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Borsheim Art Newsletter:

by Kelly Borsheim copyright 10 September 2013

    CONTENTS:
  1. Stone Carving Symposium: Castelvecchio, Italy
  2. A TWO-DAY Large Marble Carving – Pontremoli, Italy
  3. Catalan Artist: M. Fortuny – a Copy in Charcoal
  4. Blog Highlights
  5. Subscription Info.

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[stone symposium simposio in pietra serena toscana]

The morning view from my bedroom window in Castelvecchio of the village San Quirico, Italy
All images by Kelly Borsheim, unless noted

Dear Art Lover,

[Stone symposium CastelveccInPietra, Tuscany simposio, Italy]
One of the largest fears I have had while in Italy was that I would not be able to continue my work as a sculptor. That changed this summer and as usual, with the help of many others. I feel very fortunate.

Stone carving symposiums are held throughout the world. They offer an economical way for a community to create or add to a public sculpture collection, as well as allowing artists to earn a living and benefit from travel and cultural experiences. Basically, a group within a community gets together and organizes the event.

The host provides housing and meals for the artists, as well as some sort of payment (this is to cover travel expenses and also living expenses, since an artist still maintains a house somewhere). The host also provides all of the stone, transportation of the stone (cranes or tractors), electrical and air power (compressor plus hoses) as they can for each artist’s carving site (with the artists notified of this before travel arrangements are finalized), carving sites (tables, umbrellas, … the location), marketing, and often some sort of ceremony at the end.

Artists bring most of the tools they will use themselves, esp. those not provided by the hosts. Some symposiums ask artists to create a maquette (‘bozzetto’ in Italian, a smaller piece or drawing to show someone else one’s idea) to apply for a space. Generally, symposiums chose artists based on the work (quality and variety for their collection) and also the country. It is more interesting to have a diversified group. In fact, my late friend and mentor Vasily Fedorouk, who had dual citizenship in his birth home Ukraine, as well as his adopted USA, told me that he was more often promoted as a Ukrainian artist than an American one. He was just more exotic that way. Ha.

[Stone symposium CastelveccInPietra, Tuscany simposio, Italy]

The first time I heard of these sorts of symposiums was when Vasily went to Brazil for one month in 2002. He carved a huge block of marble about 10 x 6 x 6 feet: Two figures and an asteroid. I asked him how an artist of his stature could afford to “give away” a sculpture of that size for only $3000. He replied, “Because I do not buy or move the stone, I do not have to try to move it and sell it later. I have my art in a new country and do not spend money to live or work in a new place. Receiving enough to pay for my flight and mortgage makes this possible.” It did not hurt that he was such an amazing artist that he finished his project in three weeks and spent the last one on the beach (“I met Miss Brazil there!” haha, everyone loves a celebrity).

The host community can work to recoup some of its expenses with good planning and promotion. Tourists are invited to watch the sculptures as they are being created (but oh, bring those ear plugs!), speak with the artists when they take a break, and enjoy the sculpture garden after the event. A community can often receive TV, radio, and newspaper coverage for such a unique cultural experience. Hotels and restaurants obviously benefit, but other businesses do as well.

Most of these symposiums happen every two years because it takes a lot of work to create a great event.

I was invited to my very first professional stone carving symposium because of a series of introductions from one Italian friend to a new one, and then a new one, and another...

My first symposium occurred in Castelvecchio, in Tuscany, directly north of Pescia, as the crow flies. If you were to “Google” it, you must zoom in quite close before it even shows up. This area of the mountains is called Valleriana and consists of small, charming towns, many reaching back to the Medieval days.

I asked to invite my street painting and marble carving friend Kumiko Suzuki to come with me. We were given a small two-bedroom stone house to ourselves. This symposium, titled "Castelvecchinpietra.2013: Scolpire la Pietra in Valleriana" with the subtitle: "Simposio Internazionale di Scultura della Pietra Serena" and was held 24 July through 4 August 2013. The Artistic Director was Silvio Viola, a sculptor who moved to Castelvecchio in 2008 and created this series of symposia for his new village. This was the fourth simposium for Castelvecchio.

Sculptors involved were: Vera Bauer & Anne Flore (German installation artists who live in Vellano, Italy, where "our" quarry is), yours truly (Kelly Borsheim, American living in Italy), Natthapon Muangkliang (Thailand), Ivan Paraskov (Bulgaria), Pavel Petras (The Slovak Republic), Giuseppe Strano Spitu (Italian living in Spain) and Kumiko Suzuki (Japanese living in Italy).

