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Municipality of Ravenna

The mosaics in schools

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A heritage that belongs to everyone was born at school

A testimony to the liveliness of this art, which is still taught, studied and produced in Ravenna today, are the schools which, publicly or privately provide seminars, courses in mosaic and fresco, studies in style (Ravenna, Renaissance, Medieval, Roman, Byzantine, Pompeian), practical sessions, personalised creations, guided tours of the city of Ravenna and its workshops, courses in tesserae cutting and carving techniques.

Starting with a shared cultural foundation consisting of the most extensive and organic ancient mosaic heritage in existence and which has thrice seen Ravenna become the capital city, young people have the opportunity to train and explore techniques and new materials in depth, while following their own inspiration within an artform immortalised by their Roman and Byzantine forebears.

At public school level, the Nervi-Severini State Art High School, located in the historic centre of Ravenna, has acquired the heritage of skills and creativity of the former Scuola di Mosaico Gino Severini of the Istituto d’Arte and offers, among the courses available for the second three years, a course in Figurative Arts, in which one of the specialities is Mosaic.
(www.liceoartisticoravenna.edu.it).

Since 2008, thanks to its partnership with the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna, the Accademia di Belle Arti di Ravenna founded in 1827, with the support of the Municipality and Province, has also updated its educational programme by providing a focus on Mosaic as a contemporary visual language. It offers a three-year first level course in Decorative Arts and a specialist second level two-year course on Decoration and Restoration (www.accademiabellearti.ra.it/Didattica-e-corsi/Corsi) with particular attention to micromosaic or spun mosaic.

In addition, thanks to the extracurricular workshop activities offered by the sezione didattica LaRa of the museo Tamo, it is possible to introduce even the youngest students to mosaic art. Starting with kindergarten school children up to high school classes, mosaic art is taught here by means of a comprehensible language, the use of examples and references to their world. (lara@ravennantica.orgwww.ravennantica.it).

Naturally, the excellence of Ravenna also attracts tourists, artists and scholars from other cities and countries for whom the schools offer a wide range of programmes whereby, privately in groups or individually, the work of a mosaicist in a craftsman’s workshop and the various phases of execution can be experienced.

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What is learnt at school comes back as a gift to the city

From generation to generation mosaic art is not only the artist’s own work of art, but also an opportunity for collective growth.

In fact, what one learns at school in Ravenna soon becomes part of the community’s heritage, in a virtuous cycle of mutual enrichment.

With a colourful and well-attended Flash Mob in 2017, the students of the Liceo Artistico Nervi-Severini, together with the children of the Pasi Kindergarten and the Scuola Media San Biagio, reworked the message offered by the Space Invaders mosaic installation in the central Piazza del Popolo, transforming it into a project of inclusion and a renewed message of participation.

As always, the school courses on mosaic, which since 1959 under the old school system have been taught in the workshops of the Istituto d’Arte and which following the merger is today classed as a five-year high school course, has also given the streets and squares of Ravenna a gamut of urban furniture, such as large decorated flower boxes and the dialogue benches in Via Salara.

Teachers and students from Ravenna take every opportunity to cooperate with local authorities by taking part in the various inter-regional competitions or working on the development of artistic projects, such as the reproduction of the pavimento musivo della cattedrale di Otranto (mosaic floor of Otranto Cathedral) for Expo 2015, the design for the bronze and mosaic monument in memory of Enrico Liverani at the Rocca di Brancaleone or in the restoration of the mosaics on display at the Parco della Pace in Ravenna.

Students are also encouraged to participate actively and take leading roles in the
Academy of Fine Arts. Increasingly, in addition to reproducing major classical works (such as those inside St. Peter’s in Rome), participants of the course in micromosaic or minute mosaic, might be commissioned to produce small mosaic portraits of the deceased, to adorn the sepulchres in the cemetery of Ravenna, or prototypes for decorative ceramic tiles or for the creation of magnificent mosaic carpets, as exhibited at the Biennale in 2015, as well as for the decoration of city hotels.

In short, brand-new works of art from the training workshops are revitalizing the whole city.

Further information

A cura della Redazione Locale
E-mail: turismo@comune.ravenna.it

Last edit:18 January 2021

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