maria Ana Vasco Costa and Vasco Futscher

Location Lisbon
Head of Department Maria Mire and Marcelo Costa

Location Lisbon and Almada
Head of Department Marcelo Costa

Location Lisbon and Almada
Head of Department Pedro Tropa
Blog do departamento

Location Lisbon
Head of Department Manuel Castro Caldas

Location Lisbon
Head of Department Danile Lima and Madalena Parreira
Departament's blog

Location Lisbon
Head of Department Catarina Silva
Departament's blog

Location Lisbon and Almada
Coordenador Manuel Castro Caldas

Location Lisbon and Almada
CoordenadorPedro Tropa

The long-disused old market building in the Xabregas neighbourhood was ceded to Ar.Co by the Lisbon City Hall in a partnership agreement signed on 15 July 2013. Architect João Santa Rita design the renewal project. The former market has been entirely remodeled to accommodate as from January 2017 the main offices and the photography, painting, drawing, illustration/comics, jewelry, cinema/moving image and art history and theory programmes. The new Ar.Co has a cafeteria and an area reserved for programmed events.


Obra de recuperação 2016/2017

In Almada, Ar.Co owns a reconverted farm from the 19th century, with ample indoor and outdoor spaces.

These facilities include a bar/cafeteria, office spaces, the Library, photography labs and studio, ceramics work spaces, classrooms and studio spaces.