I had the pleasure of speaking with the founder of Pátio D’Artes, Rita Ricardo, who is a fine arts instructor and a self-taught artist. She kindly shared her story with me and a bit more about what this unique space offers. This space welcomes all nationalities and children aged five and above as well as adults. Art lessons for children are from Monday to Thursday and the workshops are on weekends as well as some bank holidays.

Rita was born in Portimão, in the Algarve but grew up in Ferragudo, from an early age, she revealed great aptitude for the Arts. Rita told me that “growing up, the arts were not highly valued or encouraged and she was not free to do art.” She ended up working in various professional areas, but she always incorporated art and culture into everything she did. “She decided to make her dream from early childhood a reality and the pandemic was not going to stand in the way of her dream.” She decided to open the art world to others, without fear of criticism, which is how the popular Pátio D’Artes was born.

Pátio D’Artes offers diverse art classes and various workshops with guest instructors. The classes are varied and consist of fine art, collage, painting and even clay modelling. Rita also runs summer classes and workshops as well as seasonal inspired ones, which she will be doing at Christmas, with limited spaces. She also explained that they are great for non-Portuguese speakers to improve their Portuguese in small groups. Rita also highlighted that these classes are extra-curricular and are not structured sessions that imitate school lessons but they are more about experimentation, free thinking, and aiding children’s development. “Every child is an individual so I do tailor the classes to the individual child’s interests and give full freedom of expression.”

She told me “Her heart is full with how much the children enjoy the sessions and how it has grown as she has recently welcomed children from Lagoa, Lagos and Silves.” Rita is also currently doing a course on art therapy as she is a firm believer of the therapeutic benefits that being creative has on mental health.

It is a welcoming space, thoughtfully decorated, to the Ferragudo inspired windows and doors, adding that special touch of Rita story. The outside space has a big table to create, with vibrant paintings on the wall, including Rita’s angel wings. The inside is also filled with colourful art from those who attend as well as her own fantastic contemporary canvas pieces. I was impressed by the vast selection of art supplies which she told me she believes that “with a little, you can do a lot”, even highlighting that they use recycled items and resources from nature as materials to create and that the environment acts as stimulus for the children.”

Rita Ricardo is infectiously passionate about what she has created, so please do visit if you get the chance. For more information about Pátio D’Artes classes and workshops please email Rita Ricardo at ritapnr@gmail.com or contact her on 961 630 073. Similarly, you can check out Pátio D’Artes on Facebook @ritapateodartes