Mario Airò and the 40 children

13 September 2013

Taking its cue from one of the seven wonders of the ancient world – the chryselephantine statue of Zeus at Olympia– the E-STRAORDINARIO for Kids was devised and run by artist Mario Airò (1961) for 40 participants between the ages of 6 and 10, all children of Elica Group employees. Organized in collaboration with the Fondazione Ermanno Casoli and Elica, the workshop was held in Fabriano on September 6th. In the morning the children, accompanied by their parents, gathered at Fabriano’s famous Paper and Watermark Museum, since the artist’s aim was for the children to throw themselves immediately into the production and use of paper, an activity that has always been one of the city’s most prominent and identifying features. Following a visit to the museum and a session with the master papermaker, the children’s curiosity turned to the sheets of paper and the shapes that they themselves had created. The creative process then really got underway as "armed" with tempera, crayons, markers, pencils and brushes, the children, in total freedom, flung themselves into the drawing of animals and fantastic creatures, landscapes and abstract motifs. In the afternoon, after a move to the company’s headquarters, the children, under Mario’s constant guidance, joined their work together with tape and twine. The result was a huge, collective work of art, a highly-coloured multiform organism that was set up alongside other works by important contemporary artists in the company’s “piazza” leisure area. The day ended, between one piece of cake and another, with a greeting from Elica President Francesco Casoli, who – in the presence of Fabriano’s mayor, Giancarlo Sagramola , and Marche Region President, Gian Mario Spacca – addressed once again the ongoing commitment of Elica and the FEC to the training of employees and, in this case, the involvement of their children, and the promotion of contemporary art. We can be sure that these kids will, like the elephant, remember this day for a long time to come.