Vital Signs: Arezzo

Reconciling with Nature through Holistic Techniques, A Self-Directed Art Residency

Presented by Twisted Oyster and Urban Mindfulness & Music Project    |    Location: Arezzo in Florence
Residency Date Options: June 2-8, 2019   |   Optional: June 9-15, 2019
  • 1-week cost: 525. Euro
  • 2-week cost: 1025. Euro
  • Children under 10 stay for free (meals included)
  • Groups of 4 or more participants will receive a 100. Euro discount

Residency Details: This is a collaborative project between Twisted Oyster and the Urban Mindfulness & Music Project for Healing (UMMPH) operating at the intersection of art and healing with nature.

Residency location information:

  • Fattoria Della Nave located in the heart of Tuscany, comprises an 18th century villa that has been in the same family for over 200 years. The property’s botanical garden will be the setting for this residency. The gardens are an integral aspect of this residency as it contains exotic vegetation from the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, Asia and North America, and is accessible to the locals and general public
  • Parco Della Nave was built in the second half of the 18th century. It’s owner, Ferdinando Della Nave, a botanist and a designer, followed his scientific background and intuition to create and dedicated his life to the park
  • Parco Della Nave contains an array of exotic foreign species to the region, all of which have become perennial and they have even been introduced to other localities like England and France. Many of the species present today are Sequoias, Taxdium, Magnolie, Chamaecyparis, Fagus, Aceri, Quercus, along other species like Gingko, Metasequoia, Criptomeria, Thuia, Salix Babilonica, Nespolo, Camelie from the Near and East regions of Asia

Our frail environment is the single most important issue affecting humanity today, from pollution to scarcity, disappearance of species and migrations.

Vital Signs: Arezzo Residency will expose artists to a variety of meditation techniques, including mindful practices, love, abundance and sensorial exercises to reconnect mind, heart and spirit to nature. These exercises will allow artists to rediscover the brilliance of nature through the golden ratio and our connection with the space; infusing positive, radical acceptance through selfless gratitude.

  • Artists will have ample opportunity to connect and talk about their work and practice with locals and other visitors
  • Artists are encouraged to create work publicly in botanical garden, which is accessed freely by the community
  • Artists are welcome to create new works or expand existing work, self-reflect, connect, collaborate with other artists and engage in this temporal community
  • The approach to this residency program is its holistic foundation and support through promoting artists whose practice further ideas and concerns of our world today
  • Twisted Oyster encourages cross-disciplinary artists, curators, activists, musicians, instrumentalists, producers, multimedia artists, vocalists, dancers, filmmakers, poets, writers, composers to apply.
  • This is a great opportunity for professionals whose work is grounded in Social Change, Spirituality, Mindfulness, Individual and Community Healing, Self-Care, Ecology and Natural Systems; and to anyone interested in creating site specific works in response to their personal experience with mindfulness, concern for climate change, preservation of our natural environment, and a desire to bridge communities.

About the Accommodations:

  • The residency consists of shared 2-3 bedroom apartments with kitchenettes.
  • Although two meals are included, artists have an option to prepare their own meals.
  • Artists are able to create work in the grounds of the botanical gardens and have access to all common areas, including the home’s pool.

The fee covers:

  • Accommodations for 7 days
  • Use of premises for art making
  • 2 meals per day (breakfast and dinner)
  • 1-2 excursions (depending on group size): Siena and Gori Collection
  • Healing meditations and workshops

It does not include airport transportation, art supplies or audio/visual equipment.

Note: Vital Signs: Arezzo is a paid residency. It is not associated with any arts organization. There is no funding available for participants, but we can provide letter of invitations.


