la Porziuncola - Mosaic installation by Felice Nittolo in Basilica San Giovanni Evangelista (Ravenna Mosaico, 2015)

Ravenna Mosaico, 2015

Many of you will already know Ravenna, Italy is home to many exquisite, ancient mosaic artworks. Referred to as the capital city of mosaics, Ravenna is also the site of an annual international mosaic festival Ravenna Mosaico. Currently in progress, this year the festival runs from October 10th to November 8th. The whole city, along with the International Association of Contemporary Mosaicists (AIMC) unites to celebrate the mosaic art form both past and present. Artists from around the world participate in numerous exhibitions hosted by galleries, museums and local businesses in traditional and non-traditional settings throughout Ravenna. Cafes, restaurants, art schools, private artist’s studios, storefronts and community spaces all join forces in a gigantic celebration of the mosaic art form.

                

Photo Collage courtesy of Petar Milosevic

This year’s festival programme is full of exhibitions, meetings and events. Some workshops are designed for the many professional artists who attend the festival while others allow families, adult hobbyists and children to explore the beauty of mosaic art making with professional instruction.

Read on to learn a bit more about specific exhibitions that are part of Ravenna Mosaica 2015. We are featuring here, only a few of the many fine exhibits to be viewed throughout the city over the next few weeks.

Works From Around the World

This year the Municipality of Ravenna, along with AIMC is hosting, Works From Around the World, an exhibition focusing on the exciting work of mosaic artists from around the world. A grouping of over 40 mosaic artworks will be displayed including artists from Italy, France, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Egypt, Russia and Japan as well as a number of Israeli AIMC artists. Two artworks from this exhibition are featured below:

                  

  Monika Capol - La donna di Samburu (78x65x4)       Bogdanova – Piccione (63x55x32)

Social Sofa

Recently we’ve featured blog articles about mosaic art in public places and focused on how well the mosaic art form lends itself to group oriented projects. We are particularly drawn to the Social Sofa exhibit at this year’s festival which exemplifies the possibilities, benefits and growth this type of group endeavour can offer the project participants. The exhibit comes to Ravenna from a small Dutch community (based in Tilburg) and features a group of sofas created by community members dealing with unemployment and various disadvantages. Professional mosaic artists provided guidance to the group who took inspiration from a number of different internationally renowned artists including Vincent van Gogh and contemporary fashion designer, Paul Smith. The end result; a series of mosaicked sofas that once installed transform the neighborhood into an extension of all the private living rooms throughout the community.

Social Sofa, located at the Ravenna Art Museum (MAR), in the Palazzo Rasponi dalle Teste (courtyard)

Porzioncola

Inside the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista, the oldest basilica in Ravenna, festival visitors will encounter the installation of mosaic artist and sculptor, Felice Nittolo (pictured at the beginning of this article). The artist has placed three spheres inside the presbytery and has also created a separate sculptural presentation of the chapel itself. The chapel was added to the larger basilica in 1500 creating a church within a church. Two wooden beams pierce the artist’s representational structure symbolizing strife within the church.