Founded in 2010 and housed in the historic Palazzo Rapolla in Venosa, Porta Coeli is a non-profit organisation structured as an International art gallery with its own conservation laboratory, a study centre specialising in art forms originating in the cultural areas of the Mediterranean, an accredited academy running postgraduate courses and lifelong learning programmes, and publisher. Porta Coeli owns a collection of sacred art encompassing two ensembles. One consists of contemporary icons, mainly from the Orthodox monastery of Nàfpaktos. The other is an ensemble of prints and objects of devotional nature bearing witness to the history and ritual practices developed in the context in where the gallery operates. in cui opera. Nonetheless, Porta Coeli offers insights into the contemporary artistic research taking place in their territory by hosting temporary exhibitions of local artists. Guest international artists have also shown their works in the gallery’s multifunctional exhibition space.
Porta Coeli enjoys the patronage of the Municipality of Venosa as well as of the Regional Council of Basilicata and other local institutions while having entered partnerships and collaborations on an international level, for instance with the Souq Waqif Art Center di Doha (Qatar).
Within the framework of the XIth edition of the International Contemporary Art Biennial of Florence, Porta Coeli – International Art Gallery and Study Centre for Mediterranean Culture is offering the Porta Coeli Artist Residency Award. The prize will be granted to an artist participating in the Florence Biennale who has stood out for his/her art practice steered toward researching and representing spirituality, regardless of the religious beliefs that may inspire the work in question.
The designation of the prize winner by the Porta Coeli steering committee shall be final upon approval by the Florence Biennale International Jury.