Yesterday ended the first edition of Beu-Beu Art Festival in Badia di Ruoti, a small village in the heart of Tuscany. The festival has been organised by Schimen Onlus with the collaboration of the associations Eureka and Strange Opera to present the works of over 70 artists through exhibitions, workshops, music and talks.
This was the first time for the Beu-Beu festival, a mix of contemporary art, illustration, publishing industry and workshops. Placed in a small village near Arezzo, the festival offered an overview of Italian contemporary art performing in the unique landscape of Tuscany’s countryside. Playing with the traditional atmosphere of the location, the exhibitions were spread through the walls of the XI century Abbacy of Badia di Ruoti to create an innovative contrast between the art and the place.
Example of this combination are the skates painted by the roman artists for the exhibition SKATE HEART ROMA, an idea of Davide Orlando and Valentina Roccanuova; or Fabulae, a collection of 10 artists presenting the ancient tales of Fedro; or the first collection of woman illustrators in Graphiste. Curated by Rossana Calbi are also the solo shows of Francesco Viscuso, Folklore, and Sergio Marsala, Snaturar Corrivo, that presented their work to celebrate the first edition festival.
In addition to the shows displayed in the Abbacy, the festival spread around the small town during the weekend interacting with the visitors with several activities. For the project WOODoo, following the idea of Marina Ronca, five artists invited the walkers to play with the big wooden man. Meantime, in Ambra, a small town next to Badia di Ruoti, the artists Nicola Alessandrini and Lisa Gelli live painted the first mural in the area of Bucine, inviting the visitor to discover the land while looking for the art.
The audience has been actively involved to be part of the festival during the whole weekend. The children could enjoy the editorial workshop Il Mondo Extra-Ordinario with Laura Caputo, while everyone could play with wood with Robox, or learn about serigraphy with Andrea Baldelli.
During the evening, you could enjoy a dinner made with local products waiting for the film projection of Virginia Mori or the independent music and DJ set. The artists Francesca Toscano e Francesco Viscuso framed the concerts with Il ramo d’oro, a floral site-specific installation created in harmony with the location and the atmosphere of the small village.
The artistic direction formed by the artist Marco About, the musician Luca Zampi and the curator Rossana Calbi gave space to independent art usually on the edge, offering a brilliant and variegated overview of contemporary art through music, visual art and talks with editors. The visitors weren’t only invited in discovering the art, but also the place.
And here I found the real peculiarity of this initiative.
Organized in a rural town of Tuscany, the festival kept is traditional background presenting avant-garde and cutting-edge art product of our time. The market and the food were local, offering the chance to small businesses to present their products, and their land. Rather than being stacked in saving a tradition that it is not going to be shown anywhere, the organisation of this festival illustrated us a concrete alternative to conserve our unique tradition through the pluralism characteristic of contemporary art, offering a new way to live our culture.