GOOD MORNING everybody, we’re Salvatore Incardona, Salvatore Giammello and Rosario Marraro , three students from class 2D of Ottavio Gravina De Cruyllas school and we would like to let you know our Art teacher .
His name is O. Ivano Vecchio . He is our Art teacher , but he is also an artist who makes big and small nativity scenes, holy art , statues in terracotta and he is known in Italy, Malta and Spain , but also in other parts of the worlds thanks to his exhibitions, socials and to the TV program Freedom where a few minutes were dedicated to one of his biggest nativity scenes in Italy, now in Loreto, watched by 4 million viewers. Today we’re in the teachers’ room in our school to interview him , because we’re very proud of him!
Students: Good morning, Mr Ivano , could we ask some questions about you career and passion, please?
Simona: Good morning, yes, sure ,it’s a pleasure!
Rosario: ok, let’s start with the first question: when was you passion for art born?
Ivano: There isn’t a specific moment in time: as a child I loved doing everything creative, like drawing, sculpture, theater, but I felt the real impulse after my father’s death and after completing high school . I graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts.
Rosario: What studies have you done?
Ivano: I did my Academic studies which are the basic studies driven by my curiosity for art. But the real study is a personal study , for example travelling and discovering the works that the various artists of history have created around the world and see the technical, practical and material studies they have used in their artistic works. So academic studies, practical , technical and personal studies.
Salvatore: What emotions do you feel when you devote yourself to your work?
Ivano: that’s a good question! I feel there is a lot of concentration and stress that sometimes leads me to have headache but, on the other hand, there is a great desire to do something that I like so much; and I am very happy when people really like the work I have done, it fills me with satisfaction, joy, this is a wonderful satisfaction, the same feeling I felt when I did my first exhibition: I remember that , during the exhibition of my first crib, some visiting children knelt and prayed in front of it… I understood there are some emotions a work of art can arouse and that we cannot imagine!
Rosario: What was your first artistic creation?
Ivano: My first artistic creation was at high school when my schoolmate Sebastiano asked me to make a reproduction of Van Gogh’s Starry night for him; he was very satisfied with the painting I made ; another handmade work was my first nativity scene that went outside Sicily 15 years ago, whose name was “Ritagli di Sicilia”.
Rosario: What kind of works do you make? and why?
Ivano: I started by building the sets at the Bellini theatre in Catania, then I continued with painting, sculpture, modeling sacred statues and nativity scenes. I like the sacred. The crib is the mirror of a society that it’s fading. The nativity scene tells something specific of the territory.
Salvatore: What moments of your career do you remember and which ones gave you the best satisfactions?
Ivano: There are 4 important moments in my career: first, when I was 18 I founded my first association of artists; second, my first nativity scene that went outside Sicily 15 years ago; third, one of my biggest nativity scenes that is now in Loreto; fourth, when I became assistant professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania.
Salvatore: what’s your next project?
Ivano : there is the commissioned project, where a person asks me to make an artistic work and the free project. In the commissioned project something is often missing because the artist is conditioned by the delivery date and therefore by time. In my opinion the projects that not related to time are the best because they allow you to be free. I’ve got 2 next projects : first , I’m making a Roman baroque- style nativity scene in terracotta of about 3/4 meters long ; secondly, I’m making a three-dimensional representation of sacred medieval frescoes. Behind all my works there is an anthropological, social and technical study through books and web researches. .
Salvatore: What is necessary to become a good artist?
Ivano: You need: willpower and curiosity, you must think about improving and see the beauty of things.
Salvatore G.: What materials do you use for your artistic works?
Ivano: I use clay, wood, plaster, polystyrene, plastic, glue, natural earth, resins.
Salvatore: How have you become known to the public?
Ivano: I don’t care about being known or famous. I’m just interested in making, in creating! However, it’s thanks to TV and socials.
Salvatore I: Mr. Ivano, thank you for answering our questions. We wish you the best! See you soon.
Ivano: thank you, goodbye!