Arte Sella is a permanent exhibition dedicated to Art in Nature, founded in 1986 and still managed today by the homonymous cultural association. During the 1980s, particularly after the Chernobyl tragedy, there was a need to re-establish a new relationship with nature. This reflection has been combined with making art in nature, a possibility to distance oneself from traditional artistic canons, in a new and freer space of expression, far from the logic of the art market and traditional atelier-gallery-museum circuits.
The projects that Arte Sella produces and supports are part of a creative process in which the artist abandons the role of protagonist and flanks nature, his ally in the creation and conservation of the work. Each artist chooses, together with the artistic direction, the place where to place his work, without making radical changes to the territory, but respecting it and acting in synergy and harmony with it. Once the space has been identified and the project conceived, the artist creates and delivers his work to nature, using natural materials similar to the place. The mutation of work is continuous, constant and subject to weather conditions and the passing by of the seasons. This dimension of artistic work has a different relationship with ecology: nature is no longer only protected but interpreted in its essence, it is a source of knowledge and experience that must be safeguarded through an attitude of respect and attention on the side of human beings.
Started as an event with a biennial character, Arte Sella is now a large park, almost an open-air museum that includes a considerable portion of the Val di Sella, a side of the Valsugana Valley in Trentino. Two routes can be visited throughout the year, with different times that change according to the natural variation of the hours of light. A first route begins at Villa Strobele, one of the many historic houses in the valley, which was excluded from the building boom of the '60s precisely because of its remoteness. In the garden of the villa, birthplace of Arte Sella, you can visit a first part of the works, in particular the section dedicated to Arte Sella Architecture: here it is possible to see the installations created in collaboration with internationally renowned architects thanks to the partnership with the Polytechnic of Milan. From the garden of the villa begins the ArteNatura path, which contains some of the most historical works of Arte Sella. The route winds along a forest road immersed in the woods and parallel to the valley road. Once at the end of this route, you can visit the heart of Arte Sella: the area of Malga Costa. The building of the hut, once dedicated to cows in the pastures, is now an exhibition and concert hall, and around it unfolds a path that contains perhaps the most famous and scenic works, such as the Vegetable Cathedral of Giuliano Mauri.
Artists and works
Every year the artistic director of Arte Sella- Emanuele Montibeller - selects and invites some artists to spend a period of residence at Malga Costa, from which comes out in the following period the design idea that will be later concretized. This is how the works of Arte Sella were born, from sharing, comparisons and discussions.
During these thirty years, numerous artists of national and international fame have taken over from Arte Sella. About fifty works are visible along the routes and change with the passing of the seasons, including the imposing Vegetable Cathedral, built in 2001 by the artist Giuliano Mauri and became over time a symbol of Arte Sella. Some collaborations have not stopped at a single season, but have become important relationships and more continuous collaborations, such as those, for example, with the artists Rainer Gross, Will Beckers, Urs Twellmann and Gianadrea Gazzola.
Events and collaborations
Throughout its history Arte Sella has hosted the creative energy of over three hundred artists from different disciplines. Singers and actors have found space and inspiration among operas to record videos or create shows or concerts. Here was born the "Fucina", workshop and dining room of artists under the artistic direction of cellist Mario Brunello. Every year internationally renowned musicians are invited to create moments in which to interpret famous scores by creating unique moments in sharing with the public. Arte Sella has welcomed and promoted projects related to writing and poetry and has become a privileged place for contemporary dance, realized by Roberto Casarotto. In recent years, at Malga Costa meetings and seminars are organized, in which personalities from the world of culture share the study and reflection on issues related to the relationship between human beings and nature, under the scientific direction of Ugo Morelli.
Through the creative gaze of writers, artists, musicians and thinkers, every year Arte Sella is renewed and reborn - never the same as itself - always deeply connected with nature and the ancestral landscape that inspires it.