Carrara Studi Aperti is a great opportunity to discover Carrara great artistic production: 3 days to visit 80 art studios, sculpture workshops and exhibition spaces open for visits. Warning: one day is not enough! Plan 3 days to visit the studios from the valley to the city center up to the mountains and some extra days to visit Carrara museums, to take refreshing walks on the Apuan Alps, or even to enjoy the large beaches on the Tyrrhenian sea.
Carrara is an open-air museum, but it is not a hit-and-run experience. It takes time to slowly understand this city and discover its incredible artistic activity that remains intimately hidden in historical palaces with vaulted ceilings, in bohemian cellars on the river, in sheds surrounded by blocks of marble, in old car repair shops converted in cultural spaces. It takes time to visit the studios in the villages ( all part o the Carrara municipality) that are scattered in the Apuan Alps among the white marble quarries. The reason why some of these studios and sculpture workshops are hidden and isolated is simple: sculpting is a very noisy activity! Take your time and you will be overwhelmed.
The extraordinary artistic richness of Carrara, the city of Marble
In Carrara, you will find artists from all over the world, as well as students from the Carrara Fine Arts Academy. Some artists are sharing a space for renting, some have bought one, revitalizing decadent palaces in welcoming spaces for new cultural exchange. During Carrara Studi Aperti, you will find many different arts and activities: not only marble sculpture but also wood carving, painting, photography, illustration, pottery, design, restoration, video art, music, mosaic, serigraphy, etc.
If your interest is mainly sculpture, this is heaven. In Carrara you can find sculptors working with no electricity just with hammer and chisel, others using many different tools, up to the most innovative 3D sculpting robots.
So how to get the best of this event? Follow the Carrara Studi Aperti Map (a sat nav app can be an extra help) or just walk in the city center for example in Via Finelli or along the Carrione river (Via Carriona) and stop at every corner, every time you see the Carrara Studi Aperti logo (a red open door on a squared marble tile).
Carrara Studi Aperti 2019: our visit to Carrara art studios
Here some of our impressions of 3 DAYS in Carrara Studi Aperti 2019 Edition. This description is by no way comprehensive (in 3 days we covered a third of the studios) and no two visits are the same!
Carrara Studi Aperti DAY 1
On Day 1 we followed PATH 1 in the city center, from the CAP museum (Centro Arti Plastiche) to the Carrara Cathedral. First, we visited the Pathfinder exhibition in Torart space (Via Verdi 16), featuring the works of Eight students of the Academy of Fine Arts of Carrara ranging from classical sculpture techniques to the most advanced 3D technologies.
We then encountered the Studio Grinberg (Vicolo Castelfidardo 2)an ex-mechanical workshop, hidden in the middle of buildings of the Carrara center where Zoran Grinberg (France) works together with Stefanie Oberneder (Germany) and Leonardo Buratti. Stefanie welcomed us with a great smile and showed us her work, starting with the horned women, sculptures in bronze and marble representing femininity: women that are thin but strong, comfortless but fierce. Her latest work revolves around the image of the egg, symbol of the creation of life ad thoughts.
We then visited studio Palandrani and had an interesting talk with Claudio Palandrani a local painter – musician – historian – writer. We continued in Via Finelli, one of the most characteristic alleys of the historic center of Carrara, where we found the colorful Am’l rum da me studio, an art collective that aims at promoting the territory and its traditions through illustrations and the use of Carrara dialect.
Our visit continued to Riciclassembarte a Reuse laboratory where discarded materials such as marble, paper, cardboard, iron, are re-purposed and reassembled. PATH 1 lead us to the Carrara Cathedral, in front of which a hand sculpture live symposium was taking place.
Carrara Studi Aperti DAY 2
On Day 2 we followed PATH 3 from Ponte di Ferro along via Carriona. This road along the Carrione river is the beating heart of Carrara,
here the work of the artists is accompanied by the gurgling water of the river that flows on a bed of white marble pebbles.
We started from Laboratorio Menconi , a place that offers workstations for sculptors and artists who work mostly in the traditional way, without the use of industrial machinery. Here you can find the tradition of the ancient marble carvers. We met Mario Tapia, lee Yunmi, Massimiliano Bortolan.
Walking down via Carriona, you encounter the Ponte di Ferro space, below the iron bridge, a testimony of the ‘Marmifera’ marble railway that was once used to transport the marble blocks from the quarries to the sea.
After that, we visited the of sculpture studio Francesco Cremoni, a professor of the Carrara Fine Arts Academy living and working in Carrara. A refined author of works in white marble, he is considered one of the most representative exponents of the “Carrarese school”.
From the elegant exhibition of Cremoni works, I crossed a little bridge to enter in a completely different scenario: the fascinating Manuel Neri studio. A bunch of people was grilling meat on the river, then Giuliano Orlandi welcomed me and showed me his latest works. I loved this place! A very interesting installation featured a marble shovel collecting the scales of the same material, derived from the excavations in the quarries, collected in marble buckets and bags, ready to be crushed and crushed and transformed into something different. In another angle of the studio a marble vacuum cleaner to clean the marble dust.
Down the road, we followed the music and entered in the Supa Lab, where a group was playing music, artists were discussing on a sofa, others on the window with a view on the river.
In the Atelier Carrara, we met Claudio Menconi, world champion of vegetable carving, who was working on a watermelon and other fruits, on a massive marble counter.
Encounters in Via Carriona
Carrara Studi Aperti DAY 3
In Day 3 we spent some time in studio Marmore+ by Lorenzani Fabrizio and Mayer-Tasch Verena in the San Martino district, an old car repair shops converted in an amazing cultural space. Verena Mayer Tasch was very nice and showed us all around. Studio Marmore + combines a sculpture workshop and several exhibition areas within its spaces.
There are many other studios in Carrara we know and appreciate but we could not fit them in these 3 days. Carrara Studi Aperti is a very inspiring experience we strongly recommend!