MAM - Masters of Art and Craft Award 2016

Fondazione Cologni and ALMA honored Gaspare Cusenza among 75 leading figures in the world of high craftsmanship and food and wine

MILAN - Delivered on June 6, 2016, in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic. Sergio Mattarella, the "MAM - Maestro d'Arte e Mestiere" awards, promoted by the Fondazione Cologni Mestieri d'Arte in collaboration with ALMA, The International School of Italian Cuisine. award-mamA recognition of the masters of art-"creators of Italian beauty"-who have excelled in various fields of artistic craftsmanship, ranging from ceramics to jewelry to stone and furniture, from metals to mechanics to mosaics, from leather goods to art printing to restoration, from theater crafts to textiles, and last but not least food and wine. This first edition (the second is scheduled for 2018) saw 75 professionals "who have distinguished themselves for particular professional merits and for their activity in favor of the transmission of knowledge," selected by more than 40 expert protagonists from the world of high craftsmanship and food and wine. Among the awardees - here the complete list - Gaspare Cusenza of CusenzaMarmi, set designer Dante Ferretti, Eugenio Monti Colla of Milan's Atelier Colla, Piero Nason of NasonMoretti, artist Gianluca Pacchioni, illustrator Antonello Silverini, costume designer Franca Squarciapino, and also bartender Dom Costa, chef Gualtiero Marchesi and master pastry chef Iginio Massari.

With the establishment of this tribute to masters often unknown to the public, but who make our country great by constituting one of its main riches, Italy fills the gap compared to nations such as Japan and France, where the activity of these distinguished figures in the high crafts is promoted and honored by the highest institutional levels for a long time.

Precious sculptures, unique pieces that time does not scratch: in the fabulous world of Gaspare Cusenza, shines the dream of a life spent nurturing the profession of his passion: The Stone. Thousands of handcrafted creations in the luxury of an approach as whimsical as it is fascinating. And for "the artisan" Gaspare today yet another recognition of excellence in merit.

The "Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d'Arte" included him among 75 Italian masters of art, presenting him with the coveted MAM - Maestro d'Arte e Mestiere award for distinguishing himself in his valuable work. Gaspare Cusenza, for nearly 50 years in his "Historic Workshop," as if it were the first day...

gaspare-cusenza-master-marble-artisanGaspare Cusenza, Together with Giacomo Alessi awarded for ceramics, are the only Sicilians to have received this prestigious and exclusive award, recognition for their years of commitment, sacrifice and excellence in the world of high craftsmanship.

Born in Valderice (Trapani) in 1945, he began his business in 1970 by opening an artisan company for the artistic working of marble right in Valderice, in the area of Agro ericino that for several centuries has seen marble quarrying and working as one of the area's main economic resources.

In 1990, after 20 years of experience in the field, he decided to turn the business around and hired master Umberto Craparotta, an authentic artist in marble working and the guardian of the ancient manual skills of the so-called "Trapanese stonemasons," now forgotten by marble workers, in his workshop. In the mid-1990s he specialized in making so-called "copies of antiquity," that is, works executed in the style of the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s.
From this interest arose the search for and rediscovery of ancient techniques and materials that had fallen into disuse: he rediscovered jasper and the ancient yellow of Sicily, the "incarnated" stone; he revisited and reworked the Sicilian Baroque especially in the use of polychrome inlay inside churches.
In the following years he hired young apprentices to pass on techniques and secrets of marble working, convinced that the difference lies precisely in the human value able to exploit new technologies to perfect his craftsmanship, with current taste, while maintaining the centrality of the human hand.

MAM - Masters of Art and Craft.

have covered the award:
Corriere della Sera
Il Sole24ore