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Before the 1990’s illustration surfaces only occasionally, either as a formal tendency in the area of Drawing/Painting or in specific initiatives connected with the general objectives of Visual Communication. In the area of Audiovisuals, some of the slideshows produced have an illustrational character (Jorge Varanda, Maria do Carmo Romão). Formal training in this area will only begin with the creation in 1991 of the course subject Illustration as part of the program of the Drawing department (at the time headed by Pedro Calapez). The first teachers are Miguel Gaspar, Fernanda Fragateiro and, above all, António Marques (from the beginning until 1998). By 1999/2000 Illustration is already a full department, headed by Gabriela Albergaria and subsequently by Vasco Colombo. Training in illustration and comics becomes relevant for an editorial market that is beginning to show some signs of life. By 2000/2001 Jorge Nesbitt is given the responsability for the department (together with that of the Printing Studio) and slowly shapes a full training program. A hands on attitude promotes the students’ capacities to develop personal artistic languages. Drawing (with Rui Aço) is introduced as a training complement in the same year, followed by others subjects in 2001/2002: Live Model Drawing (with Armanda Duarte and Berta Ehrlich), Comics (with Alice Geirinhas and Marcos Farrajota) and, in 2002/03, Scientific Illustration (with the illustrator and biologist Pedro Salgado), Infographics (with Cristina Salgado), Typography  (with Jorge dos Reis), Design (with João Catarino) and Animation (with Daniel Lima). As the main course subject, Illustration will secure the collaborations of Alice Geirinhas, Nuno Saraiva, Maria João Worm, Daniel Lima and Jorge Nesbitt. By 2003/2004 there are already workshops oriented towards specific editorial areas, namely Children’s Illustration  (with André Letria), that soon becomes a fixed course subject  with Marta Torrão, João Fazenda, Pierre Pratt and, more recently, Bernardo Carvalho and Yara Kono. An Editorial Illustration workshop is also created, first with Jorge Silva and later with Filipe Abranches, Alex Gozblau, Gonçalo Pena and Daniel Lima. Collaborations and partnerships with other institutions also become intense as the decade of 2000 develops, adding visibility to the work produced by the students. Through an agreement with the Music School of the National Conservatory, Ar.Co’s students produce in 2002 costumes and a poster for Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”. In 2005 the school collaborates with the Lisbon cartoon library (Bedeteca de Lisboa), participating in the 6th edition of the Lisbon Salon, where finalists present “Evento letal/Lethal event”, a comic strip in the form of cadavre exquis, published with the support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Textype press. Editorial Illustration has its first real-time market experience in 2006 through a collaboration with the Público newspaper, where works by students are published in the Mil Folhas supplement. The Comics section will also increase in importance, benefiting from the presence of various collaborators that teach and orient publishing projects (Nuno Saraiva, Pedro Burgos, Filipe Abranches, João Paulo Cotrim, Pedro Moura and Pedro Brito). A number of other illustrators also contribute with their experience for the growth in number of the specific training areas: Sofia Dias, Fernando Guerreiro and Carlos Pires provide orientation in digital illustration, Nuno Saraiva in erotic comics and political cartooning, Domingos Isabelinho, Pedro Moura, Jorge Silva and Manuela Correia Braga in the History of Comics and Illustration. The department also invites relevant authors to present their work at the school (André Carrilho, Alain Corbel, Isabelle Vandenabeele, Tiago Manuel, Atak, Benoit Van Innis, Gonçalo Ruivo, Isabel Carvalho, Jorge Silva, Eduardo Salavisa, Isabel Baraona and Sara Figueiredo Costa). Cais magazine publishes (annually, from 2006 to 2009) illustrations and comics with original scripts by Ar.Co’s students and teachers and Blast magazine publishes student work (Tiago Albuquerque, Francisco Lobo, Inês Casais). In collaboration with the Almada City Council, the department presents in 2007 the exhibition  “Banda Desenhada no Ar.Co/Comics at Ar.Co”. A protocol signed with the “Ver P´ra Ler” Association alllows for the participation of several students in “Ilustrarte – International Biennial for Children’s Illustration 2007”.  A partnership is established with the Alto Comissariado para a Imigração e Diálogo Intercultural and with Cais magazine, with a view to produce illustrations by students and teachers for the 2008 Diary.  Also in 2008, the simultaneous exhibitions “Cronin - Twenty Five Years and Change - 25 Years of Drawing” and “Color” take place at Casa da Cerca in Almada and another partnership, this time with the IST Press (Instituto Superior Técnico), leads to the publishing of  illustrations and comic strips by students Oscar Martinez, Joana Silvestre, Tiago Martins, Maria Imaginário and Vasco Martins in the “Reticências” magazine. In the 15th anniversary of Cais magazine in 2009, students illustrate 15 pocket books as a result of  a collaborative project between Ar.Co, the Padrões Culturais publisher and Cais magazine itself  (Afonso Ferreira, Ana Rita Martins, Antónia G. Tinturé, Dino Urbano, Hugo Henriques, Igor Gama, Inês Barros, Inês Silva, Joana Silvestre, Maria Imaginário, Ricardo Martins, Silvia Rodrigues, Susana Carvalhinhos, Tiago Albuquerque and Tiago Martins). From 2009 to 2013 students from the Political  Cartoon workshop also publish at the on-line space of Sol weekly journal. In the framework of a large campaign for civil awareness launched by the Lisbon subway company (Metro) in 2012, Afonso Ferreira develops a series of original comics (”Não seja Urso”) and Tiago Albuquerque produces an animation (“Mr. Metro, Mr. Car / Sr. Metro, Sr. Carro”) with technical support byJoão Bráz. In October 2018 Jorge Nesbitt will share the responsability of being head of department with Daniel Lima.  

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    Image from slideshow by Jorge Varanda, 1979.

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    Information sheet - Session dedicated to Scientific Illustration with Pedro Salgado. Ar.Co, Lisbon, 1997.

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    Brian Cronin and Jorge Nesbitt. Casa da Cerca, Almada, 2008.

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    Francisco Lobo. Illustration for Blast magazine, 2005.

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    Live burlesque model. Session in the Erotic Comics Workshop, oriented by Nuno Saraiva, 2013.

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    Tiago Albuquerque. Illustration for Blast magazine, 2005

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    Nuno Saraiva. Illustration for Cais magazine, 2006.

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    Tiago Albuquerque and João Braz. Lisbon Subway civil campaign, 2012.

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    Afonso Ferreira. Illustration for Lisbon Subway civil campaign, 2012.

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    Monster Book - publication developed in the context of Drawing for Illustration 2013.

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    Vasco Gargalo. Cover for Cais magazine, 2006.

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    Inês Casais. Illustration for Blast magazine, 2005.

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    Cover of Lethal Event. Cadavre Exquis. VI Salon of the Lisbon Bedeteca, 2005.