It only takes a walk through the pedestrian zone of Ortisei to get a comprehensive insight into the creative and eclectic world of arts and crafts in Val Gardena. Until 16 July, the windows of the shops in the town centre will be displaying sculptures, installations and reliefs created by 52 local artists.
The new Shop&Art Urtijëi initiative has a two-fold purpose. On the one hand, it is designed to offer artists an unconventionally direct way to showcase their works to the wider public. On the other hand, it turns the spotlight on the exclusive, traditional character of local retail, adding a unique flavour to the shopping experience in the town centre.
The art of woodcarving has been part of Val Gardena culture since the early 17th century. Originally a pastime to keep the family busy on long winter nights with the prospect of a little extra income, woodcarving became for many the main source of earnings in a matter of a few decades. Soon, their wooden dolls and animal figurines delighted children all over the world. The works of sacral art by Val Gardena woodcarvers adorned the altars and inner facades of prominent churches and cathedrals.
This centuries-old tradition has now evolved in the hands of a new generation of artists, who transform wood and other materials into true masterpieces, devoting themselves to the forms of expression of contemporary art.
There is also a competitive side to Shop&Art Urtijëi: a prize for the best display will be awarded by a jury of experts, and the public will have the chance to choose the best installation. With every purchase in one of the 52 participating shops, you too can cast your vote and take part in a raffle to win attractive vouchers.