There are some interviews that normally needs fixing, whereas others are so interesting and stimulating just the way they are. My talks with Antonio Sarnari, art dealer from Quam ( by Scicli are so intriguing they don’t need to be cut or corrected. This is the reason why I urge you to read what follows so that he might inspire those who work in the field.

Courtesy of Quam

Courtesy of Quam

Quam celebrates its 10th birthday: our best wishes for your dedication and composure you have while patiently searching for creativity and intellect. A consolidated space where one can perceive a young mood, careful to what takes place in Sicily and in less known areas.

Antonio, when was your gallery created?

This year the gallery celebrates its 10th year of activity, but we have been in the current Quam location for 5 years. In 2007, Tecnica Mista was born, an art studio that also organizes cultural events (mainly exhibitions), where you can find the art gallery which remains independent.

Opening 2012 - Courtesy of Quam

Opening 2012 – Courtesy of Quam

Do you believe that art galleries can exist also in small villages far from official Contemporary Art channels? If so, how does it happen in your opinion?

Certainly! We are the living proof, we want to leave the final word about the usefulness of our work to future generations and the impact that it may have given to official channels.

Far away from the hustle and bustle of commercial proposals of cities, one can undertake ambitious projects and risking less. Generally speaking, with a small audience, there isn’t much competition or not at all if you try innovative things.

Furthermore, the modern media allows people to be updated with an excellent communication, and it is easy to act in a supra-regional level.

The county can be a breeding ground for inexperienced hidden talents. Besides, it guarantees a unique alternative to the wider world of cities and more visibility.

Arte al Metro 2014 - Courtesy of Quam

Arte al Metro 2014 – Courtesy of Quam

F. Sarnari 2016 - Courtesy of Quam

F. Sarnari 2016 – Courtesy of Quam

 What artists do you deal?

We cooperate with many on a regular basis, we mainly support projects and we feel closer to Sicilian artists, who could be called up-and-coming. We do not select the kind of language they opt for, but rather a more origin-based selection.

On what do you focus for your programming?

The events taking place in the gallery (Tecnica Mista curates and plans events also for other partners) has been following three kinds of projects. Monographic exhibitions linked with the gallery, for whom we organize the very first and most important exhibition, books editions, presentations of researches on a supra-regional level.

A Jazz annual overview (in April) with international musicians explains how external events, born in the gallery, can develop outside – from Vino with 5 thousand visitors in low season to Jazz workshop where Grammy Award awarded artists take part.

Lastly, research exhibitions, such as the recent‘900 zero 99’in last August-September 2016. There was a technical painting journey, from conceptual divisionism with works by Balla and Kounellis and more, surrounded by a very rigorous selection of drawings made by children aged between 3 and 7.

This was a deep technical reflection show with critic means of pedagogues , philosophers together with Klee, Afro and Twombly to show the value of children expressions. The main focus were two boxes on which children drew freely during the summer.

In the past, similar projects have been il ‘Gruppo Asterisco’, ‘Realismo Informale’, Arte Africana, Ukio and- in particular for contemporary art, Arte al Metro’- where visitors could move and deconstruct the works, purchasing one piece only and by doing so they modified the work for ever.

This work was created ad hoc to be what was left from the pieces that would be gone.

900zero99 2016 – Courtesy of Quam

900zero99 2016 – Courtesy of Quam

What are the aims of your gallery?

This year it celebrates its 10th anniversary and I reckon it has been developing its own identity, also thanks to the artists, very close to us, and I believe this should be underscored and launched on international channels. So,v after displaying all our artists, work in progress for next autumn, I would like to bring them to Italian and international fairs.

Are you planning any upcoming exhibitions or cultural events?

In March we are opening Giovanni Viola’s exhibition, a Sicilian artist with a realism vocation curated by Paolo Cova (Musei Civici di Bologna). It is his first real and personal show with a mature critic confrontation and a book with 50 works and a relevant collection never published before.

What makes you different from other galleries?

I can safely say that investing in the promotion of our artists, in a steady relation with them, a real and obvious love for Art and not trade. Our strategies are also different and allow us to be always on top of relevant charts in Sicily, and also a great care for details, our passion for young artists- not at all different from acclaimed ones. Our artists always say good things about us. Then of course, the importance of our impressive gallery, which is in many people’s eyes (Italian ones) one of the best in Italy

Is there anything I haven’t asked you wish to share with me?

I have spoken long enough I should say.. maybe too much

Article by Virginia Glorioso

English translation by Chiara Vilmercati