EspIRA - Space for Artistic and Reflexive Investigation - is a non-profit association of artists, interested in human development through art. It perceives itself as cultural platform for different artistic projects in the fields of visual arts and multimedia.
Created in 2001 around the figure of Patricia Belli, a known Nicaraguan artist, winner of a Fullbright scholarship, who began a sequence of weekly meetings among young creators to discuss art in the country and to revise production. In time, this curiosity became an interest to stimulate the capacity of young artists, lacking opportunities of superior academic formation in this discipline - not available in Nicaragua - and created the TAJo (Taller de Arte Jóven), which rapidly became a space for the practice of contemporary art in Nicaragua, with more than 200 critic, theoretic and technical workshops in arts. Regarding this experience, EspIRA grows to develop this project permanently. For Hivos, this initiative, created by one the main young talents in visual arts, in a country that has a richness in artistic talents, without the possibility of development, focuses, in an adequate manner, on one of Hivos' cultural policy objectives, which is to raise the quality of arts and culture in the South.
EspIRA pilot project - This project is developed as a pilot project on the theme "concepts and methods of pedagogical art practice" within the framework of the Arts Collaboratory Knowldege Sharing Programme.
Research and action are necessary to update the old, conventional ways of teaching art. The purpose is to bring art teaching to the level of development and diversity art practice has gained in the past decades, and surpass it; art teaching should be moved ahead of art practice, in order to be able to advance it.
Given the opportunity to work with other experienced art entrepreneurs involved in Arts Collaboratory, EspIRA proposes a project to further the reciprocal activities of art teaching and practice in the south, with the objective previously stated.
EspIRA puts forward a pilot curriculum and well tested method of teaching. These will be adapted to different contexts, based on their specific circumstances of diverse locations in the South. Once tested out in different contexts it will be possible to learn from experience and design a more sensible, complex and effective art teaching model for the South.
The pilot will be executed by one or two other organisation in different contexts. The efficacy of the two or three pilots will be discussed in a meeting between the organisations involved. The conclusions of the meeting will lead to the design of a new model for an art teaching curriculum for the South. The objective is to reach models that are dynamic, subject to constant transformation, based on further experience.