If you are interested in seeing some live action, please watch this video on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmK-xzx0XHg

[Stone Quarry in Vellano, Italy] [Kelly's stone in quarry in Vellano, Italy]

Kumiko and I left our homes in Firenze on the 23rd of July and rode the short train ride to Pescia. We were greeted there by Rita and Maurizio and driven to Castelvecchio. We enjoyed a tasty Italian dinner and got settled into our temporary home. The next day a couple of carloads of us drove over to nearby Vellano to Cave Nardini di Vellano (di Marco Nardini). "Cave" in Italian means 'quarry,' this one excavating the stone known as "Pietra Serena." You can see it in most of the old construction in Tuscany, even in the streets of Firenze.

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above Left: 24 July: We are all starting to get to know one another over lunch. Rita and Maurizio and their three handsome sons (and sometimes others) created a different lunch for us each day and many dinners, as well. Most, if not all, of the produce came from local farms. How lucky we were! Other evenings we ate in a large variety of local restaurants, often topped off by heading to a bar for a last drink before bedtime. I did not normally get to sleep before 2 a.m. While this is normal for me, working a completely full, athletic day, always surrounded by people, was tiring for me. But what a fun exhaustion!

Above right: 25 July: I had not packed my own laptop because I did not know if we would have Internet access and wondered if I could be unplugged for almost two weeks. However, my stone did not arrive to my carving site until the 25th. So, I borrowed a laptop and wrote a publicity piece for my blog and Facebook, working outdoors as much as possible. The weather was perfect up in the Tuscan mountains!

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 25 July: These are my "before" images. I examine the now isolated stone on my work table. I am not sure if you can see the red crayon marks that are the beginnings of my design on the stone. If you have followed my conversations about my process, you will know that I often stand above my sculptures to get more information about the form. Such is this last image, bottom right of the series above.

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 26 July: Artists Vera and Anne at play, while Natthapon (right) diligently works.

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above left: 25 July: I include this shot here because it is so typically Italian it warms my heart! A handshake was so warmly given when the normal greetings of kisses on each cheek was not so convenient since he was only passing by on his motorcycle. This piazza serves as a meeting place for most everyone in town. Above right: 26 July: Quarryman Marco came down to see how we were doing and spotted that the bad section of stone that I thought was gone now, was in fact, running deeper than I hoped. I lost some more height, but it is much better to remove the dead stone early and redesign.

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 26 July: One evening after dinner, one of the local bar owners, Riccardo, showed us a small manmade "cave" filled with 16th century frescos. The funny part is that in somewhat recent history of Castelvecchio, these rooms (three in total) were used to store chickens! You see, Italia is so rich in art and architecture that at some point, if a space serves another purpose for the citizens in any given time period, they use it as they see fit. Later, we were told, citizens wanted the freschii restored. It turned out that the colors were so perfectly preserved that all the art required was to be cleaned of accumulated dirt. It is sad that I never enjoyed sculpting in plaster because I really love fresco, mostly the colors. They are different from other media. Those lamps are gorgeous as well!

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 27 July: Progress pics... and I have fans!

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 27 July: Saturday night dinner in the main piazza in town! How cool was this? And they had a raffle. Silvio won the big prize of a leg of prosciutto (ham).

Right: 27 July: This fountain is the most beloved in town, even by the animal population. It features two sides in which water comes out in beautiful abundance from two very old and eroded carved stone faces. Kumiko and I freshened up for lunch each day by taking a drink and a wee bit of a bath to remove dust from our faces and arms. I miss the people there, but also the tasty, clean mountain water!

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 28 July: One joy in my day was when 4-year-old Carlo came to watch me carve stone with his grandparents. For this I was grateful that my space happened to have a stone bench nearby. They started off just asking me to sign a chipped off piece of stone as "a souvenir for when you are famous" ... ha. But later Carlo was curious about my tools. Sadly, he moved too fast for the photographer and had removed all of my safety gear (and he looked so cute in the oversized goggles!) after he decided that my tools were just too heavy for him. The good news is that he will grow stronger . . .

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 28 July: Kumiko continues to add to her sundial as she creates more chipped stone. This was brilliant, especially since wearing a watch while carving stone is not so brilliant. Normally I would not care, breaking to eat when I felt hungry... but in a group situation, one acts a bit differently. The flags we worked under were a colorful contrast to our grey stone.

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above left: 28 July: So, the key reason that I was invited to this symposium is because of this man with his hand on "my thigh." Franco Berretti had a sculpture exhibit in a lovely space in Sesto Fiorentino, a town outside of Firenze. Because I attended last year an Italian dinner at the historically famous artists' cafe Le Giubbe Rosse in Firenze, I met another Italian sculptor. He brought me to see Franco's work and while we three were talking, Silvio walked in to say hello to Franco. The boys introduced me. I showed Silvio a few snapshots of my "Gymnast" marble sculpture and he invited me to his symposium! I thought it was cool that Franco came out to support Silvio's symposium.

