Anna Carlevaris, a professor in Studio Arts, organized an art exhibition this summer that took 10 Montreal artists back to their roots in Italy.
The exhibition, which was partly funded by the Concordia University Part-time Faculty Association, was called At the Origin of Memory: Contemporary Art by Montreal Artists of Italian Descent.
The artists, almost all of whom have studied, taught or worked in Concordia's Faculty of Fine Arts, are Carlevaris, Fran¨ois Morelli, Giuseppe Di Leo, Christine Palmieri, Johanne Biffi, Marisa Portolese, Massimo Guerrera, Anne-Marie Zeppetelli, Stefania Vani, Lucia D'Alete and Francesca Maniaci.
"In Palermo," Carlevaris said, "we had a private meeting with the mayor, Leoluca Orlando, who is known internationally as a social activist and political reformer. He was very pleased with the show's theme."
In Bologna, a smaller version of the show made its way into a "Canada Days" celebration organized by the Canadian embassy. It was also included in a meeting of the Italian Association of Canadian Studies, where Carlevaris presented a paper based on the exhibition. She is working with two art schools in Sicily to organize student exchanges.
She also says that the project isn't over, as she is fundraising to publish a catalogue and put on a Montreal showing. If you can help, contact Carlevaris at the Studio Arts office, 848-4262 or Š4263.
Two Design Art students, Geneviève Belisle and Chrissy Cheung, spent part of their summer in Milan, Italy, thanks to a Université de Montréal internship program in industrial design. Here are some of their impressions:
"Our visit was an incredible experience. There were 14 Canadians from U de M, UQAM and Concordia University in their third or fourth year. We felt honoured to be the two participants from Concordia.
"We travelled scrunched up in a minibus to discover the biggest industrial design manufacturers in Italy: Alessi, Catellini & Smith, Rexite, YCAMI, Flou, Up & Up -- the leading producers of kitchen accessories, lighting, office products, furniture, beds and fountains, and specializing in marble, wood, leather, metal or plastics.
"We were able to see their showrooms and factories, and to learn their philosophy of design and how they applied it to their products. It was fun to sit on classics such as the "womb" chair, Le Corbusier's chaise longue, Gerrit Rietveld's red and blue chair, etc.
"Every weekend we travelled to neighbouring cities, such as Florence and Venice, where they were holding the 48th Biennale, the famous art exhibition.
"Our stage was truly inspiring. It was a true taste of the design world that we have been working to be part of."