  • Artists are expected to keep all working areas tidy and clean at the end of the residency
  • Artists are expected to be respectful of Parco Della Nave – Botanical Garden – and take time to leave it debris free

Deposits, cancellations and refunds:

  • Payment Due in Full by May 29, 2019
  • No refunds after May 30, 2019

Getting to Arezzo:

  • 95 km: Perugia, Italy (PEG / LIRZ)
  • 95 km: Florence, Italy (FLR / LIRQ)
  • 161 km: Pisa, Italy (PSA / LIRP)

All participants are expected to arrive at Fattoria Della Nave by 18:00 on June 1, 2019

Note to Applicants:

  • If you require funding in order to participate, please research funding opportunities where you live prior to applying.  We can assist by writing official letters of invitation
  • Participants must speak and understand English


  • Artists are expected to hold their own travel/health insurance, and to have their work and supplies/material insured
  • Note on Insurance: While Fattoria Della Nave, Twisted Oyster and any of their affiliates do their best to ensure guests’ safety at all times, we will not be held responsible for personal illness, injuries, accidents, physical/material loss, stolen or damaged personal belongings while on the premises or in transit to and from venue
  • You are required to have travel and health insurance

Optional at Additional Cost:

  • Private bedroom
  • Entire apartment
  • Additional mindfulness/wellness sessions
  • Excursion to nearby wineries
  • Excursion to Florence (77 Km/48 miles, 45 minute train raide) – Suggested:
  • Excursion to Siena (70 Km/40 miles)
  • Excursion to wine cellars in Chianti region
  • Nature Oriented Excursions: trekking, bikes or horse riding from a local partner
  • Other Cultural Attractions: Medieval villages of Gropina, Cortona, Poppi, Volterra and the attractions of Santuario della Verna and Camaldoli.
  • Additional wellness activities available, including yoga therapy, mindfulness, massage, acupressure, reiki, herbalism, provided by local practitioners—cost varies

Getting Around:

  • Taxis
  • Public transport:
  • Attendees are responsible for their own transport from and to airport.

Individuals, collectives, ensembles and groups are encouraged to apply!


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About the Urban Mindfulness & Music Project for Healing: UMMPH is a mindfulness project lead by violinist Arianne Urban, a Chicago/Miami based freelance musician and an active solo, chamber, and orchestral player. Urban collaborates with recording artists, arrangers and producers working in film and session work. She is a member of the pioneering Nu Deco Ensemble in Miami, Florida and regularly records with Arranger Matt Jones in Chicago, playing on Grammy Nominated Albums with Chronixx, Ledisi, John Legend, and recently, the Grammy Winning Song “How Deep is Your Love” on PJ Morton’s latest album Gumbo Unplugged.

nu deco headshot

Urban is currently pursuing a Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher Certification, and completed an intensive eight week Mindfulness Stress Reduction Based workshop in 2012. Urban has collaborated with co-founder of Inner Sense Healing Arts Collective, Cassandra Justine, and is actively creating other collaborations with Vibrational Sound Healing artists in Chicago.

Arianne utilizes Mindfulness in her daily practice as a powerful tool in moving moment to moment through life with joy and ease. She has found through her own personal experience, the power of self reflection through awareness – shining light, compassion, truth, and connectedness in every facet of life.

Arianne has shared the stage with world-renowned artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea, Yoshiki, Josh Groban, David Foster, the Marley Brothers, Johnny Mathis, Andrea Bocelli, Gloria Gaynor, Edgar Meyer, Jon Secada, Father John Misty, Gil Shaham, Gloria Estefan, and George Benson, to name a few.

Urban holds a Masters Degree in Music from DePaul University and received her Bachelors of Music from the Frost School of Music, where she was First Violinist of the Stamps String Quartet — an elite group of string students that represented the University of Miami through international performances. Urban was also the ConcertMaster of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, one of the nation’s premiere training orchestras for young emerging professional musicians.

Arianne’s desire is to elevate others’ experience of Being in this world, through an array of practices and techniques rooted in present moment awareness of thoughts, physical sensations, and emotional states of being.



Organizer’s Brief Bio

Pía Cruzalegui is a Peruvian born artist and independent curator based in Chicago. Her work focuses on the tensions, interruptions, displacements and inadequacies associated with culture, politics,  and socio-economics surfacing from the ethnic experiences as an immigrant. Central to her work is the subconscious dialogue brought forward by memory, time and space, and the observance and deconstruction of this perception by amplifying images as gestures to present a fragmented narrative. Pía received an MFA in Studio Practice from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, holds degrees in Communications: Film and Multimedia, and Latin American Studies from Florida Atlantic University, and Architectural Design from Miami Dade College. Pia Cruzalegui is the founder and director of Twisted Oyster Festival.


SOCIAL MEDIA: @TwistedOyster


Film and New Media Festival

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