Fondazione Agnelli and Pinacoteca Agnelli support an art intervention for the “Salvemini” school building in Mirafiori, Turin

An open and inclusive school that commits every day to enhancing every student’s learnings must be able to welcome everyone and help people work together. The same applies also for projects that aim to engage the entire school community and its neighbourhood. This was the educational context in which Facciamo pArte started at the “Gaetano Salvemini” Comprehensive School in Turin’s Mirafiori Sud district, which was presented today at the inauguration of an art intervention on the façade of the Via Negarville building.

Facciamo pArte (a play on words that juxtaposes the Italian “facciamo arte”, meaning “let’s make art” and “facciamo parte”, meaning “we belong”) is a project by Fondazione Agnelli and the “Salvemini” school, in collaboration with the Pinacoteca Agnelli art gallery. The project was inspired by the collaboration among the Exor group companies that participated in the Corporate Activities on Education training course in autumn 2021.

The initiative has sparked a participatory and multidisciplinary educational journey straddling architecture, storytelling, visual and performing arts, which developed between May and November by engaging primary school students and their teachers in a dialogue with an artist. The first step was a series of workshops focused on words and images, which started a process leading to the reclamation of school spaces and to the art intervention on the façade of the building, which has an impact on the whole neighbourhood.

The presentation was attended by the Mayor of Turin, Stefano Lo Russo, and the city’s Councillor for Education Carlotta Salerno, welcomed by the principal Barbara Floris together with the Chairman of Fondazione Agnelli John Elkann and the Director of Pinacoteca Agnelli Sarah Cosulich, representing the two organisations that made the project with the school possible. Representatives of Circoscrizione 2 (the precinct Mirafiori belongs to) and Piedmont’s Regional School Office (Ufficio Scolastico Regionale del Piemonte) were also present.

Facciamo pArte integrated both educational and artistic processes. The former established a dialogue between students and artist Elena Mazzi, selected by Pinacoteca Agnelli to translate the participatory process into a site-specific art intervention. The children and their teachers (as well as their families in some instances) embraced the artist’s suggestions to play and think together about images and letters, with the goal of finding meaningful words for the school and its context, which would later be translated into visuals for the building’s façade by proposing rebus puzzles to make up and solve. At the end of the process, the noun “humanity” and the adjective “open” were selected for the installations. Having emerged from the dialogue between the artist and the students, these two words take us back to a dimension of inclusivity that is able to go beyond the school context, so as to embrace the entire community, spurring reflections on rights and citizenship.

“In addition to conducting research to help make Italy’s school system more modern and inclusive, Fondazione Agnelli – John Elkann said – carries out tangible projects for schools and with schools, paying special attention to situations where particular efforts must be made to guarantee everyone high-quality educational opportunities. With today’s initiative, we have joined forces with Pinacoteca Agnelli and with the community that revolves around the ‘Salvemini’ school, to express our commitment and dedication through art and engagement, in a neighbourhood where we always had strong bonds, and which continues to be central to our activities.”

Facciamo pArte: watch the video (in Italian).

The project also recruited a class of the “Colombo” junior secondary school to document the process. The log kept by class 3C is available here (in Italian).

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