The Art Workshops of the Community of Sant’Egidio started in 1985, to respond to the yearning for formation and training of adult persons with disabilities who did not have the chance to attend regular schooling. These centres of formation, where it is possible to learn artistic skills, open up to the world, and establish relationships and communicate, help people look into their skills and potential, and develop first of all communication itself. This is the starting point for the appropriation of personalized expressive and artistic codes. All those involved have shown profound perception and understanding of reality, personal insight and
a unique view of the world.
Art was and is a defining element, a creative process that liberates hidden or unexpressed energies. The Art Workshops of Sant’Egidio give a voice to those who do not have the chance to reveal their inner life, because of their disability or frailty: no one is excluded from this path of bonding with others and with the world, and everyone can find his or her way of communicating and expressing his or her thought. It is a liberating act, which breaks down prejudices and the sense of minority through the use of unexpected resources.
The Exhibition that was held at the Quirinale for the 150th Anniversary of Italian Unity, “Noi, l’Italia” (We, Italy), together with artist Anton Roca (2011), was part of this ground-breaking path..
In October 2011 one Biennale Session at the Venice Biennale was dedicated to the Project “I\O_IO È UN ALTRO” (I\OR_ME IS ANOTHER) of Italo-Brazilian artist Cesar Meneghetti, the fruit of a work that started in and with the Art Workshops of the Community of Sant’Egidio.
The Project developed into a core group of works that were presented at the Venice Biennale in 2013, and at the MAXXI in Rome from November 2015 to 17th January 2016.
the art workshops
One of these works OPERA #01 VIDEOCABINA #3, 2011-13, Videoinstallazione monocanale)
is now part of the permanent collection exhibited at the MAXXI.
A number of publications and catalogues have accompanied the work of the Art Workshops of Sant’Egidio, which include:
Comunità di Sant’Egidio, Abbasso il grigio!, 2003
AA.VV., Con l’arte da disabile a persone, 2007
Noi l’Italia, catalogo mostra, Palazzo del Quirinale, 2011
Cesar Meneghetti - I/O, a cura di Simonetta Lux e Alessandro Zuccari, 2013
AA.VV., NOI DIAMO [+] SENSO, Catalago mostra S.Maria della Pietà, Chiostro del Bramante, 2015
César Meneghetti. I\O è un altro, 2015
In November 2018 works of the Art Workshops of Sant’Egidio were welcomed at the UN Building in New York, with the Exhibition “Living Together – The Art of Living Together”. Visitors were impressed with the works and the explanations provided by the artists themselves who had travelled to present them.
the art workshops
The Workshops are an ongoing work in progress and their itinerary is open to the risk of further developments and new encounters.