Above right: While I had some of my stone carving tools shipped from storage in Texas to me while I was in Florida, and then I carried them home to Italy on the plane, I lacked too many tools to be able to carve anything worthwhile in just 8 days. So, I bought a few things from a salesman. We had a compressor, but I had no oil... now I have a life-time's supply, the way I have been going. And these mountains are home to paper mills... and so the morning after my shopping spree, I was given the largest roll of paper towels I had ever seen!

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 28 July: This is our carving site at night... on the grounds of the ancient church.

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 29 July: Sadly, Pavel had to return home with his lovely family. So, we took some images of us. Vera and Anne were not working that morning, so we were still incomplete. This group shot (right) I took with a timer on my camera, using various stone fragments to support the camera in a vertical position. That is me on the right with my arm in the air like some sort of cheerleader. Boh!

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 29 July: I love this shot I took of Kumiko carving stone. Later it poured rain, but most of us were inside eating another fabulous lunch. Luckily, the sky opened up, the air cooled even more and Kumiko and I accepted an offer to go mushroom hunting with Silvio in the nearby mountains.

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 29 July: We knew we would not find the delicious and amazing porcini mushrooms. It was simply too early and conditions had not been quite right. However, symposiums are not just about the work, and a walk in the woods, especially after a fresh rain, is a delight worth taking time to notice. In any event, we found about four varieties of mushrooms, but of course, ate none of them.

[Mountain hiking Castelvecchio, Italy]

Kumiko and I got to see this old marker, labeling the border between territories of Firenze and Lucca. Note the face in the hunter's shelter in the background.

Below: Silvio has two white dogs, sisters. However, the oldest one, Zoey, looks and acts so much like my beloved Zac that I was feeling a mixture of joy and nostalgia. Mentally, I am ready to have another companion. However, I do not feel that an apartment in Firenze is a good home for a dog. The other shot was inspired by the sun making a brief appearance. How can anyone live far away from trees and rocks?

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 29 July: After bringing the dogs home and having a refreshing cold beverage at Silvio and Stefania's home, we headed off again in Silvio's jeep with Maurizio. Or goal was to find some egg-shaped stones for Kumiko to add to her creation. This led us to the river in nearby Sorana, famous for its bean production. We were told not to laugh. Apparently the farmers here receive about 22 euros per kilo of these famous beans, grown only in this region of Tuscany.

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 29 July: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . . " it had turned out to be quite a lovely afternoon and evening. Ivan had continued to sculpt and later I caught Vera and Ivan taking a little break. How fun to sit at the base of an old stone bell tower!

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

31 July: My birthday in the mountains of Italy!

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above left: 31 July: Kumiko and I pose with writer Andrea Dami who wrote the following article about our symposium:
http://www.reportpistoia.it/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7671%3Ala-pietra-prende-vita-simposio-a-castelvecchio-di-pescia&catid=252%3Atopic&Itemid=748>

What a fun birthday full of small and wonderful surprises!

Below left: 1 August: HORSEBACK riding!? Now, that was unexpected! And fun!

Below right: I started designing the splashing wave on the figure. I want to explore more about texture.

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Left: 1 August: We were each interviewed for a TV program and the video is on YouTube here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmK-xzx0XHg:

We were all quite shy in front of the camera and had to do several takes.

Above right: We are running out of time... and I am slowing down quite a bit. Most days I awoke about 5 am, as the sun began to rise (I always leave the windows open when the weather is good), slept off and on till about 8 am... worked all day and spent the entire day with people, home about 2 am, sometimes up late speaking to faraway friends on the phone. I often took a nap for about 20 minutes, trying to put it off until the sun filled my carving space (and I did not wish to work in the sun).

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 2 August: My stone sculpture, pietra serena dry . . .

Below: and wet.

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 3 August: We were also asked to create a drawing or two on the locally made art paper for the paper museum. Ivan created portraits of artists, spouses, and sponsors... from memory. I made a drawing of my sculpture with a line drawing of mountains behind her to further connect the idea of humanity as a part of Nature.

The Finished Stone Carvings for Castelvecchio Symposium 2013, Italy

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Nap Time and the Ceremony - Castelvecchio in Pietra Symposium 2013, Italy

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Above: 3 August: Sadly, a contributor to my sleepiness was that I had been immersed in the Italian language for over a week. Understanding takes effort. My comprehension is not as good as it should be, mostly because I am involved in the classical art world in Firenze, primarily English speakers. In the image to the right, above, the man in the red trousers is a poet. He composed a poem based on adjectives describing the sensory experiences of the sculptures being created in this simposio. Poetry is sometimes difficult for me to really understand, almost as much as lawyer-speak.

