Vital Signs: Tuscan Residency

43°33′11″N, 11°35′22″EReconciling with Nature through Holistic Techniques      

Art Residency and show at Fattoria della Nave presented by Twisted Oyster



43°33′11″N, 11°35′22″E: Reconciling with Nature through Holistic Techniques      

Art Residency and Public Art Event at Parco Della Nave presented by Twisted Oyster

In partnership with Fattoria Della Nave and the Urban Mindfulness & Music Project for Healing (UMMPH), Twisted Oyster introduces the first of three art residencies operating at the intersection of art and activism. Vital Signs: 43°33′11″N, 11°35′22″E in the Arezzo province of Tuscany, Italy. Fattoria Della Nave located in the heart of Tuscany, comprises an 18th century villa that has been in the family for 200 years. The property’s botanical garden, Parco Della Nave, will be the setting of Vital Signs’ public event through an installation art exhibition and live event to include poetry, music and performance art. 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.

Parco Della Nave was built in the second half of the 18th century. It’s owner, Ferdinando Della Nave was a botanist and a designer, who by following his scientific background and intuition created and dedicated his life to the par. Parco Della Nave contains an array of exotic foreign species to the region, all of which have have become perennial and even introduced to other localities, including England and France. Many of the species present today are: America: Sequoia, Taxdium, Magnolie, Chamaecyparis, Fagus, Aceri, Quercus etc. and the Far East (China and Japan): Gingko, Metasequoia, Criptomeria, Thuia, Salix babilonica, Nespolo, Camelie etc.

“Many of the specimens have dimensions and stems that arouse wonder and admiration; cedar conifers (Cedrus atlantica, deodara and libani) and the bald cypress trees (Taxodium Disticum) on the banks of the man-made lake with almost unreal chromatic results. Also, the vegetation that surrounds the lake is rendered in an unusual hues: Green in Spring, yellow in the Summer and golden in the Autumn, and by using the ‘tree of three coins’ (Gingko biloba) as an experiment successfully used by the architect Poggi in the second half of the 1800s in Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence. It is worth noting the use of the American walnut grove (Liquidambar Styraciflua) at the lake to create the effect of autumn foliage.

Most recently, up until the 1940s, the park was enriched with another exotic species – the Metasequoia (metasequoia glyptostroboiedes Hu Cheng) discovered in China during the Second World. Beforehand it was only known about through fossils and due to its elegant form and dense foliage it was introduced in Europe as an ornamental plant.

Amongst the specimens found in the park, one can find some of the most ancient flora here in Italy.

Finally, the gigantic centuries old Sequoia (Sequoiadendron Giganteum B.), unfortunately partly damaged by lightning, but continues to stand more than 35 metres tall with a circumference spanning more than 5.2 metres. It is included in the category of Monumental Italian Trees.”

Vital Signs: 43°33′11″N, 11°35′22″E aims to bring awareness to the impact of climate change in the Mediterranean region. Our frail environment is the single most important issue affecting humanity today. From pollution to scarcity, disappearance of species and migrations. The two week residency will expose artists to a variety of meditation techniques, including Gratitude as a common thread throughout all of the mindfulness practices. These exercises will allow artists to rediscover the brilliance of nature through the golden ratio and our connection with the space; infusing positive, mindful, radical acceptance, love, abundance and sensorial exercises to reconnect mind, heart and spirit to nature.

This residency proposes to reconcile with nature by creating multimedia site-specific works: Sound, music, film/video, poetry, fiber, installation and new media artworks by inviting artists to create new works or expand existing work, self reflect, connect and collaborate with other artists. The approach to this residency program is its holistic foundation and support through promoting artists whose practice relates to and further ideas and by giving back to the community.

Twisted Oyster opens call to artists, activists, musicians, instrumentalists, producers, multimedia artists, vocalists and composers who create, are encouraged to apply, as well as filmmakers, writers, poets, performers and wellness practitioners whose work is grounded in Social Change, Spirituality, Mindfulness, Individual and Community Healing, Self Care, Ecology and Natural Systems; and to everyone interested in creating site specific works during a two week residency in response to their personal experience with mindfulness, climate change and the preservation of our natural environment.

