Bevilacqua la Masa shines light on young artists

Institution has sponsored up-and-coming artists for 120 years

Bevilacqua la Masa shines light on young artists

(by Roberto Nardi). Venice, April 23 - Thirteen artists under 30 selected by the foundation Istituzione Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa for a one-year residency will showcase their work mid-May in Venice. The foundation has been sponsoring young artists for the past 120 years. The international artists this year, whose ateliers are at Palazzo Carminati and the ex convent of Cosma and Damiano on the island of Giudecca are: Ruth Berarha, Jaspal Birdi, Oscar Isaias Contrera Rojas, Alessandro De Petre, Barbara De Vivi, Chiara Enzo, Marta Fassina, Giacomo Gerboni, Yimin He, Francesco Pozzato, Valentina Rosa, Sonia Veronese, Matteo Vettorello, Xhabir Xhimi Hoti. Generations of young artists have been learning and working under the sponsorship of the foundation, first at Cà Pesaro and subsequently in Palazzo Carminati and in a new exhibiting space on the Giudecca island since a local aristocrat, Felicita Bevilacqua La Masa, wrote her will on February 18, 1898. The Verona native, who married general Giuseppe La Masa, arranged for young painters to use for free, or at a very low rent, the last floor of Ca' Pesaro, a building that she left to the city of Venice. Archives show that artists started working under the foundation's patronage in 1901. The initiative's curators, Stefano Cecchetto and Stefano Coletto, said the one-year residency provides artists with enough time to focus on their work and evolve. ''Over the past few years we have never received requests for an extension for an extra year'', they said. ''The period is considered sufficient''. Cecchetto and Coletto said youths nowadays have no desire to keep their ateliers for years as occurred in the past, citing artist Juti Ravenna's record residency from 1923 until 1948. The sense of community however has remained unchanged, they said. Artists eat together at Palazzo Carminati, where they meet with curators and gallerists. The Bevilacqua La Masa's president, Bruno Bernardi, said the foundation's mission remains ''the promotion of the artistic production'' of young artists, ''their training and relationship with art dealers''.

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