56th Venice Biennial of International Art September 25 – October 3, 2015

SEPTEMBER 25 – OCTOBER 3, 2015

Get ready…..2015 is the time to come to Venice with Art Encounter’s Co-Founders, Joanna Pinsky and Ellen Kamerling to attend the 56th Biennial of Contemporary Art!

Since 1895, the Venice Biennial has been the showcase for bold new work by the greatest artists of the day. Known as the “Grand Dame” of contemporary art, it sets the bar for innovative artistic trends keeping the art world abuzz. Discover what goes on behind the scenes and how the biennial impacts Venice at intimate “art encounters” with gallery dealers, local artists, and museum educators.

Then off to the island of MURANO – a mecca for any and everyone interested in the medium of glass! Since 1861, glass blowers have been creating mind blowing art work in studios and foundries on Murano. Marvel at the skill necessary to produce unique objects during demonstrations in exclusive intimate visits. Early Roman glass, Venetian trade beads, clever postmodern work – you will see it all on Murano!

Venice is a living museum, but so is VICENZA. Discover why during a memorable day tour. We’ll follow architect Andrea Palladio’s architectural triumphs from the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, in Venice, to UNESCO World Heritage sites in Vicenza.

Day 1 Depart for Venice
Day 2 
Art & Architecture on the Guidecca
Join fellow travelers for our first visual feast of many on a private guided art and architecture tour. Take a vaporetto across the Grand Canal to the Guidecca.
Visit Palladio’s architectural triumph – the Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore. Enter the church to discuss Jacopo Tintoretto’s 2 masterpieces displayed near the alter. Discover why they were the centerpiece of the 2011 Biennial of Contemporary Art.
Bring your cameras – the 360 degree view from the church bell tower is the best in Venice! Whet your appetite for contemporary art at Fondazione Giorgio Cini. After escaping the Dachau concentration camp with his son Giorgio, Victorio Cini bought the island of San Giorgio and converted a defunct naval academy into a “shipshape center for arts”. Take in the splendor of Venetian palaces and villas along the Grand Canal as we return via vaporetto for our Welcome Dinner.  D

Day 3  56th Biennial Exhibition at the Giardini
Today we attend the Biennial Exhibition on the grounds of the Giardini along the Grand Canal. The 2015 Biennial is curated by respected art critic, editor and writer OKWUI ENWEZOR. Internationally renowned artists (and tomorrow’s “famous artists”) are invited to participate in this themed exhibition that is always controversial. On a private guided tour with an art historian, we explore the issues and ideas confronting contemporary art.   Surrounding the exhibition hall are over 80 pavilions spread within a garden setting from countries around the world. Each pavilion showcases an artist (or group of artists) to represent their country. Joanna and Ellen share their favorite highlights.  The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to discover your own favorites.  B

Day 4  56th Biennial Exhibition at the Arsenale
Spend the day with Ellen and Joanna at the Arsenale, a 980 foot space that was a former historic shipyard. It is now the perfect setting for the Biennial’s large scale installations. The docks that were used to manufacture hemp rope and the sail making area are now a theater for video, film and time arts. Stay until closing and take in as much as you can.  Evening at leisure.  B

Day 5 Walking Tour of Venice Neighborhoods
Get an early start as we head for the Rialto Market – the commercial hub of Venice since 1097. Enjoy the sights and smells of the fresh produce market and the Pescheria.
Linger at lunch nearby. Next visit the Jewish Ghetto on a guided tour to learn why it is referred to as “the neighborhood that launched a Renaissance”. Discuss the history of the Ghetto and the evocative display of art work in the central square. On our walk back to our hotel, explore the wealth of Biennial collateral art exhibits displayed around Venice in piazzas, palaces, courtyards and the Lagoon. Evening at leisure.  B

Day 6   Excursion to Vincenza
Today we enjoy a full day tour to nearby Vicenza, the city of Palladio. Vicenza and its surroundings are a mecca for art and architecture lovers. It is considered a living museum of Palladian monuments. Consequently, Vicenza was designated a protected UNESCO World Heriage Site in 1994. We visit the Villa Rotonda considered one of the “most perfect buildings ever constructed” and other stunning sites. Return for an evening of leisure in Venice.  B

Day 7   Behind the scenes at galleries, studios and private collections
This morning explore the impact of Venice Biennials on the art market from a dealer’s perspective. Then meet local artists in their studios to discuss the pros and cons of making art in an art filled city. We will then visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and learn about her role as a mentor and collector. Then off to Francois Pinault’s world class contemporary art collection at the Punta della Dogana. The famous collection is housed in the old Customs House renovated by minimalist master architect Tadao Ando in 2009. It includes works of international art stars like Sigmar Polke in a jaw dropping setting. Perhaps we will have the special opportunity to meet an artist featured in the Biennial at his historic palazzo. Tonight, relax at your choice of music venues. Attend the Venice Chamber Music Orchestra while enjoying the dazzling ceilings created by Tiepolo at the Ca’Rezzonico or enjoy Vivaldi’s Four Seasons reinvented at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.  B

Day 8  Venetian Islands: Murano
Murano is famous as the age-old hub of glass making. The island is full of outstanding galleries, studios and foundries where innovative art work is pushing the boundaries of the medium of glass. Watch demonstrations and see for yourself on an exclusive tour of studios that will amaze you. Meet a dealer who is passionate about the special properties of this medium and the artists who use it. Enjoy a leisurely canal side lunch on your own and take time to collect treasures of your choice at quaint shops and galleries.  Tonight we share goodbye toasts at our “Festive Farewell to Venice Dinner”.  B,D

Day 9  Departures

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