A Legacy of Making: 21 Contemporary Italian American Artists

Curated by Joanne Mattera and Joseph Sciorra

Exhibition opening takes place on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at 6pm.

The work of the twenty-one artists featured in this exhibit offers a richness of form, medium, subject matter, color, and style that is a delight and a revelation to behold. Connections to a discernable Italian art tradition—or for that matter to Italian American aesthetic practices more specifically—vary across the exhibition, ranging from the explicit to the suggestive to the nonexistent.

After the opening on September 27, the exhibition will be accessible during business hours, 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, and is located in the Galleria of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute.

Detail of Due Facc’, by John Avelluto, 2020

Honoring Pete Panto, in the New York Times

Today’s New York Times features an article by James Barron that details Calandra’s Dr. Joseph Sciorra’s tireless campaign to recognize the life of dockworker Pete Panto by erecting a gravestone for the murdered labor activist buried in the St. Charles Cemetery on Long Island. Read the article here. And please consider attending the commemoration of Panto that will take place at the gravesite on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, at 2:30pm. Click here for the address and further details.

Dr. Joseph Sciorra Gives Talk at Italian American Museum of Los Angeles

Dr. Jjoseph Sciorra speaking at IAMLA
Joseph Sciorra speaking on Italian American embroidery at the IAMLA. Image used with kind permission of Luisa Del Giudice.

On Saturday, April 23, Dr. Sciorra made a presentation at the IAMLA in connection with the museum’s show “Woven Lives: Exploring Women’s Needlework from the Italian Diaspora.” The talk incorporated some material from his 2014 book (with co-editor Edvige Giunta, published by University Press of Mississippi) Embroidered Stories: Interpreting Women’s Domestic Needlework from the Italian Diaspora. To watch an earlier presentation (from the Institute’s cable TV show Italics) on this topic by Dr. Sciorra, click here.

Preserving Italian Immigrant Music Making: Joseph Sciorra at CIMA

Preserving Italian Immigrant Music Making
A lecture at CIMA, Center for Modern Italian Art, by Dr. Joseph Sciorra
During the great wave of European emigration Italians brought a vibrant and varied array of music making to the United States: folk music in the form of domestic lullabies and Christmas bagpiping; artisan string trios and quartets; brass band symphonic marches; anarchist protest songs, and the ever-popular Neapolitan song. In New York City, small and large ethnic publishing houses produced sheet music for musical entertainment while mainstream US companies like Columbia and Victor recorded Italian immigrant performers as part of a branded “ethnic series.” Dr. Joseph Sciorra will discuss the lost world of Italian immigrant music making and how contemporary scholars, collectors, performers, and archival institutions are researching, reviving, and preserving this cultural legacy in the twenty-first century.
After the lecture, Dr. Sciorra will conduct an interview with Ernie Rossi, owner of E. Rossi & Co.
In-person event held at
421 Broome Street
Floor 4
New York, NY 10013
About the speaker:
Dr. Joseph Sciorra is the director for Academic and Cultural Programs at Queens College’s John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, a City University of New York research institute. As a folklorist, he has researched and published on religious practices, material culture, and popular music, among other topics. He is the author of Built with Faith: Italian American Imagination and Catholic Material Culture in New York City, and co-editor of Neapolitan Postcards: The Canzone Napoletana as Transnational Subject and the two-volume collection New Italian Migrations to the United States. Recently he has published on Italian Americans’ shifting and diverse relationships to Columbus commemorations, as well as the material culture of monuments, memorials, and Italian migrations.
This event is produced in collaboration with the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute.