Photo credit@Kat Pegler 

Water Tower Art Residency is the natural extension of Water Tower Art Fest, a festival featuring more than 80 contemporary art proposals – painting, sculpture, video and photo projections, installations, performances – from over 10 European countries as well as from Brazil, Canada, USA and Japan.
Based on years of experience and a network of participants and partners, the essence of the Water Tower Art Residency is to continue the set tone and tradition: the artistic development of artists and their audiences and the creation of works in a specific context and location.
The new edition of our next decentralized residency is looking for its artists. Regardless of age or experience in the arts, this year we also want to bring change to the community through the interpretation of different themes. A stay on site is needed for research, insight into an issue or direction for in-depth development and presentation of the work as a final product to the general public.
Our goal is to bring the participants of the residency together with our mentors and through immersion in the environment to share knowledge, experiences and practices in the arts.
Why are we doing this?
The creative residency will take place in one of the oldest Danube-side towns in Bulgaria – Lom.
In the past Lom was one of the main cultural centres of the country. The first women’s society was founded there, one of the first community centres in the country, and some of the first theatre productions were staged there. Today, however, the town is located in the poorest part of the European Union – North-Western Bulgaria.
One of our main motivations to hold the residency there is that in every situation – and location – there is potential.
The idea of our residency is to widen access to cultural content for a wide audience outside of central areas, through the production and distribution of adapted or new content to promote the activities and production of artists and organisations on digital/physical networks and channels
To create conditions for attracting, introducing and engaging youth audiences with cultural products/new audiences – to encourage the long-term and active presence of Bulgarian art and artists in international partner organisations, enabling a presence on platforms for dissemination of information on collaborations.
Our goal as socially engaged artists is to connect with the place and the people to extract the potential and change the concept of the future. That’s why we choose to have the event outside of destinations and locations where such creative collaborations traditionally happen.

What does the residency include?
We offer individual work with mentors working in different parts of the world and different media. The focus of their creative professional activity is described below for each of them amongst which:
- New social and artistic policies based on different expertise offered by specially invited mentors
- The creative residency offers a platform for communication and learning new skills and understandings in the field of art and culture.
- A new culture and new interconnections between people, environment, heritage, technology leading us to an understanding of coexistence, both within and without, in the spirit of continuity and developing a base for a possible future.
Anyone interested and working in digital art, sound art, painting, printmaking, photography, installation, performance, music and socially engaged arts is welcome to participate in our program.
The organizers offer:
- Accommodation
- Space for participants to prepare and share food with each other
- The organizers do not cover the cost of purchasing food items
From the organizers
What the WTAR includes :
- Number of participants for each residency up to 12 artists
- Mentoring program with one-on-one guidance from our mentors, workshops and presentations
- A venue for your projects/ideas

- Assistance in finding accommodation options at preferential rates/ or shared accommodation
- Technical assistance with the installation and creation of your artwork
- Exhibition of the results of the residency
- Dissemination of information about the results of the residency in the media and social networks, with individual presentation of each participant
Nia Pushkarova – performance interaction
Boyan Avramov – workshop for children The music in us – percussion
Svetli Damyanov – ceramics workshop
More tba


** To apply, please send resume and cover letter to:, indicating dates of availability and interest in the 2024 residency position, by April 30, 2024.
*During residency, there may be restrictions regarding safety zones and other requirements from Lom Municipality partners beyond our control.
***Water Tower Art Residency is realized under the project “Art in Lom” funded by the National Culture Fund under the program “Socially Engaged Arts” – 2023.



To the attention of our friends and allies of @water tower art fest

In response to numerous inquiries about the current status of the Water Tower Art Fest, we have decided to extend an opportunity to our allies, contributors, artists, and supporting organizations who have been instrumental to us over the years. We are pleased to announce the issuance of exactly 21 press cards, granting the holders the immense advantage of visiting museums and galleries worldwide for free.By pledging your support to our initiative throughout its existence, and for those aligning with our mission, we have continually strived to create the space we envision our world to be. This is our way of expressing gratitude to those who have believed in us, as we remain committed to fostering unbiased communication through the arts. These cards serve as a simple gesture of recognition for the invaluable contributions of those who have unwaveringly supported our goals.We kindly request a brief letter outlining what you find significant about our initiative and why you consider yourself an ally, to be submitted by April 25, 2024. Please include a passport photo and provide the name exactly as written in your passport. Additionally, a fee of €25 for the issuance and postage of the card is to be transferred to our bank account. The cards will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to 21 individuals, each bearing the Water Tower Art Fest logo and my signature (as a legal representative of organization) . The validity of the card will extend until December 31, 2025, and you will be recognized as a contributor to the Water Tower Art Manifest.

