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Franky in New York

The Beautiful Life

What do you think about when you think about Italian art? The question is on point, and not only because the 2022 Biennale Venice ( has kicked off to give voice to artists who create unique projects, reflecting both their visions and our society. Questioning about Italian art is not simply a matter of classical works: canvas, statues, frescos, tapestries. Italian art is well alive and kicking nowadays, and Italian American artists have definitely their say on the contemporary stage.
Follow The Beautiful Life along this April journey: we'll introduce you to remarkable places and people, show you stunning works of art, and tip you about the shows of the moment. Buckle up, we are taking off... 
Latins used the word "ars" to refer to the ability of making things. Basically, they meant that any time someone follows a body of rules (but it could also be a bunch of practical experience derived from the process itself), they will succeed in creating a work of art. That's why Italian civilization, which stems from Latin culture, is full of artistic crafts, let alone proper works of arte. Since the Middle Age, Italians could rely on many "arts" other than picture and sculpture: the handcrafts, the liberal arts (that help to free humankind through the free thinking), and the scientific arts. No doubts, however, that the main meaning of Art is forever linked to beauty and aesthetic: when Italians want to praise someone for their ability in making beautiful things, they go straight for "Sei un artista!" (You're an artist!).
These Must Be the Places
A 20,000 square-foot museum that is a jewel of contemporary architecture per se, immersed in the enchanted atmosphere of Cold Spring, in the Hudson Valley, New York. Magazzino Italian Art is not just a museum: it's a research center dedicated to promoting postwar and contemporary Italian art in the United States. The nonprofit museum also serves as an advocate for Italian artists as it celebrates the range of their creative practices from Arte Povera ("magazzino" means "warehouse") to the present. Through its curatorial, scholarly, and public initiatives, Magazzino explores the impact and enduring resonances of Italian art on a global level. Opened in 2017, it was co-founded by Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu.
The museum hosts a permanent collection of 76 artworks of Arte Povera, aka "impoverished art", a revolutionary movement born in Italy in the late 1960s and inspired by the motto "Art Is Life", to counteract the
 values established by political, industrial and cultural institutions. Starting on May 7, Magazzino also hosts Gilardi: Tappeto-Natura" (Nature-Carpet): the first solo exhibition in the United States of Piero Gilardi, the artist who creates multi-sensorial artworks celebrating the dream of an ideal nature.

All the details about Magazzino at 
There's a loft in SoHo, NYC where Italian art thrives. Welcome to CIMA, the Center for Italian Modern Art, a public nonprofit opened in 2013 as a center of exhibition and research for Italian art. Each academic year, CIMA hosts installations of emerging artists that inspire fellowship programs and scholarships. Currently, and through June 18, CIMA is hosting Staging Injustice: Italian Art 1880-1917, a retrospective of Italian artworks documenting that troubled period that led to World War I, and the whole social, economic, and political impact it had on people's lives. Back then, Italian artists witnessed the change and reproduced it with a powerful clarity of visual expression. Find out more about CIMA and how to visit at

Back to nature and to the roots, from a female artistic perspective. The Museo ItaloAmericano in San Francisco is hosting Rhapsody, a collective exhibition focused on three Italian American artists: Serena Bocchino, Kara Maria, and Nola Pardi Proll. Their works are different from each other for ways of expressing: Serena Bocchino and Kara Maria are abstract painters, while Nola Pardi Proll is a sculptor. Yet, they have a common ground: feeling in deep connection with nature, and with one's own body and soul.
Besides, for all the three of them Italian heritage is an essential plus: a root they feel compelled to explore, and an artistic inspiration too. Serena Bocchino includes among her works on display some by her mother and grandmother, for Kara Maria a trip to Italy made her decide to take painting classes, and Nola Pardi Proll's primitive sculptures are influenced by Etruscan accents. Rhapsody is open to the public through August 28. All the details at

For a closer look at women's role in art, from the evolution of the image of the female body to its enduring cultural impact on art history, ancient symbols, female identity, and women's prescribed position in society and throughout history, the Museo ItaloAmericano hosts Where Did All the Girls Go? The virtual lecture, discussed by artist and curator Tricia Grame, is scheduled tomorrow, Thursday, April 28, at 6 pm PT. Registrations at
Italian Trailblazers
His works were more than art. They were calls to action against the crisis of morality brought by the spreading of consumerism, reflections on the role of religion and spiritualism, descriptions of the social conflicts in the post war era. Edward Boccia was one of the most imaginative and gifted artists in the second half of the Twentieth century, and his works still have a lot to say.

