Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lungo un Giorno

Jason, the actor playing Capulet in our Romeo and Juliet and our fight choreographer, shares a room with me in an apartment complex in Oltrarno, the neighborhood in Florence south of the river Arno. Our hosts are a single mom and her ten year old son, Andreia.

Andreia’s father is a local sculptor by the name of Giovanni Erbabianca, and he invited us to come out and see him during “Lungo un Giorno,” a three-day exhibition of art, music, and cuisine at the Vecchio Conventino, a convent that is now a great big art center. In fact, being there reminded me of AS220 back in Providence, the art center where I lived in the 1990s. This place has the same idea, but it’s a bigger facility and has a magnificent courtyard.

On Saturday night, our Italian mom cooked dinner for us, stuffing us with food and topping it with a smooth chianti. Sometime after 9:00 PM, she packed up Andreia's pet rabbit along with its leash (they take him for walks, as if he were a puppy) and we all went out for a bella passeggiata to the convent.

The studios were all open: glass works, textiles, jewelry and clothing, mask-making, and numerous works in progress were on display. Earlier in the day there had been numerous workshops, some just for kids. Even at this late hour, there were children running about the courtyard. A flutist and pianist played music together outside in front of projected images. Indoors people were dancing tango. There was also an espresso bar and a bookseller.

Jason and I wandered the halls of the convent and visited studios, including Giovanni’s. His sculptures are assembled from found objects, many of which he recovers from the trash. He also built the gazebo shown below, which includes a lighting fixture fashioned from old wood pierced with lengths of bamboo.

At 11:00 PM we were pretty well spent, and dragged ourselves home, following our Italian mom, who wrestled the whole way home with a tote bag that contained one very livid rabbit.

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