The Ferrari Foundation Contemporary Arts Center will become the official museum of the renowned sculptor Virginio Ferrari. Inspired from Virginio’s belief “that it is time to consider how fast things disappear and to become more aware of making art to live with," the nonprofit art organization will function to educate the public of his extensive work in the field of contemporary sculpture and public art, while also seeking to be an active organization in the production or new public art projects, exhibition art programming, and community based initiatives that connect his adoptive home and motherland.
Virginio Ferrari (b. 1937) is an internationally acclaimed contemporary Italian-American sculptor who’s monumental sculptures can be found on street corners and public parks, at universities and libraries, corporations and in private collections in Chicago, and all over the world.
He was born in Verona, Italy where he graduated from the Scuola D'Arte N. Nanni and from the Accademia Cignaroli (1959), where he received his first teaching assignment. His father and grandfather were stonecutters who established a sense of craftsmanship in the household, and Ferrari continued this tradition, having his first solo exhibition in Venice in 1962 at the age of 24. From 1966 to 1976 Ferrari was Assistant Professor of Art and Sculptor in Residence at the University of Chicago and since then has remained in Chicago where he has devoted his full energies to sculpting.
With over thirty monumental public sculptures in Chicago alone and other works acquired by civic, museum, and corporate collections in Atlanta, Deyang, Florence, Guayaquil, Los Angeles, Milan, Philadelphia, Parma, Rome, Shanghai and Verona, Ferrari has been a constant presence in the international art world resulting in over 50 solo exhibitions, while participating in more than 150 group shows.
He holds many awards for his achievements, including the Illinois State Service Award for outstanding contributions as a sculptor who has vitalized and humanized urban spaces. Honored by the president of Italy, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Ferrari was awarded the Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Officer–Order of Merit of the Italian Republic) in 1992, for his important contributions to the internationaart world. He received the medal ofthe City of Verona and the Illinois Art Council Governor’s Award based on his 2003 anthological retrospective exhibit Ombre della Sera: 1958-2003 at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea-Palazzo Forti, Verona, Italy.
Ferrari currently divides his time between his studios in Chicago, USA and Guardistallo, Italy.