Please write to

Results of WTAR#7 Lom



Selection of artists is over – 12 artists from around the world are going to our decentralized annual edition of Water tower art residency to Lom – where the Danube is going to inspire us to create communicate and interact with people, places and things.
The initiative is made possible through the support of Ministry of Culture, Bulgaria


10 – 20 JULY 2023

Water Tower Art Residency #7 presents an exceptional opportunity for artists to join an esteemed community of creatives. Building upon the success of Water Tower Art Fest, a renowned festival featuring over 80 contemporary art proposals from across Europe, Brazil, Canada, USA, and Japan, the residency aims to foster artistic development, create impactful works, and engage audiences within a unique context.


This year, we are committed to effecting positive change within the community by exploring diverse themes. We invite artists of all ages and experience levels to join us in Lom, one of Bulgaria’s oldest Danube towns. As a former cultural hub, Lom boasts a rich history, being home to the first women’s society, one of the country’s inaugural community centers, and a pioneer in theater productions. However, today it faces socio-economic challenges as one of the poorest regions in the European Union.


In every situation and location, lies great potential. Our motivation for selecting Lom as the residency site is to tap into this potential and redefine its future. Through research, immersion, and collaboration, participants will have the opportunity to interact with mentors, share knowledge, and exchange experiences, resulting in the creation of compelling artistic works.


Why Join?


Immerse yourself in the captivating ambiance of Lom, an ancient town brimming with untapped artistic inspiration.

Expand access to cultural content by producing and disseminating adapted or new works, reaching diverse audiences through digital and physical platforms.

Engage and inspire young audiences, fostering a lasting presence of Bulgarian art and artists in international partner organizations.

Connect with the local community, harnessing its inherent potential to shape a brighter future.

Collaborate with esteemed mentors from various parts of the world, drawing from their expertise and guidance.

Cultivate new skills, broaden your understanding of art and culture, and forge connections that transcend boundaries.

Embrace a new culture, exploring interconnections between people, environment, heritage, and technology, with a focus on coexistence and sustainable development.

Residency Details:

Artists working in digital art, sound art, painting, printmaking, photography, installation, performance, music, and socially engaged arts are encouraged to apply.


We offer:


Accommodation during the residency period.

Shared spaces for communal cooking and interaction among participants.

Please note that the cost of food products is not covered by the organizers.

From the organizers:


The residency accommodates up to 12 artists.

Participate in a mentorship program, receiving personalized guidance, workshops, and presentations from our esteemed mentors.

Access to a dedicated venue to realize your projects and ideas.

Assistance in finding accommodation options at preferential rates or shared living arrangements.

Technical support for installation and artwork creation.

Exhibition of the residency results.

Extensive promotion of the residency outcomes through media and social networks, including individual presentations for each participant.


Nia Pushkarova – artist and organzier of WTAR – performance interaction

Boyan Avramov – percussion workshop  “Music within us”

Svetly Damyanov - workshop and presentation with the topics of installation, sculpture of clay, site specific and more at his ceramic studio and public spaces

Voin De Voin – performance artist running AEther art space Sofia

More tbc



To apply, please send an email to accompanied by your CV and a cover letter before 01.07.2023. Please note that there may be restrictions on safety and other requirements imposed by municipal managers, which are beyond our control.


For further inquiries or to submit your application, please contact: Kindly indicate your availability and interest in the 2023 residency position in your cover letter. The application deadline is July 1, 2023.