Residency Program Includes:

Weeks 1&2.-

  • Presentation/symposium on climate change
  • Mindfulness workshop
  • Presentation/symposium with local environmentalist (TBD)
  • Artists roundtable: colloquium, presentations, discussions, critique, studio visits
  • Excursion to local artist workshop
  • Excursion to The Gori Collection
  • Community/civic engagement: Public Art and Live Event
  • Create new work or continue work 
  • Reiki circle

Week 3.-

  • Parco Della Nave Botanical Garden Installation Art Exhibition presenting multidisciplinary visual arts, poetry, music and performance

Cost Includes:

  • 2-week residency (see details below)
  • Shared Lodging (apartments with kitchens)
  • Catered breakfast and dinner
  • WiFi
  • Studio space
  • Excursion to The Gori Collection at Fattoria de Celle –  Famous private outdoor art collection holding works of many artists, including: Robert Morris, Dennis Oppenheim, Richard Serra, Sol Lewitt, Richard Long, Daniel Buren, Enrico Castellani. Luciano Fabro, Mimmo Paladino, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Burri and many others. (
  • Excursion to local artist studio
  • Excursion to contemporary art gallery in San Gimignano (UNESCO World heritage Center)
  • Access to pool
  • Families and groups are welcome (please email – Families with kids under 10: eat free + if they sleep in the same bedroom with parents, their stay is free of charge.
  • Guaranteed entry to a future juried show exhibition by Twisted Oyster

Optional at Additional Cost:

  • Private bedroom
  • Entire apartment
  • Additional coaching sessions
  • 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.

Getting Around:

  • Taxis
  • Public transport:

From Pisa Airport: Catch public transport or taxi to Pisa railway station. Buy ticket to Firenze (1 hour).

From Florence Airport, you get the shuttle to the Firenze railway station.

From Firenze railway station: Buy train tickets to Montevarchi (40 mins), closest station to Cicogna.

In Montevarchi: Take a cab to Fattoria Della Nave (15 mins).

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

Important Dates:

  • Spring Residency: May 25 – June 8, 2019 (2 weeks)
  • Spring Site-specific Art Show in Botanical Garden: June 8-15 (+1 week)
  • Fall Residency: September 14-28, 2019
  • Fall Art Show: To be determined

Artist/Writers/Curators/Musicians Application Requirements:

  • Statement of purpose/proposal
  • CV Resume
  • Short bio
  • Any special accommodation requests
  • 5 (slides) sample work
  • Artist website
  • Filled and signed residency application form
  • The residency offers the opportunity to work alone or together, interchange ideas, create and present artwork
  • Artists must provide their own supplies/equipment
  • Due to limited space, please indicate if you would be interested in additional (Not Included) excursions like: Nearby Wineries, Wine Cellars in Chianti, Florence tour, Nature Oriented Excursions or Other Cultural Attractions.

Non-artist participants:

Must submit a statement of why are they interested in this program, how would their participation assist them in their personal/professional lives, including a brief description of their current understanding of climate change (there is no right or wrong answer, this simply helps us craft a great presentation), and let us know if you are interested in farming activities.

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




This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 artists including Chronixx, Ledisi, PJ Morton, and John Legend.

nu deco headshotArianne 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.

She 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 Sound Bowl/Sound Healing artists in Chicago.

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 looks to Mindfulness 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 radical self acceptance through awareness – shining light, compassion, truth, and connectedness in every facet of life.

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.

You will be invited to make payment upon acceptance. 

Vital Signs: Tuscan Residency Deposit – due March 15 – Secures space

2 week residency – May 25 – June 8




Vital Signs: Tuscan Residency Balance – Due April 30, 2019

2 week residency – May 25 – June 8




Vital Signs: Tuscan Residency – Extended Stay to 3rd Week

June 8-15, 2019


Film and New Media Festival

%d bloggers like this: