Who says you have to be in a cosmopolitan city to enjoy the arts? Certainly not the residents of Madeira, who embrace all forms of artist expression on their island paradise. In fact, Madeira is home to an internationally renowned arts center which makes its home in a striking, contemporary, cliff-top complex known as the Casa das Mudas.
Located in Calheta, just 20 minutes from the capitol city of Funchal, the Casa das Mudas Arts Center was built to promote awareness and life-long learning of art in general, and contemporary art in particular. With a modern minimalist design by Madeira architect Paulo David, the structure is perfectly integrated into the landscape, with numerous vantage points to take in views of the island’s mountainside above and vast ocean below.
Inside, Casa das Mudas has over 12,000 square meters of space dedicated to arts appreciation. In addition to the gallery exhibitions space, there´s an auditorium, library, gift shop, cafeteria, restaurant, and a wide area for cultural activities for ateliers and art workshops.
For applied arts, the center has a protocol in place with the Fundaçao Berardo, one of the largest private collections of contemporary art in the world. Jose Berardo, the foundation´s benefactor, is a native Madeiran. So, it is no surprise the arts center enjoys the close association to the collector, and looks forward to filling its galleries with significant works from artistic movements of the 20th century, such as art deco, modernism, pop art, photo-realism and minimalism.
As for the performing arts, the auditorium is home to a unique and inspiring resident dance company. A cast of 14 performers, each with some form of disability, make up the Grupo Dançando com a Diferença (Dancing with a Difference Group). With Artistic Director Henrique Amoedo as their guide, these performers transcend social images of handicap to put forth artistic expression without boundaries.
Casa das Mudas has many events planned throughout the year, so be sure to check the Centre of Artes website for schedules and information.