Chicago Embraces Art and Vice Versa

We are a magnet for art and for enjoying artists – this is the message that Valeria Fanelli, one of our global bloggers tells us. But what else about this city do visitors discover?

Speaking Art Around the World
by Valeria Fanelli

“If I should define my life in this moment as an artistic period I would say: Art Informel. Art works of this period are chaotic and that’s how I see my life in this moment,” said Stefania Virno, an Italian intern at the Italian Institute of Culture of Chicago.

After graduating in Visual Art in Bologna, Italy, Virno, 29, moved to London to pursue her dream to work for an art gallery. While there, she was selected for an internship with the Italian Institute of Culture in Chicago and moved to the Windy city in September, 2012.

She is following the dream of finding a job in her field where she could use the skills she learned at school. She would like to settle down somewhere in the world and have a more ordinary life: Buy a house and be independent from her family.

“I love traveling and working abroad, but I would like to stop somewhere and start building a more stable career,” she said.

After graduating, many European young professionals decide to relocate and earn working experience in foreign countries. The hope is to find their dream job and add international experience to their portfolio.

Virno has developed a significant experience in art in Europe and the U.S. Comparing the way Americans and North Europeans promote art to Italians, she said Italy should focus more into advertising art initiatives.

“England is more similar to North America than Italy. Art there is promoted more actively and there is more interest into new artists and ideas. These countries give attention to visitors and create more people-focused museums and exhibits,” Virno said. “Italy in this moment does not have enough public founds to finance and promote adequately the huge artistic patrimony it has.”

Virno said the city of Chicago is a very active and intense artistic city. There are art

stimulations everywhere and all over the city. Her favorite museum in town is the Art  Institute.

“I visited the Art Museum several times and loved it! It has great collections and it is well organized and structured,” she said.

Virno loves the art works of the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet. Also, she feels her passion for art variates depending of the different stages of her life. She compared the way she likes to play with clothes and fashion, with the flexibility she uses to appreciate and work with art.

Even if Chicago is a great city for art, Virno said she does not see herself living in the city forever because it is too dangerous. She was concerned about safety when she arrived to Chicago.

“If I would live in Chicago, I would be too anxious.”