Boccia was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1921. After attending the Newark School of Fine Arts, he studied at the Pratt Institute and the Art Students League in New York, where he met his wife Madeleine Wysong. When World War II broke, he served in the so-called Ghost Army, but never stopped painting and drawing, mailing home all his works. After the war he went back to studies, earning a bachelor's and a master's degree at Columbia University, teaching at Columbus Art School in Ohio, and eventually landing at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri as Dean of Fine Arts and teacher of painting for over 30 years.

As a Neo-Expressionist, Boccia was heavily influenced by Modernism, but also developed a totally personal style, expressed in his symbolic large-scale triptych panel paintings, seeking neither official approval or an end to his exploration and experimentation. He passed away at 91, but painted until his late 80s.

Sometimes Acts II are the best part of the show. NOIAW, the National Organization of Italian American Women, is happy and proud to celebrate their comeback to in-person events with a Broadway stars parade. On Thursday, May 5, 11:00 am-3:00 pm, the Tribeca Rooftop +360° will host NOIAW's Annual Luncheon, after a long pandemic hiatus.
Now it’s the perfect time to raise the curtain on NOIAW’s Second Act as the nonprofit emerges from the COVID forced intermission of live programming, and, having postponed two in-person luncheons, to celebrate three dynamic leading ladies of the entertainment industry. The honorees are Patti LuPone, Tony, Grammy, & Olivier Award Winning Actress & Singer, Gina Argento, President & CEO of Broadway Stages, Ltd., and Angelina Fiordellisi, Executive Director of the Cherry Lane Theater, Co-Founder of the Cherry Lane Mentor Program. The trio is being recognized for their professional accomplishments and their contributions to the Italian American community as role models for the next generation. As Luncheon Chair and NOIAW Board of Director's Secretary, Donna Chirico said: "It is only through education and the efforts of organizations such as NOIAW that the insidious stereotypes about Italian Americans can be dispelled. Our honorees exemplify the best of our community and remind us of how far we have come from Ellis Island."

The event begins with a Networking Cocktail Reception at 11:00 am, followed by the award luncheon program at 12:15 pm. Proceeds from the gala support the organization’s cultural programs, mentoring, scholarship and cultural exchange initiatives, all of which impact and change lives. Tickets can be purchased here. Details on NOIAW at

You've always dreamed about needlework, but felt helpless? Time has come for you to learn, especially if you live in the LA area. IAMLA, Italian American Museum of Los Angeles, is hosting "Woven Lives: Exploring Women's Needlework from the Italian Diaspora", an interesting retrospective on Italian women needlework tradition both from the handcraft and the cultural point of view. As a side event of the exhibition (running through October 16), Saturday May 14, from 3:30 to 5 pm, the textile artist Carly Chubak will lead an Italian Needlelace Workshop, teaching the art of the punto in aria, aka "stitches in the air", a practice that dates back to the 1500s.
Registrations at
Each Story Needs to Be Told

Your story needs to be told, and so does your loved ones’. Now you have the opportunity of making it count. Be part of our new project, the Italian American Who’s Who: the first collection ever of all the Italian American stories. A massive loving tribute to the community and a way to preserve your family’s memory for future generations. This is the first comprehensive recognition to a community that has left such an undeniable mark in this country, no matter the original background. And it’s not just about legacy: Who’s Who will also help in reconnecting family members and friends who have lost touch over the years and in expanding one’s own network.


One for the Road

Have you always thought Nederland was the homeland of tulips? You may have to reconsider it. Blufi is a little town in Sicily, province of Palermo, where a red variety of the bulb spontaneously blooms at the beginning of spring. At the foot of the Madonie mountains, among almond and olive trees, hundreds of these red beauties spot the meadows, transforming the landscape in a canvas. If you happen to be around, and fancy to stroll among the flowers, you may want to check I Tulipani di Madonna dell'Olio on Facebook, where you can have tips and news about the site.

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