Florentine Explorations

Visit to the Laboratorio Restauro del Fortepiano in Florence with our #sillumina young Italian artists, tutors Valeria D’Ambrosio and Irene Lupi, and a group of young international artists from Greece, Switzerland and the USA!
In this picture, in front of an instrument coming from #Amatrice, one of the towns that were deeply damaged by the central Italy #earthquake.

Gelato tasting at La Sorbettiera in Florence (or: the tastiest side if Italian traditional practices)!
The experience was part of the contemporary art project sponsored by #sillumina.
As a second phase of the project, Italian tutors Valeria D’Ambrosio and Irene Lupi, with the help of young Italian artists Beatrice Beneforti and Federica Murittu, led a group of young international artists on a Multisensory Materiality itinerary of Florence!
In this picture, young poet Katie Clark: 


Tempo Zulu Projects

Inspired by the project “Tempo Zulu” with contemporary interventions within the streets of Siena’s historic center, our semester participants were asked to create their own projects as a response.

Our group critique of their work included artist Bernado Giorgi, co-creator of the Tempo Zulu project, as well as architect Annunziata Di Comite, curator Valeria D’Ambrosio, and Lisa Nonken (Art & Society course instructor &artist).

Visiting artisans’ studios

As part of our initial activities of the Fall 2017 semester, we’ve had the chance to visit studios of local artisans, learning about their backgrounds, training, and crafts.

We had a great visit this week to the artisanal stained-glass studio in the historic center of Siena, Vetrate Artistiche Toscane with our students from the Siena Art Institute & Siena School for Liberal Arts, exploring the traditions and modern innovations of this fascinating craft.

During our trip to San Gimignano, we had the chance to visit Balducci Ceramica and learn about their artisanal pottery, and the lifetime of experience which goes into their handiwork.

We also visited the studio of master stone-carver Maestro Frati in Siena with our fall semester study-abroad students, discussing his work for the Tempo Zulu interventions in the paving stones of the historic center, his personal projects of inlaid stone, and his work restoring and conserving the stones of Siena’s cathedral pavement! He is truly living history!



Visiting Galleria Continua

As part of our Orientation activities, we had a chance to visit two exciting exhibitions of contemporary art at Galleria Continua in San Gimignano:

  • ANTONY GORMLEY ‘Co-ordinate’
  • ALEJANDRO CAMPINS ‘Declaración Pública’
Antony Gormley is a British artist, b. 1950 in London, whose work has been widely exhibited around the world.  His current exhibition at San Gimingnano explores and maps the body through a series of abstracted figurative sculptures as well as a massive site-specific installation entitled “Lost Horizon II” which transforms the main gallery space (formerly a cinema) into a matrix of silk-wrapped bungee cords.  The visitor is invited to enter and interact with the space, with their participation also becoming part of the work.  As the title implies, the installation alters the viewer’s perception of space and their field of vision, creating a fascinating optical and visceral experience.  For more info: http://www.galleriacontinua.com/exhibitions/exhibition/404
Alejandro Campins is a Cuban artist, b. 1981 in Manzanillo.   He works with a variety of media including photography, painting and drawing.  His current exhibit in San Gimignano, his first ever exhibition in Italy, features  paintings from his series “Declaración Pública”, as well as a fresco painting inspired by the work of Giotto.  The work is on view in Galleria Continua’s project exhibition space located at Arco dei Becci 1.  The subjects of these works are Cuban amphitheaters, built after the revolution for the valorization of official public political discourse, activity which in recent years only takes place for select annual events.  With these public spaces falling into disuse and abandonment, they present an interesting glimpse into the complex social and political dynamics present in Cuban culture both historically as well as today.   For more info: http://www.galleriacontinua.com/exhibitions/exhibition/406