The art residency program at Nostravita began in 2016 with Wojtek Walicki, a beautiful Polish artist who made the amazing metal couch that many of you have enjoyed while watching the panorama from Nostravita.
Over the years we have had the pleasure to host 5 (or 6?) artists as part of the art residency program. These artists have left their beautiful mark on Nostravita.
Last fall, we had the pleasure of meeting John Manchester and his family during a tour. When Annibale discovered that John was a landscaper, they immediately started talking about a possible art residency. We instinctively felt a deep connection with this reserved sweet man with his clear Italian origins; a man who was sent to visit us through word of mouth thanks to Tammy Murphy, a dear collaborator of ours.
Weeks later, we were so happy to receive a letter from him announcing that he accepted our invitation to come, and finally, on April 27th this year, we were able to hug him again under the ancient oak.
During the winter months, I helped coordinate between my dad and John the project they had chosen for the residency: a stone amphitheater near the oak tree from where we would have the possibility to enjoy a performance or simply to enjoy the beauty of the ancient oak tree and the surrounding landscape.
What impressed me deeply about this residency was how fast this beautiful project became a reality!
During the winter Agim and Annibale collected beautiful, amazing local stones, tools, and items that John would need to build the amphitheater. But I was so surprised how John, helped by Agim and our neighbor Sergio, and under the supervision of Annibale, created most of the amphitheater in just 2 weeks!
Having John every day at our home with us was also a beautiful part of the experience. His polite, smiling, and delicate presence, full of enthusiasm and respect touched our hearts.
His family joined him at the end of his residency to relax and enjoy the Italian experience. When he and his family left, we were so sad to say goodbye to this kind, gentle man.
After John’s departure, the last touches on the amphitheater were finished in 2 weeks by Agim and Sergio, following John’s instructions. The beautiful amphitheater is now ready to be used by artists and performers.
So… don’t be shy! Let us know if you want to take advantage of this amazing place. We would love for you to join us.
A big hug and THANK YOU TO JOHN and his family for letting him come to Nostravita. The amphitheater will always be a way to feel John with us daily and to make our hearts sing with joy.