***This project receives support from the Ministry of Culture.

Feministas Futuristicas- Feminism & art practice an international exchange 26 – 30.03.2023

Gallery of photos from meeting

We are happy to announce the first of series of meetings with female artists and activists to share their artistic practices over feministic issues

“Feministas Futuristicas – Feminism & art practice an international exchange”

26- 30 March 2023
Sofia, Bulgaria
Performances, Talks and more

Public presentation @Goethe Sofia on 28.03, 18:00h
Exhibition and performances @Æther Art Space 28.03, 20:00h

As a continuation of IME’s residency program over the years, this project focuses on the exchange of creative practices of internationally renowned artists working with socially engaged art. Its first edition in Sofia will take the form of a series of closed and public meetings of international women artists and local activists and artists working in different fields of art. During a three-day meeting, they will present their creative practice in a public space using feminist emancipatory methodologies, artistic practices and community building practices.
As a result of these meetings and the resulting collaborations and exchanges of ideas, an exhibition of the creative product (solo or group, as well as individual events) is planned in the participants’ countries – Bulgaria, USA, Italy, France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland – this year and next. In this sense, our project foresees the exchange and networking between professional artists from different localities at an international level, with interrelated artistic and cultural practices, thus aiming to build on and exchange best practices in the field of arts and culture.

Women’s solidarity* has always been a powerful tool in our daily lives, but it can become an enormous force in times of crisis. That’s why we believe there is a need for a connection that is more than a simple professional network.

We invite women* activists working in Bulgaria and different parts of the world to participate in a long-term professional exchange program. Together with activist women* from different countries, we will discuss how feminism and sisterhood can contribute to overcoming the current crises and what joint actions can be taken. Some of the topics that will be touched upon are: equality and empowerment of women, respect for women at every age, the right to choose in a hierarchical system of male-dominated power leading to aggression and non-dialogue, and other topics important for the preservation of peace and the well-being of women and children today.

The program provides space and tools for professional and personal growth – there will be training sessions, study visits to civil society organizations, mentoring and mini-fellowships to plan your further development and realize ideas that have been on hold for a long time.

During the first short residential meeting ideas will be developed (individually or in groups) and then through a mini-fellowship can be implemented. For example, researching, writing an article or doing online or offline activities.

This project stimulates the Creation of a shared space for new ideas and collaborative action at an international level to achieve peace and equality.


26- 30 March 2023
Sofia, Bulgaria
Performances, Talks and more

Public presentation @Goethe Sofia on 28.03, 18:00h
Exhibition and performances @Æther Art Space 28.03, 20:00h



Viviana Druga- Germany

Corinne Fhima – France

Ginny Sykes – Chicago, USA

Gaby Biela-Günter, aka LADY GABBY – Germany

Ana Vujic (Serbia), lives and works in Basel, Switzerland

Catherine Constance Gjelsnes – Norway

Ralitza Petrova – BG

Maddalena Mauri – Italy

Nia Pushkarova – BG



Organizer NGO IME/Water tower art residency 2023
For attendance of talks and discussions please write to :


With kind support of National Fund of Culture & special thanks to Goethe Institut Sofia, Æther Art Space and Swimming pool


design by Agnieszka Ziemiszewska, PL

@Association IME_ Water tower art residency 2023


WTAR #6 ½ Veliko Tarnovo 1 – 10.09.2022 results


WTAR #6 ½
Veliko Tarnovo 1 – 10.09.2022


Water Tower Art Residence chose Veliko Tarnovo as the center of its efforts to decentralize the cultural environment in Bulgaria. For 10 days, artists from Bulgaria, Austria, China, the USA and France explored the potential of abandoned or neglected spaces, in search of the deep psychological aspects of oblivion, loneliness and the discouraging atmosphere that sometimes succeeds in depriving us of a vision of the future. In order to use these phenomena as a starting point, the participants of this event for the exchange of ideas and the sharing of artistic practices sought artistic solutions for a new look at modernity, for revealing the neglected potential of the urban environment, for a new connection and investment in a possible future without forgetfulness and sadness.


Before the 10 days of the event, Water tower Art Residence provided the artists with individual work with mentors working in different parts of the world and using the most diverse means of expression – performance, digital art, new technology or graffiti, painting and many others. The work included new social and artistic policies based on different expertise, connection between science and art, digital art, preservation of the symbiosis between man and nature, social inclusion on topics against discrimination and for more tolerance.


In this edition, Water Tower Art Residence has committed to a zero-carbon footprint. The artists together made a commitment to save energy during their ten-day stay in Veliko Tarnovo. The use of plastic packaging was minimized, waste was collected and disposed of separately, and all organic residues were composted. Each of the participants will leave in Bulgaria their artistic interpretation of reality and take with them the good examples and the memory of the unique Veliko Tarnovo.


