The ARCUS Project is an art and culture project promoting “regional development through the arts.” The project, organized by Ibaraki Prefecture Government and based in Moriya City, evolves around two programs. The Artist-in-Residence Program invites emerging and internationally active contemporary artists for a residency of fixed length with the aim of supporting artists in their creative investigations and fostering artists of high quality. The Learning Program offers regional residents of all ages opportunities to experience art. Connecting art with the region enables regional residents to take an active role in creating an environment for art activities and promoting measures for regional revitalization.
“ARCUS” is a Latin word meaning “gate.” The name “ARCUS Project” embodies the hope that the project will become a gate for fostering emerging artists and sending them onto the international stage, and a center (ART x FOCUS) for art activities in Japan.
ARCUS Project Administration Committee
Ibaraki Prefecture, Moriya City, and the Ibaraki International Association
ARCUS Project Administration Committee Office
Regional Development Division, Department of Policy Planning, Ibaraki Prefectural Government
In October 1991, Tokyo University of the Arts established a campus in Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture. As construction of the new campus got underway, varying measures promoting “international character” and “the arts” in the prefecture’s rapidly urbanizing southern region were explored, together with specialists, in order to pursue the development of new policies.
As a result, in 1994, an Artist-in-Residence Program was launched in Moriya City as a preparatory (test) program. At that time, such artist residency programs were almost unknown in Japan, although practiced widely in the West. With a five-year period from 1995 as a nucleus, the AIR Program was experimentally held in cooperation with Moriya City with the additional aim of giving prefectural residents opportunities to experience art creation and enjoy exchange with artists.
The experimentally offered Artist-in-Residence Program produced clear results as a program fostering the growth of emerging artists and captured the interests of experts in Japan and abroad, as well as that of regional residents. In 2000, the program was launched in earnest under the name “ARCUS Project.” As of 2023, twenty-nine years after the launch of its preparatory project, the ARCUS Project had received wide acclaim in Japan and abroad, both as a groundbreaking Artist-in-Residence program and as a local government-operated cultural project successfully contributing to its region.
Currently, the project, which takes Ibaraki Prefecture Government and Moriya City as its centers, is being operated as part of a broad partnership with domestic and overseas cultural exchange entities, such as the embassies of nations from which artists have been invited, and private corporations.
ARCUS Studio forms the centre of the project and is housed in the “Moriya Manabi-no-sato,” the lifelong learning centre of Moriya city. Conceived as a place for cultural and recreational functions alike, “Manabi-no-sato,” which was converted from an elementary school, serves as the hub for community activities for local residents. The centre contains a range of facilities that include a playground, music room, gym, kitchen, craft workshop, and tatami rooms.
ARCUS Studio is used not only as the resident artists’ studios during their residency programs, but also for various other purposes, such as exhibitions, lectures, and workshops. Each studio space (W:9m x D:7.5m x H:3.3m; 67.5 sq.m) provided for a resident artist is a former classroom with blackboards and shelves still in place.
2418 Itatoi, Moriya, Ibaraki 302-0101 JAPAN
Tel: +81(0)297 46 2600
Get off at “Moriya Station” by Tsukuba Express (TX) from Akihabara Station (Approximately 32 min. by rapid train).
Timetable｜Weekdays for Tsukuba
Timetable｜Sat.Sun&holidays for Tsukuba
Take Kantetsu Bus bound for “Shin Moriya Station” departing from the West Entrance of Moriya Station (bus terminal 2) and get off at “Moriya Koukou Iriguchi / Moriya High School Entrance. ” (Approximately 10 min.). It takes approximately 5 min. from the bus stop by walk.
Approximately 10 min. from “Yawara I.C.” on Joban Expressway
January — May
Tuesday–Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and national holidays. Closed on Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday.)
June — December
Tuesday–Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
(Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and national holidays. Closed on Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday.)
*Open on closed days when events are held.
*The studio may be closed at times other than those listed above.