At Officina Stamperia del Notaio we not only invite artists to work independently on individual projects. We also welcome groups of artists and collaborators, and host workshops, performances and lectures. Below are some highlights:

Detail of the fresco painted by students from Stonehill college

Detail of the fresco painted by students from Stonehill college

Fresco Painting Course with Stonehill College

In May of 2018 we hosted a group of students from Stonehill College in Massachusetts who spent 10 days painting a traditional fresco on-site at Officina Stamperia del Notaio. The group was led by Stonehill College Professor Candice Smith-Corby and William Pettit, a fresco painter who lives in Rome and teaches at Temple University Rome and John Cabot University. The pair also run the Bottega, a traveling workshop program that focuses on sustainable art-making and traditional materials sourced from nature. The students traveled around Sicily and sought inspiration from the flora and fauna of Tusa and the surrounding areas, as well as examples of artwork seen in their travels including the Triumph of Death fresco in Palazzo Abatellis in Palermo and the mosaics of plant and animal life found in Tusa and the Villa Romana in Piazza Armerina.

The students were a joy to have in town and they left us with a timeless gift which already feels like a natural part of the neighborhood and has become a point of interest for the town. The site of the fresco has now become a meeting place and has seen several neighborhood block parties since its creation! Thank you to Candice, Bill, and Stonehill College for choosing Tusa as their 2018 site. Here are some photos from the project:

Marianne Bernstein Projects: Due South

In the summer of 2015 Officina Stamperia del Notaio was thrilled to host artist and independent curator Marianne Bernstein and several artists involved with her ongoing international curatorial project Due South. Some came for up to 3 weeks to conduct research in the area, gather ideas and material for future work, and do preparatory work for projects that will culminate in a series of international exhibitions both in the United States and in Italy over the next couple of years. Earlier in the summer, Marianne, Cindi Ettinger and I traveled to Catania to meet several of the participating Italian artists including Christina La Rocca and Luca Nostri, and toured Trecastagni and Mount Etna with our great hosts at B&B Etnachic. Later in the summer Andrea Hornick, Marianne Bernstein, and David Kessler joined me in Tusa over a period of several weeks, and we were later joined for a two-day artists' retreat with several of the other artists participating in Due South including Flavio Favelli, Carlo and Fabio Ingrassia, Glauco Canalis, and Federico Baronella. During their visit we also had the great opportunity to meet other artists and curators at events in nearby Castelbuono and Ficarra, and presented information about the theme and mission of Due South and each artists' work in a public lecture in Tusa. For more information about this exciting ongoing project, please visit: duesouth2016. Here is some information from the press release:

Independent curator Marianne Bernstein is pleased to announce Due South, the second project in a quartet of island-based explorations, highlighting an international exchange and exhibition between Philadelphia and Italian artists.Due North focused on Iceland, and Due South on Sicily. This project is an international first, an opportunity to start a cultural and artistic dialogue between America and Sicily.

Our fascination with Sicily evolved organically when a participating artist in Due North began to make striking parallels between Iceland and her native country. Like Iceland, Sicily’s culture is rooted in an epic, volcanic landscape and diverse cultural history as an island shaped by conquering cultures. The curatorial vision for Due South crystallized around southern Italians’ unique relationship to their tumultuous landscape through tradition, agriculture, and myth. Most importantly, Philadelphia has a unique tie to Sicily with the majority of its rich Italian-American community tracing their heritage to this Mediterranean island.

Due South will be a culmination of two years of artistic research, with leading Philadelphia artists traveling and completing residencies in Sicily while beginning dialogues with acclaimed Italian contemporaries, who will also exhibit work. Select Italians will be invited to travel to Philadelphia to complete ambitious installations and works on site. American and Italian artists will also work in Philadelphia making connections with the Sicilian-American community in the city. Each artist is committed to making work in the social sphere and through interactions with communities and histories unique to Sicily. Important to this exploration are the difficult integration of a rich past and an ever-infiltrating technological present, extremes in history and weather, and the contradictions between a seductive landscape and its inherent Mediterranean challenges. These are pressing dichotomies for the contemporary globalized moment as we try to examine history, heritage, tradition, and the evolution of a place.

Alternative Photography Workshop: Andrea Buffolo

In August of 2015 the Officina Stamperia del Notaio hosted the Associazione Fotografica Alesina's 7th edition of Avventura nella fotografia. Headed by Vincenzo Montalbano, the Associazione Fotografica Alesina invited Venetian artist and educator Andrea Buffolo to guide them in an exploration of Tusa and antique processes including cyanotype and Vandyke photographic prints. Using the plants and architecture of Tusa as inspiration, participants created original photographic works onsite utilizing cyanotype and Vandyke processes and the light of the sun. Here is a link to an article about the workshop: Foto in Bianco e Blu.