The initiative is organized by the IME Association and is implemented with the financial support of the American Embassy of the USA in Sofia- Small grant scheme and the French Cultural Institute in Sofia. In partnership with VT events – TaM.


Thank you all for making this happen!


©Water tower art fest







BURGAS – 10 – 20.08.2022

VELIKO TURNOVO 1 – 10.09.2022

The long-awaited edition of our next decentralized residence is already a fact.

In our mentoring program, with the participation of 5 international artists, we offer exchange of experience and immersion in the local environment for creative interpretations of various topics.

Who is the residence for? For artists, without restrictions on age, young – debuting or established artists.

The creative residency will consist of two new destinations (new for us), with new partnerships and friendships, new joint ideas and research on various topics, provoked by the places of interaction through creative intervention.

This year’s locations are – Burgas, Salt Lakes in partnership with Symbiotic – Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation and Veliko Turnovo in partnership with VT Events

By default, the creative residence offers a platform for communication and exchange of ideas in the field of art and culture. New culture and new relationships between people, nature, heritage, technology and progressive ideas leading us to all to coexistence, both inside and outside us, in a spirit of continuity and development of ideas for possible future. Everyone is welcome to participate in our program, interested and working in the arts, thus including but not limited to visual arts, digital or sound art as well as architecture, participatory arts and performance arts

Past editions here:

Curatorial text

Why do we do it? One of the leading notions that drives us to go to abandoned or underused places and explore their potential, is to reconnect and invest into a possible future, where there is lack of sense of abandonment and the very discouraging atmosphere of forgetfulness and sadness.

This self-motivated, initiated decentralized event, across the country will allow us to further explore the margins of what we know from the physical world, there is waiting the feeling of total comfortability of the unknown.

Same goes within ourselves! We explore hidden parts of our consciousness, as well as actual spaces and befriend them. We find and look for a link that remind us of ourselves and we react to it, dance with it and make our own in company of others.

The point of departure for us in this edition is an international showcase of progressive ideas and the sharing of artistic practices, touching the pulse of ethereality, by focusing on function of the arts.

New social and artistic policies based on various expertise’s offered by the especially invited mentors such as link between science and the arts, digital art, ecology and preservation of symbiosis of man and nature, social inclusion on themes of non-discrimination and tolerance

Nia Pushkarova’2022

*WTAR 6 is supported by USA embassy Sofia -small grant scheme and French Cultural Institute




Burgas, Atanasovo Salt Lakes 10 – 20.08.2022

Exploring the surroundings of of Atanasovo Salt Lakes and the rich unique bio diverse eco system and atmosphere of the natural habitat is in the basis of this year residency. We encourage projects on themes connected to the link between ecology and arts- all medias welcome – performance, installation, visual arts, etc. that foster maintaining the human-lake symbiosis through artistic research-based interactions at the salt lakes. To be able to maintain the fragile equilibrium between man and nature we need creative ideas for preserving natural habitat without disturbing its integrity. The exploration of link between nature and man can take the scientific turn and ecological data, but when approached from artistic point it has the potential of transcending the usually distant and inapprehensible to many, only by approaching it from emotional side.

“The approaches artists use to visualize environmental change problems range from realistic (e.g., photography, film, videos, TV) to abstract, often aiming to elicit human tensions (beauty, ugliness; risk, security); for instance, by means of the toxic sublime. A widely recognized challenge in the arts is that subjectivity both in the artistic expression and the viewers’ emotional perception and reactions can lead to a decontextualization and a false understanding of patterns of order in nature. As a result, viewers may perceive sustainability problems as distant and unlinked to personal experience and exposure.

Abstraction and artificiality in scientific visualizations, while representing the order of nature and environmental change problems objectively, can also remove the viewer from context. Similar to the artistic approach, scientific visualizations of environmental problems can lead to a disconnect between people’s emotions to and experiences from nature.” (source

In this respect we aim to portray the link of man and nature in a more profoundly comprehensible way for all, by initiating talks and workshops as well as installations and visualization of research-based approach to artistic intervention at the Salt lakes of Atanasovo during our residency.


Лагуната на живота / The Lagoon of Life– Bio diversity organization

What we offer?

