Limited-time exhibit at arte italia engages the whole family

Hey Reno Dads (Moms, too!): Here’s an idea for an educational family activity for these upcoming colder winter weeks — assuming it actually chooses to get cold, that is. arte italia, a destination that celebrates cultural heritage just steps from the Nevada Museum of Art, at 442 Flint Street, has an incredible free exhibit of photographs and multi-media images called NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy. And did we mention: It’s FREE.

“It was one of the most telling photographic exhibits I have ever seen,” said local voiceover actor, radio and TV host Connie Wray-Gaudard. “To experience the transformation of Italy through photos was breathtaking.”

Neorealism is the term most commonly applied to a mid-20th -century cinematic movement in Italy, often associated with the likes of Frederico Fellini. But it also touched the visual art of photography, as artists before, during and after World War II, captured candid, emotional images of the region’s people and places.

“Each photo told a powerful story,” Wray-Gaudard describes. “You see the devastation of a country after WWII. The images of propaganda. Then to see the reunification of a country in photographic order was so compelling.”

Many local families of Italian descent are finding this a great way to explore their own cultural heritage; others are using it as a teaching tool to dive into the ways war changes a culture. But all are walking away with a renewed appreciation for photography and the perseverance of an entire culture in the face of devastation caused by political turmoil.

“It was absolutely stunning and educational,” Wray-Gaudard said. “And to the experience, it’s inside the historic arte italia building made it even more beautiful.”

Admission is free during arte italia’s Friday-through-Sunday exhibit hours, so this is an ideal destination for families seeking engaging history lessons that don’t break the bank (especially during school breaks!). Plus, it turns out this is an opportunity not many in the U.S. have had: “NeoRealismo” toured Europe, then traveled to New York University’s Grey Art Gallery.

Now exclusively sponsored by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation, “NeoRealismo” has exhibited at the Museo Italo Americano in San Francisco — and now at arte italia in Reno.

“NeoRealismo” will be on display through the end of December, but don’t wait to take advantage of the lessons around art, journalism, politics and world history. Plus, arte italia has created a scavenger hunt that provides a great launch point for discussion. You can tour the exhibit with the family, then let them search for images and themes from this internationally acclaimed exhibit.

So if you’re a homeschooling parent, a dad looking to enhance your kids’ understanding of international history or you’d simply like to take your significant other on a date to explore this free exhibit, arte italia is your destination.

NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932 – 1960

On view at arte italia:
Through December 29, 2019
442 Flint Street in the former Hardy House

Gallery hours:
Friday through Sunday, 12 to 5 PM

Free of charge

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