Şona AIR, artistic residency program of the Ştefan Câltia Foundation. The first guests at the Blue House

Şona AIR (Artists in Residence), artistic residency program of the Ştefan Câltia Foundation that aims to support artists and creatives in the development of their own projects, announces the guests of the pilot edition 2024, which started on February 26: Sorina Vasilescu (Vaselina), illustrator, graphic designer and comic book author, and the duo Maria Mandea and George Marian Preduţ, part of the collective of artists and architects Super:Serios who get involved in the public space through playful strategies.

The wonderful Blue House in Șona

The selected artists will work for two months on their projects, being hosted in the Blue House in the village of Şona (Braşov county), a house restored in 2011 by the Ştefan Câltia Foundation.

A project co-financed by AFCN, Şona AIR approaches the model of individual residencies, addresses artists from various cultural fields, both Romanian and international, and supports interdisciplinarity and collaboration, offering artists space, time and financial resources to complete their projects.

The Şona AIR residencies will take place biannually, in spring and autumn, and the 2024 edition, which only has national participation – and from 2025 it will also address international artists -, is curated by Monica Dănilă, the residencies coordinator.


The Şona AIR Residence aims to create a favorable environment for research and creation, facilitating interdisciplinary exchange and interaction with local resources. In our view, the research idea reinforces the concept of residencies as cells of alternative knowledge, they are more than a workshop, because they invite the participants to reflection and develop a genuine creative process, focused on the long term, and not on immediate production. Therefore, the residents have total freedom regarding their creative approach during the residency. Being a pilot project, we aim to explore and implement various methods to identify a sustainable model for both the residency program and the rural context. We focus on attracting and working with creatives from diverse cultural fields to understand what specific needs there are and how a residency can accommodate them.”Monica Dănilă – coordinator of the Şona AIR residency program.

Artistic residencies are a tool with which ideas can settle down and take on new forms, which in turn can create cultural and social value among rural communities as well. The urban perspective on rurality as a place of peace and reconnection with oneself is in flagrant contradiction with the rural perspective, often in economic and social depression, faced with a lack of direction. The context that the village provides, mirroring the particularity that the residents bring, can create new ways of looking. The residency program also tries to create a context for understanding this dichotomy.” – Matei Câltia, director of the Ştefan Câltia Foundation.

The first guests

Sorina Vaselina, graphic designer, illustrator and author of comics, graduate of the Faculty of Arts and Design in Timişoara and the master's degree in Graphic Arts at the University of Arts in Bucharest, trained as an artist in the editorial offices of Scena9, DoR, Vice, but also through collaborations for various cultural materials. In recent years, in parallel with her work as a graphic designer at the Youth Theater in Piatra Neamţ, Sorina has developed works that combine comics with social topics and, sometimes, with wood sculptures. As part of the Şona AIR residency, Sorina Vazelina will work on assembling 40 pages from the volume of comics dedicated to the subject of death in various cultures and periods.


Maria Mandea, artist and researcher working with the game medium, and George Marian Preduţ, artist working with the photographic medium, members of the Super:Serios collective, will develop a collaborative artistic research project within the Şona AIR residency. Entitled Persona and place – searches among characters and spaces, this one that explores the relationship between figure and place, between body and territory, between character and space, through observations in the work environment, photographic documentation and small temporary in-situ interventions.


George Marian Preduţ, artist who works with textiles and analog photography, studied Arts and Textile Design (UNArte Bucharest) and Psychology (SNSPA Bucharest). As an Erasmus student at the Faculty of Arts in Grenoble, he developed a project focused on the public-private space, called “Balcoane”, a project also exhibited at the Unagaleria. At the Art Quarter in Budapest he documented the work of the resident artists, the photos being exhibited in 2018 in the Progress exhibition. His photographs capture the landscape, architecture and art in public space from an observational, poetic and subversive perspective of the seeing eye.


Şona AIR (Artists in Residence) is a pilot residency program initiated by the Ştefan Câltia Foundation that supports interdisciplinarity and collaboration and which aimed to organically integrate new cultural models in the rural area, encouraging interaction between residents and the local context, facilitating communication with the villagers, but also with the surroundings.

This autumn's residence of Şona AIR (Artists in Residence) will host the artists Alina Manolache, filmmaker, author of some films on the border between documentary and experimental cinema, and Nicoleta Moise, writer and journalist, whose work practice combines archives , video and text to make less known stories or events visible.

The Ştefan Câltia Foundation was established in 2016 and aims to promote substantive projects from visual culture, support organizational development and develop the sustainability of the projects in which it is involved. The Foundation's activity also materialized around an increased interest in the care and valorization of the heritage of Ştefan Câltia's work, social and conservation actions related to the village of Şona in the main, but also to the south of Transylvania in the secondary.