  • Accommodation nearby the salt lakes in village of Sarafovo or Burgas/or opportunity for camping nearby the Simbiotichno base at salt lakes
  • Transport from Burgas to Atanasovo Salt Lakes/and opportunity to hire a bike
  • Mentorship program defined by each of the mentor incl., workshops, artists talk, exchange and possibility to collaborate together
  • Place to work and present the results from residency
  • Technical and logistic help, production costs (outlined and discussed preliminary with us)
  • Full media coverage of presentational results and social media

Who are the mentors?

Mariko Hori – Japan/The Netherlands

Juan Valencia – Spain/Canary Islands

Working language – English, Spanish

*During the residency there may be issues regarding safety zones and other requirements by the reserve authorities, outside our control. It is not allowed to leave anything in the salt lakes and we kindly ask you to confine with these regulations as it is an ecological reserve with rich bio diversity, we will try to settle any occurring questions and ideas accordingly, but we ask for your patience and understanding

**To apply, please send a CV and motivation letter to: stating the dates of availability and interest in residency place for 2022, by 24th of July




WTAR #6 ½

Veliko Turnovo 1-10.09.2022

Rich on history and culture is VT. as it is in the center of Bulgaria, metaphorically and for real

What are we going to do there? Meet, talk, eat together, investigate places, learn from and for each other, befriend, empower, transcend, work individually or in groups in developing and showing a piece of art/thought as a final outcome of the residency!

Deadline of open call? When does it start – 1st of September! When does it end – 10th of September!

A more detailed Program and Timeframe will follow concerning mentor’s workshops, Artist tour and talks, Group visits.

Final event/showcase – 10th of September

Working language – English

What we offer?

  • Accommodation in Veliko Turnovo for the whole period of residency
  • Mentorship program defined by each of the mentor incl., workshops, artists talk, exchange and possibility to collaborate together
  • Organized Art tours and visits to nearby villages and sites
  • Place to work and present the results from residency
  • Technical and logistic help, production costs (outlined and discussed preliminary with us)
  • Full media coverage of presentational results and social media


VT Events- TAM, Dupini art group

Radomir Dankov – architect


Antonin Bouchy (Antonin Strantsouzin) – France/Bulgaria

Sandra Zanetti- USA

Ana Bacheva- Bulgaria / France


Aiming to explore abandoned and underused sites in industrial or rural areas and in the outskirts of city centers, Water Tower Art Residency-Decentralized Edition #6 will have the city of Veliko Turnovo as its anchor and meeting point.

On the occasion of workshops and explorations, various satellite locations can be visited.

(list of places: Vishovgrad, Brestnitsa more tbc)

In order to maintain a fluid rhythm and ease of movement, participants will be able to divide into small autonomous groups, according to their interests and affinities, to carry out expeditions in VT and its region.

The mentors, in addition to proposing workshops, will be present to connect residents and local cultural actors, as well as to organize travel outside VT.

The VT base will be the space for living, sharing and pooling the various experiences accumulated, as well as the place for creating and preparing the final event.

Plan of indicative program:

Day 1-2 : meeting in VT, installing, explanations….

Day 3 to 7 : workshops, exploration, trip to the satellites… with possibilities to stay overnight

Day 8 to 10 : preparation for the final event

*To apply, please send a CV and motivation letter to: stating the dates of availability and interest in residency place for 2022, by 24th of July



For the fifth year, Bulgarian and foreign artists exchanged experience this year our choice for interventions was Varna – sea capital of Bulgaria- a multicultural city with rich historical and cultural and architectural heritage. The purpose of this project was to expand our activities in other regions of the country outside Sofia, as an act of decentralization of cultural life. Our host was a revitalized old bunker in Varna and as we are true to our long term objectives of working for social change at alternative and abandoned spaces we set the tone for further creative development of the place in the city.



for our online sessions and zoom links please visit our fb page



21.09    10:00 – 14:00 ART TOUR WITH VARNA SPACES




PRESENTATION  DAISUKE TAKEYA And MIri Hamada and Yuzuru Maeda 16:00 @THE BOOKSTORE 45min Responding: International Performance Art Festival






29.09    18:00 – 21:00  EXHIBITION OPENING @Rebonkers club



10 October        END EXHIBITION

The event is organized with the financial support of the American Embassy Sofia – Small Grant Scheme, IPortunus and Abteilung Kultur Basel-Stadt and the Polish Cultural Institute Sofia.