If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.
Highlighting Our Community’s Cultural Assets
Convivio provides a rich learning and social experience through art, artisan, and heritage exhibitions.
Barbers of Little Italy
A photographic exhibit highlighting the contributions of San Diego’s Italian and Italian American barbers to the Italian historical tapestry of the community.
Convivio Center Main Gallery / April 10 – June 30, 2014
Sebastiano Grasso’s exhibit Mediterranean Reflections represents the union of color, images, and insights from his native home, Sicily, and his current home in the Morongo Basin. Mr. Grasso uses mixed media to emote the awe that nature inspires. His work is an exploration of the colors unique to the Mediterranean climate. The shades of the sea blend with the sky capes the desert affords. Dust devil meets water spout: Desert cacti bloom during the monsoons: Cacti shrouded in the blood red of sunset and a summer downpour: A lonely cacti embraced by the midnight blue sky after sunset: Mountains shrouded in the purple haze of dusk: Meteors explode across the night sky: Rings of unconditional love circling an overcast moon: Seagulls approaching fisherman at sunrise: Abstract explosions of color reliving the ecstasy of passing universal insights. Night blooms and cascading showers of floral decay.
Biography: Sebastiano Grasso was born in Erice, Italy, a remote Sicilian village where he completed studies in Art at the Liceo Artistico in Reggio Callabria. Mr. Grasso has since lived, studied, and created art in both small towns and urban metropolises across Europe and the United States.
Using mixed media on canvas, Mr. Grasso strives to evoke his own emotions through abstract formations of color, collage, and texture. Mr. Grasso’s work explores the linear and circular relationships between hope, awe, disillusionment, and despair. “When I look at my work, I want to feel the relationship between wonder and distress that I thought I understood when I began the piece.” Always experimenting with new media and different techniques, Sebastiano hopes his audience can recognize his emotions and feel his insights while viewing his work.
After completing his studies at the Liceo Artistico, Mr. Grasso moved to Rome where he was trained in the Stanislavski method while performing at the Teatro dei Cocci, Teatro Agora, and Teatro degli Artisti. While touring and performing at venues across Italy, he studied art attending workshops and trainings with countless local artisans. After moving to California, he has taken art courses at community colleges in Newark, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited in Studio Cometa in Galatone, Italy; Primo Piano Galleria in Lecce, Italy; Ave 50 Studio in Highland Park, CA; The Italian Cultural Center in Eagle Rock, CA; The Arroyo Seco Arts Tour in Pasadena, CA; The Highway 62 Art Tour in Morongo Basin; The JT Art Gallery in Joshua Tree, CA; and the Back Street Arts District in Palm Springs, CA. Much of his work can be seen at www.sebastianograssoart.com
Convivio Center Archives Gallery / May – September 2013
TUNA! Celebrating San Diego’s Famous Fishing Industry, showcases the rise and decline of tuna fishing— once one of San Diego’s largest industries. During the early to mid-20thcentury, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, and Hispanic families formed enclaves around San Diego Bay earning a living from this vital food source and building many of the waterfront communities such as Point Loma, Little Italy, and Barrio Logan. This family-friendly, interactive exhibition lets visitors experience the world through the eyes of these fishing families and includes hands-on pole-fishing demonstration stations, packing and canning activities, and images. Learn what it was like to work in this industry that, for a time, made San Diego synonymous with the world’s most popular food fish. (Text from the San Diego History Center.) This exhibition is presented in partnership with the San Diego History Center, where the exhibition was created and on display from April to December 2012. We are privileged to partner with the San Diego History Center to present this exhibition at the Convivio Center. Learn more about the San Diego History Center through the Center’s web site at www.sandiegohistory.org.
Convivio Center Main Gallery / September 2013 – March 2014
Roberto Angotti, Curator
Artists’ Tribute to Italian Americans in Baseball showcases original artwork, photographs, uniforms, articles, and other related artifacts related to baseball players of Italian descent and those with strong ties to San Diego. Works by nenowned Italian American artists Christopher Paluso, James Fiorentino, Vincent Scilla, Professor John Giarrizzo, Warren Reed, Zack D’Ulisse, and Rob Monte will be on display alongside sports artists Chris Felix, Vernon Wells, Jr., and Jeremy Nash at the Little Italy Heritage Museum at Convivio Center. Players represented in the exhibition include Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Tony Lazzeri, Roy Campanella, Yogi Berra, Ernie Lombardi, Ron Santo, Tommy Lasorda, Tony Conigliaro, Craig Biggio, Tony La Russa, John D’Aquisto, Ken Caminiti, Mike Piazza, Frank Catalanotto, Joey Votto, Jason Grilli, Anthony Rizzo, Chris Denorfia, Nick Punto, Drew Butera, Dan Serafini, Alex Liddi, Chris Colabello, Brian Sweeney, Mike Costanzo, and Reid Rizzo.
Convivio Center Main Gallery / May – September 2013
Over the past few years HAYO has established himself as an international successful artist with worldwide recognition and a huge following of admirers of his art. During his twenties, besides painting and art school, he also focused on his acting career and got very inspired to create PopArt after a first visit to New York. In 2003 and 2004 he studied Arts and Acting in The Big Apple and was influenced by all the different kinds of PopArt and the many artists living in the city. His success materialized in 2012 when HAYO SOL was awarded the “P.C. Hooftstraat Award” for his collected works of PopArt pieces. HAYO was very honored and grateful for receiving this prestigious award already at such an early stage in his career! Although HAYO is also an abstract painter and photographer, he mainly focuses on creating amazing and original PopArt that critics call truly unique and magical and which has doubled in value over just a couple of years! Read more about the artist at www.hayosol.com.