Culture in Ticino by Pamela Pintus
The Swiss region of the Canton of Ticino can be an interesting and stimulating destination both from a naturalistic point of view and in terms of art and culture. In fact, there are many appointments that are renewed every year at the museums and places of interest in the main cities of this canton, as well as are particularly varied activities and events planned this year for the coming months. Locarno, Chiasso, Bellinzona and Lugano, in addition to offering the opportunity for relaxing holidays, thanks to the presence of the beautiful Alps with breathtaking views, also offer the opportunity to participate in numerous activities, exhibitions and events to experience a day of culture. The offer reflects, in a certain sense, the very variety of the Canton: from the imposing structure of the LAC with a full daily program of events, to the smaller and more intimate exhibitions, suitable for a selected public. Don't forget, then, the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso in Locarno, in whose museum you can admire precious works of art, or the Castelgrande in Bellinzona with its medieval shows or the natural Amphitheatre of the marble quarries in Arzo. In just over half an hour by car you can easily move from Chiasso to Lugano, while in an hour from Lugano you can reach Locarno to visit, in the same day, the largest number of places of interest in the Canton.
Let's see, then, which are the proposals planned in the near future in these cities and which galleries, museums or foundations to visit.
One of the main artistic and cultural landmarks of the Canton Ticino is represented by the LAC, the Lugano Art and Culture, a multifaceted and international center, created to give space to all forms of art, whether visual, scenic or musical. In this way, an increasingly heterogeneous and vast public is involved, but above all, the new generations are brought closer to culture, thanks to the programming of high quality and particularly innovative events. The structure, in fact, was designed and built to give space to different events at the same time. There are a museum, the Teatrostudio, several multipurpose rooms and conference rooms, the Agorà and Piazza Luini overlooking the beautiful lake and welcomes visitors who arrive at the LAC. Thanks to this structure, Lugano is an essential destination for all art lovers in all its forms; the calendar of events scheduled for the months of May and June is also very varied.
Here is an overview of the most interesting ones. On May 3rd the Berliner Philharmoniker directed by Daniel Harding performed at the Sala Teatro, with a selection of pieces from Wagner's Parsifal and Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet, interspersed with other music by great artists such as Debussy. On May 4that at the theater was staged "Family Party", a show born from the assembly of various texts by Luigi Pirandello on the family theme, expertly revisited thanks to the advice of Andrea Camilleri. On May 5th and 7th there was guided tours of the two exhibitions "Surrealism Switzerland" and "Hodler, Segantini, Giacometti" are scheduled at the "Museo d’Arte della Svizzera Italiana"; participation is free of charge by booking online a day before. Both exhibitions are open until June 16th and July 28th respectively. In May, the LAC Atelier will host the "Bambini in scena" and "4 stagioni" (May 11th at 10 a.m.) workshops; the first is an unprecedented experience in the museum's rooms, dedicated specifically to children, while the second is a journey through the seasons of life through the works of Giorgio Vicentini. The Church of the Angioli, instead, will host spiritual concerts and organ Vespers on May 12th, 26th and June 27th from 8.30 pm.
The exhibition dedicated to the works of Franz Gertsch will be held at MASI LAC from May 12th September 22nd; in fact, on the artist's 90th birthday, his woodcuts and wood carvings will be exhibited. Also, at the MASI, on June 7th at 18.30 is planned a guided tour of art, music and poetry with a reading of literary pieces and live musical moments. On June 13th at 6 p.m. there will be a pleasant convivial meeting entitled "Let's toast to Art", an opportunity to meet experts in the field and talk about art in front of a good glass of wine. Another exciting event is the one scheduled for June 9th at 3 p.m. at the Atelier, wholly dedicated to portraiture with the creation by the participants of personal works to take home as souvenirs.
The Museum of Art of Italian Switzerland (MASI), mentioned several times before, is an important cultural reality of the city of Lugano. It was born from the merger between the Museo Cantonale di Arte and the Museo d'Arte della Città di Lugano in order to give greater impetus and diffusion to the projects carried out. It has two offices: the first at the LAC and the second at the Palazzo Reali. The MASI LAC has an area of over 2’500 square meters, entirely dedicated, as seen, to temporary exhibitions thanks to the modernity and flexibility of the spaces. For art lovers, there is also the Olgiati Collection, open until June 16th, entitled "A Collection in Progress" with the new exhibition Nature is What We See, with works strongly linked to the theme of nature and the environment.
The opportunities offered by the city of Lugano in terms of art and culture certainly do not end here. Anyone who wants to can dedicate a day to the Villa of the Ciani brothers, dating back to 1840 and built in the park that runs along the lake. The visit is particularly interesting for the historical memory that it evokes, linked to the Risorgimento and liberalism of which the Ciani were witnesses. Interesting are the original furnishings of the time, the interactive projections, the historical archive and the surrounding park.
The Hermann Hesse Museum is in the Camuzzi Tower, part of the homonymous historical house. It is a small collection entirely dedicated to the Nobel Prize winner, who decided to live in Ticino. It is also an international reference point that promotes activities, meetings and seminars on the figure of Hesse and exhibits his watercolors, made between 1919 and 1938.
An interesting alternative route in Lugano is the Parco delle Sculture (Sculpture Park), created at the end of the 1970s with the acquisition of various works of art by local and international artists. At the Belvedere Garden, therefore, you can walk admiring sculptures by Carlo Ciarli, Massimo Ghiotti, Remo Rossi, Nag Arnoldi and many others, in a pleasant and stimulating path thanks to the presence of a bike path, relaxation areas and special lighting.
Moving from Lugano to Chiasso, there are also opportunities to organize a different parenthesis from the usual. The Cultural Centre of Chiasso, in fact, offers a wide range of exhibitions, shows and events. Among these, the Biennale dell'immagine should be mentioned: Marcello Dudovich and photography and Franco Grignani: polysensory between art, graphics and photography, both on display at the M.A.X. Museum. The poster of the Cinema-Theatre is equally rich and varied with performances of comedies, concerts and ballets. At the Spazio Officina on May 11thit will be possible to attend the "CON - SCIENZE THEATRE - dar VOCE" a performance that revolves around culture and humanistic innovation, with a virtual bridge between Chiasso and San Francisco where the event won a prestigious prize. From May 25thto June 5th, instead, there will be the exhibition "Young artists prize - Synesthesia in the world of art", a competition to promote the contemporary art of emerging young people.
In Locarno, it is worth visiting the Pinacoteca Casa Rusca, located in a beautiful eighteenth-century building that houses works from the city's museums, and the Ghisla Art Collection, a building in the shape of a red cube, which does not go unnoticed and which houses paintings by modern and contemporary artists from the private collection of Martin and Pierino Ghisla.
Finally, here are some of the most interesting Art Galleries in the area, located mainly in Lugano, which is a real cultural hub for fans of the sector:
As we have seen, therefore, the cultural offer of the Canton Ticino is very heterogeneous and varied and allows art lovers in all its forms to carve out their own space to live a different day at the gates of Italy.