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About us

c.r.e.t.a. rome

Ceramics, Residencies, Exhibitions, Teaching

& the Arts

CRETA Rome was founded in 2012 by Italian artist Paolo Porelli and American art historian Lori-Ann Touchette as an international reference point for ceramics and the arts in the eternal city of Rome. The name of the non-profit organisation reflects its bilingual nature: the Italian word for clay “creta” combined with the English spelling of “Rome” Moreover, taken as an acronym CRETA spells out our main activities: Ceramics, Residencies, Exhibitions, Teaching & the Arts.  CRETA Rome was created to serve as a point of encounter for international exchange between artists, collectors, donors and the public. 

We are located in the mid 16th-century Palazzo Delfini in the historical center of Rome, just blocks from the Capitoline Hill on one side and the Jewish quarter on the other. The area is filled with art galleries, artist ateliers, restaurants and wine bars. We also have a second residency in the countryside near the lake of Bracciano which is particularly indicated for collaborative projects, artist who want to do reduction firings and those wanting to bring their partners and/or children.

The interdisciplinary program has hosted more than 200 resident artists from over 25 countries and 5 continents since 2013. Emerging, mid-career and established artists selected by an international committee converge on Rome for periods of 1-3 months. In addition to clay, CRETA Rome has hosted fiber artists, graphic artists, painters as well as writers thereby integrating ceramics into the contemporary art sphere.


CRETA Rome was chosen by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts as an NCECA International Residency Partner Program in 2015 and 2020.


​​​Lori-Ann Touchette is a classical archaeologist/art historian with degrees from Brown, Princeton and Oxford Universities. Since moving to Rome in 1997, she has taught and worked in the administration of several study abroad programs. She is the author/editor of several  articles and books on Greek & Roman art as well as the 18th-century Grand Tour. Recently, she contributed a chapter to the Oxford Handbook to Roman sculpture (2015). She is a regular contributor of articles on historical and contemporary ceramics for Ceramics: Art & Perception and other ceramics magazines. 

​                       is an Italian artist. After graduating in painting (Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma, Italy), Porelli began a period of experimentation in ceramics in which he identified an anthropomorphic figure as his preferred expressive form. Clay remains his principal medium. Life-size to small-scale figures stand alone or in group installations. Elected to the International Academy of Ceramics in 2021. 

Porelli has exhibited widely in Europe and the US, including solo shows in the Netherlands, Italy, the US & China. Group shows include the competitions & Prizes: 61th Premio Faenza 2020, Ceramics in Europe Westerwaldprize 2019, 38 Concurso Internacional de Ceràmica  2018", 2nd prize, Spain, "Ceramic Art Andenne 2018", Belgium; "European Ceramic Context 2018, Open Call, Denmark, "1st & 2nd Porzellan Biennale Meissen (2016, 2018). “2013 & 2015 NCECA Biennial”. Residencies include: The Clay Studio of Philadelphia (2022); Arch Contemporary (2019/20), European Ceramic Workcenter (EKWC) (2018/19), Jingdezhen International Studio, Blanc de Chine ICAA Residency in Dehua, China (2017), Red Star Studios Kansas City (2015-16), Kansas State University (2014), The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, MT (2012), The Clay Studio in Philadelphia (2011). 


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