It’s impossible to describe all of the quirks and traditions of a culture in one blog post, the best way to learn about it is to experience it! Traveling in Umbria is such a unique experience, especially if you leave your tourist mindset behind. However, if you’ve never experienced it (or if you’re about to go for the first time!), here’s what Marco has to say about Umbria in a nutshell:
Umbria is a landlocked part of Italy, and because of that, the relationship to the land is strong and lasting. There is a lot of heritage in this region, and the respect for all parts of the natural world is an important thread that binds this area.
Of course the food and wine is excellent, but there is something to be said about the history of Umbria, and its close ties to St. Francis, who is not only important to Umbrian culture, but to the whole of Italy, as its patron saint.
When people think about St. Francis, they think about peace and kindness, and that is what you will find in Umbria. Not just the absence of war and fighting, but the pursuit of harmony with others and with nature. It is this feeling that underwrites and upholds most Umbrian people, and truly influence the culture. Pax et bonum! We say, as the Franciscan order’s motto, Peace and Salvation!
On Saturday, April 2nd, our sun-filled Galleria will open with an art exhibiti featuring the works of the celebrated Giuseppe Fioroni.
Fioroni lives and works in his native Perugia, the regional capital of Umbria. A self-taught artist, he discovered his lifelong passion for painting as a young man. He has described Umbria as “a land of calm, a beautiful land, a land full of vibrations.” The greennery of the region, he has said, “is especially unforgettable,” and his love for Umbria’s olive trees and vineyards, as well as the oil and wine they produce, are inseparable from the place itself. His art has brought him all over the world, but he continues to live in Umbria, the province where he was born.
As a child in Perugia, Fioroni grew up surrounded by Umbrian folklore, mysticism, and traditional music. These themes lie at the center of his art. His vivid oil and multimedia paintings, Fioroni explores fantasy, fable, and magic through maelstroms of color and emotion. Often, he marries traditional folk narratives with elements of reverie and daydream, demonstrating a fascination with the liminal space where esoteric culture and unbridled imagination intersect.
When he set out to paint full-time, he was president and CEO of a company with 1,200 employees. Although he had always been a skilled artist, Fioroni did not want to paint professionally until the age of 36. At first, he created small paintings, never with the intention to exhibit them. He simply wished to paint. He first exhibited work in 1978 at the San Severo Gallery in Palazzo dei Priori in Perugia. He has also branched out from painting to add drawing, sculpture, and ceramics to his repertoire, and has achieved international acclaim for his work.
In addition to his pursuit of the visual arts, Fioroni is also an adroit musician of several ancient instruments, including the barrel-organ and the bagpipe. At was 8 years old, he was already a solo accordionist, Across Perugia, his musical skill has earned him the nickname “Maestro.” Music is an integral part of Fioroni’s quest to unearth the deepest spirit of Umbria’s folk traditions, and his love for folk music can be observed in the stunning lyricism of his paintings, drawing, ceramics, and sculpture.
Fioroni’s work has also been influenced by the mix of musicians who make the yearly pilgrimage from around the world to Perugia to participate and perform in the Umbria Jazz Festival. His gallery in Perugia often hosts artists who visit the city. In 2008, he was commissioned by the festival organizers to create the official Umbria Jazz poster for the celebration. Much of his work reflects the influence of jazz in his life. Often, Fioroni will alternate between painting and playing music. “Painting serves my body,” Fioroni has said, “and music serves my spirit.”
Over the past 30 years, Fioroni’s vivid, original body of work has won him adoration, acclaim, and international renown, and we at Via Umbria are very proud to showcase his work in our Galleria. Over the years, Bill and Suzy have cultivated a special relationship with Giuseppe, and are thrilled to introduce him and his remarkable work to you.
Join us in for celebrating the work of Giuseppe Fioroni at our Gallery Opening on April 2nd from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. The event is free to the public, and light refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there!