The experience of attendees of the Florence Symposium will be enriched by exhibits of contemporary sacred art by American Protestant artist Susan Kanaga, Italian Catholic artist Filippo Rossi.
Susan Kanaga has been a member of the Community of Jesus since 1983. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from the Maine College of Art, a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Denver, and an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies from Rockhurst College. Susan also studied mosaic in Ravenna, Italy, as an apprentice to Master Mosaicist Alessandra Caprara of Mosaici Antichi e Moderni, and helped fabricate the mosaic floor of the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA. In 2004 Susan was commissioned to design a creation cycle of stone sculpture for the Atrium of the Church of the Transfiguration. Her work has been featured in exhibitions in Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine; Kansas City, Kansas; and Panzano in Chianti, Italy. In 2014, Susan collaborated with Filippo Rossi for the exhibition “Luce del Mondo” (Light of the World) at the Mount Tabor Ecumenical Center for Art and Spirituality in Barga, Italy, and at the Community of Jesus, Orleans, Massachusetts. In 2015, Susan and Filippo collaborated again with the exhibition, “Frammenti” (Fragments) both at the Mount Tabor Center and the Community of Jesus. Autumn of 2015, Susan exhibited at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops at San Lorenzo in Florence, Italy. In May of 2016, Susan and Filippo collaborated again with an exhibition “Through Light” in Bergamo, Italy, and then in Barga, Italy. In 2017, Susan and Filippo created “Spirito Creatore” curated by Timothy Verdon, and installed as a temporary exhibition at the Museo del Duomo in Florence, Italy. This multimedia installation was part of an international symposium, “The Arts and Ecumenism: What Theology Risks in Artistic Creation,” commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Susan currently lives in Lucca, Italy where she is pursuing a Masters Degree in painting under the direction of Filippo Rossi, with emphasis on abstract sacred art. susanskanaga.com
Filippo Rossi (1970), who has been exhibiting his work since 1994, has been exploring the themes of Christian sacred art for over 10 years. After training in the life drawing school at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, he graduated in art history from the University of Florence.
Since 1997 he has been Visiting Professor at the Stanford University Centre for Overseas Studies in Florence. He also collaborates with the art historian Timothy Verdon. He is currently Coordinator of the Diocesan Office of Sacred Art and Church Cultural Heritage at the Curia of the Archdiocese of Florence. His works are conserved in museums and collections both in Italy and abroad.
On 21st November 2009 he was the youngest artist to be invited to the audience with Pope Benedict XVI in the Sistine Chapel. In 2011 – along with Mario Botta, Mario Ceroli, Mimmo Paladino and others – he was invited by the Florence Cathedral Foundation (Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore) to take part in the competition for a pulpit for the Cathedral. In 2012 he accepted the invitation from the Derix Glasstudio in Frankfurt (Germany) to collaborate with their technicians in translating some of his paintings into stained glass.
He has recently been asked to run training workshops in the United States. He collaborates with the leading Italian publishers. His most recent solo shows have been hosted at: Museo della Porziuncola in Assisi, Arciconfraternita della Misericordia in Florence, Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence, Monastero di Camaldoli in Arezzo, Abbaye Notre-Dame de Boscodon in Crots, France, Mount Tabor, Ecumenical Centre for Art & Spirituality, Barga (Lucca), Cape Cod – Massachusetts (USA), Palazzo Panciatichi in Florence and Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence and at Meiboyi Arts Centre a Shangai (China), Centro Congressi Sant’Agostino in Cortona, Abbazia di Novacella in Bressanone, Bergamo, Trieste and Milano. He was in the show scheduled for the National Ecclesiastical Conference at the end of 2015. www.filipporossi.info