Art Speaks ‘Round the World

My guest blogger this week is my creative and talented executive assistant Alison Kattleman.

Italy has always been a leader in the arts. Such names as Giotto, Caravaggio and Guttuso come to mind. Now there’s a new voice in the grand tradition of Italian painting—the Arcane Movement, which has, since its inception some two years ago, not only exhibited for Italian Parliament but spread to shows in Switzerland, France, Spain and China—and now to Westchester County. Comprised of five diverse Italian artists, the Arcane Movement’s work will be on view at ArtsWestchester this Friday, for a celebration commemorating the 2nd anniversary of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI). UNAI is a global initiative, aligning institutions of higher education to further the UN’s mission. The force behind this Friday’s event is the Puglia Center of America, which is a member of UNAI.

Founded by its President, Maestro Luciano Lamonarca (who happens to be a renowned opera Tenor), the Puglia Center of America keeps its executive offices in New Rochelle, and has for some time been building a cultural bridge between the Puglia region of Italy and Westchester County, through partnerships with local arts organizations and the Westchester tourism department, and sponsorship of arts events such as the one they’re hosting here. They will also be sponsoring a larger exhibition of the Arcane Movement’s work in our 9th floor gallery, from November 19-21, and November 26-28. Lamonarca, who moved from Puglia to the U.S. five years ago and now lives in New Rochelle, sees art as an international language that can bring people together from all over the world. Though art can be interpreted in different ways depending on the viewer and the medium, he says, artistic expression is a fabulous way to engage wide groups of people for causes large or small. This is why the United Nations has been employing art exhibits to give people a better understanding of the organization and its mission of peace.

The Puglia region of Italy, also called Apulia, faces Greece on the Adriatic coast and is often called “the heel” of Italy. Lamonarca sees a link between Westchester and Puglia in that Westchester is often overshadowed by New York City, such as Puglia is overlooked by many tourists who are simply not aware of the region and visit big names like Rome and Florence instead. Puglia is especially known for its gorgeous landscapes, reflected in the paintings of its artists. Lamonarca has expressed that the Puglia Center of America is willing to support any kind of artistic projects that Westchester residents would like to do in their region. Last week he signed an agreement as liaison to Francesco Schittulli, the President of the Province of Bari in Puglia, with County Executive Astorino to encourage the exchange of knowledge and experience between Westchester County and Bari.

It’s funny, really, that Westchester suffers from its placement in the shadow of NYC at all. It’s far from the shadows, with connections reaching all over the world. Maybe Puglia and Westchester can benefit from one another, and draw recognition to each others’ regions to tourists both near and far away. Using art as a universal language, the possibilities are endless.


Photo: “Canal Grande,” 2010, by Roberto Guadalupi of the Arcane Movement

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