Italian artist visits Fredericksburg in cultural exchange with sister city Este, Italy
AdeleUphaus Oct 19, 2018
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An Italian artist is visiting the area this month through a cultural exchange program with Este, Fredericksburg’s sister city in northern Italy.
Nadir Frizzarin, an artist who creates on canvas, in sculpture and on the human body as a tattooist, has been in Fredericksburg since Oct. 15.
In a free event Sunday evening, he’ll exhibit works and talk about his art at LibertyTown in downtown Fredericksburg.
“Part of our goal is to bring an understanding of how other people do and see and participate,” said Kathryn Willis, president of the Fredericksburg–Este Association. “By exposing the wider community, for free, to our activities—including this artist exchange—it informs an international awareness.
“When you live in a relatively small town, the international opportunities are not as accessible, and so that’s part of our goal,” she added.
Willis describes Frizzarin’s work as vivid, edgy and abstract. Este, a small city of about 18,000 people located 50 miles from Venice, is his hometown, but he also exhibits work in larger cities across Italy, Willis said.
Fredericksburg potter Neal Reed spent two weeks in Este last summer, learning from a master ceramicist in the town, which is known globally for its china.
“The ceramics industry in Este is 3,000 years old—maybe 4,000—and they’re top-of-the-line produces of china and porcelain,” Willis said. “They did china for Queen Elizabeth, for Tiffany, everyone.”
Frizzarin, who is the first artist to visit Fredericksburg through the exchange program, is a ceramicist as well, but his primary medium is canvas, Willis said.
During his stay, Frizzarin has visited the art departments at Germanna Community College and the University of Mary Washington. He’s spent time in the studios of local artists Joan and Cameron Limbrick and Cathy Herndon.
Since he’s also a tattoo artist, Frizzarin will also visit Jack Brown’s Tattoo Revival downtown. Local tattoo artists have been invited to join him at a happy hour at the Sunken Well Tavern on Monday.
Willis said Frizzarin has been enthralled with Virginia’s green landscape.
“He loves the countryside and how green it is and the vista,” she said. “It’s not like Italy—his countryside in Italy is dry.”
Este became an official sister city of Fredericksburg in 2015. An American military contractor who now lives near Este and an Italian military attaché to the Italian Embassy approached local officials about the potential sister city relationship.
They identified Fredericksburg as a good sister city partner with Este because the two towns have similar-sized populations, and both are located about 50 miles from major cities. Like Este, Fredericksburg has strong historical roots and an active arts community. Fredericksburg also has proven sister city success with Fréjus, France.
The Fredericksburg–Este Association holds free concerts and lectures for the community and conducts fundraisers such as Pizza Palooza, a competition to choose Fredericksburg’s favorite pizza maker.
People attending the exhibit and reception Sunday can purchase a raffle ticket to win one of Frizzarin’s artworks in a fundraiser to offset travel expenses.
The community can also contribute to a GoFundMe fundraiser for the Fredericksburg–Este Association’s Italian Arts Exchange Fund. A $25 donation there will enter the donor in a raffle to win more of Frizzarin’s art at a concert of music by Italian composers on Oct. 26 at St. George’s Episcopal Church.