Most of the time when a presentation in a foreign language is too much for me to follow, I find myself daydreaming. [But in truth, I do this a lot, regardless of what is going on around me.] And I was really, really tired by this time. However, I snapped to attention a bit when I suddenly heard, "Kelly, orizontale" hahha... and then realized that this poet was going down a list of artists' first names and describing their sculptures. Hey, it could have been worse! In fact, I am pretty sure that the next evening, one of the local boys chided me for carving a nude female torso in front of the church, since 4 August is Castelvecchio's Festival of the Madonna. There was a candle-lit parade in and around the church and down into the town. Sono io!

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

Photography (below) by GianLuca Moret

See his blog entry coverage of all of the symposium works of art here:
http://gianluca-moret.blogspot.it/2013/08/argomento-del-mese-agosto-2013.html

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy] [Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

[Stone carving symposium, Castelvecchio, Italy]

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Still with me? Click here to see images of my stone carving in Pontremoli, Italy

-----------------------------------------------------------
New Art! Catalan Artist: M. Fortuny – a Copy in Charcoal

[Charcoal Drawing, Male Nude on Cross, Copy of Mariano Fortuny]
Fortuny Copy, Male Nude, 68 x 50 cm, by Kelly Borsheim

I got my hands of a sheet of Umbria paper, made in Italy, but no longer available. I have a small supply of it. I like the more organic and less geometric look compared to a lot of the lined papers that I also like. The crème color is lovely too. So, I chose to create a copy of a charcoal drawing attributed to Mariano Fortuny, a Catalan painter, famous in his own day (1838 – 1874).

What I particularly like about the piece, besides the obviously well-done male figure, of course, is that just as with Michelangelo’s “Pietà,” one does not think of the parts that do not fit. Few rarely notice that if Michelangelo’s Mary stood up, she would be of towering and inaccurate proportion compared to the grown man who is her son.

In the Fortuny, the “cross” the man poses against, does not match up. I love it that one arm straddles a slightly twisting branch, while the other reaches along a wooden plank. It is an abstraction of sorts. The artist is more interested in where the light and dark shapes can play off one another than he is in reality.

I hope you enjoy my copy of this work. He is available. The drawing is 68 x 50 cm (approximately 26 x 20 inches). Priced to find a new home at $1200 with free international shipping from Italy. Just reply to this message if you are interested in this charcoal drawing. Thank you for looking!

Please contact me directly or any of my galleries, from the Franklin Barry in Indianapolis to Gallery XO in southeast Florida to The Crucible in Norman, Oklahoma. For more information on these honorable people, please visit my gallery page:
http://www.borsheimarts.com/galleries.htm

-----------------------------------------------------------
Original Sculptures by Vasily Fedorouk

I have rarely met a person who loved to carve stone as much as my late friend and mentor Vasily Fedorouk. And I was stunned the first time I met him in 2001 in Marble, Colorado. He roughed out a belly dancer on a fountain that was taller than he was and did it in 4 days!

I was absolutely crushed when he died in 2009 while saving his dog from the surprisingly dangerous weeds in a lake near his home. His family has put a few of Vasily's sculptures up for sale to help them keep up the home collection that he had. Please take a look and if you see one that moves you, please contact me and we can make good things happen. See the artworks here: www.borsheimarts.com/vasilyfedorouk.htm

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Thank you for sharing my journey with me. I would be grateful if you chose to forward this newsletter to anyone you think would enjoy it.

Pace (peace),
Kelly Borsheim
10 September 2013


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If you enjoy Borsheim Art News, please forward it to friends and colleagues. It comes to you about 6-8 times a year from Florence, Italy-based artist Kelly Borsheim.

----------------------
Give a Book Review:

Thank you for your interest and support in the book I wrote this past summer about being a street artist in Italy. I was thrilled to receive such glowing feedback about how I had shared not only the art and the artists, but also something of the political environment regarding street art, interaction with the public and other street performers (my favorite chapter is the one in which I have invited children to join me on the pavement), as well as images of the Renaissance City herself.

The book is titled "My Life as a Street Painter in Florence, Italy." If you have read the book and would like to help in the promotion of it, perhaps you would consider writing up a short review for Amazon.com (or even send me a testimonial for my own site). Your review does not have to be fancy. The intention is to help other people get a better idea about what is inside and whether or not they may enjoy the read.

Just click here. Scroll down to the section on Customer Reviews. Click on the button to the right that says, "Create your own review" Sign in and follow their guide.

If you have not gotten your copy of the book, you may order directly from my site:
https://www.createspace.com/3659334

or from Amazon.com:

I have about 20 copies here with me in Italy, so if you are also here, just write me and we will organize the rest…



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