The village of Pari is slowly becoming a community of the Arts. First there was the Pari Center with its strong commitment to artists—we’ve had visiting writers, painters, photographers, musicians, composers—staying in the village working on projects or simply taking much needed time out before embarking on new work.
Then Ferdinando Lucchesi, a local painter, retired from teaching and formed a cultural association, Le Belle Arti. He fixed up a cantina (a large room at street level below the living quarters that is used to store oil, wine, produce, firewood, etc.) and, as you can see from the photographs, he’s done a beautiful job. Since its opening last summer he’s had exhibits of paintings, jazz and classical music concerts with performances from young musicians from the conservatory in Florence, poetry and literature readings. At the moment he’s hosting an exhibition of African art and artifacts (we had African drumming at the opening).
Next was Otto Alexander Jahrreiss, a German filmmaker who bought a house in Pari a couple of years ago. He too opened a cantina and put on his first exhibit to coincide with Pari’s sagra a few weeks ago. His main interest is in contemporary art and art installations and photography. He has also produced an enormous collage from the hundreds of black and white photographs that he took at the 2012 sagra.
We also have Paolo Chionio living in Pari, a painter and writer who has published with us Il Dizionario Volume I of an ‘alternative’ Italian dictionary based on his life of sogni, pensiri, fantasie e ricordi (dreams, thoughts, fantasies and memories). If you read Italian then it’s a very original and amusing view of the world. Part II is now ready for publication. Paolo opens up the entrance hall to his house every Christmas so that people can drop in and see his crèche or Nativity scene. He has dozens of figures that he places in a different background and setting each year. We’ll post a photo at Christmas time.
Within walking distance of Pari is the house of filmmakers Paul and Bernadette Howard who own Imagine Films based in Dublin. Their intention is to spend more time here now that their children are grown up and to become active in the community. They have a number of ideas as to how Pari, which is situated in a particularly depressed area of Italy, can be developed without being spoiled. One of Paul’s ideas is to bring his post-production work to Pari and train any of the young people who might be interested in this type of employment. Wouldn’t that be great!
We should also mention Andrea Barbieri, a graphic artist and animator, who of course is called on every time the village needs a notice or a poster and always very generously provides his skills.