Honoring his origins and acknowledging with his own eyes and with his heart that the institute where mosaics have been trained for a hundred years in his grandfather’s hometown is truly an excellence: these are the reasons why David Zavagno pushed to leave his hometown in the United States and now Spilimbergo. Accompanied by his wife Denise and a few friends from Genoa, he visited the Mosaic School of Friuli yesterday, May 6, 2022. His arrival was expected, prior to an extensive correspondence in which Dr. Zavagno had expressed his desire to leave Cleveland, Ohio, to attend the festivities celebrating the school this year, known from a distance through family stories. School President Stefano Lovison and Director Gian Piero Brovedani await the guests. An in-depth visit, attended by Giovanni Travisanutto and his son Fabrizio, former students of the school and now owners of a mosaic workshop whose activities are well integrated into the US market, enabled Zavagno to admire the many exhibited works. walk on the corridors, to access the mosaic workshops, where the students were engaged in the execution of their works with hammer blows, to understand the training path, from the first copies in Roman and Hellenistic style, up to the contemporary mosaic, where the classical cannons make room for creativity. The school building itself impressed Zavagno: its development and beauty, knowing that the original 1930s building on the Corridoni was born thanks to a contribution from the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Contractors’ Association, an American association of entrepreneurs, mostly Friulians, who had established in terrazzo and mosaics. He then took a break with Maestro Stefano Jus, the school’s teacher, to elaborate on the major external remodeling task that the school will undertake in the coming months, and whose design was born in it: the 1,400 m2 mosaic floor with images of the flora and regional fauna that will surround the two exhibition buildings at Viale Barbacane.
The visit to the school was followed by a walk through Spilimbergo’s historic center and an interview with Mayor Enrico Sarcinelli.
In the afternoon, a meeting with the school’s students is planned: a moment strongly desired by Zavagno to leave a testimony and a sign for young people who dream of confirming themselves in life through the art of mosaic. With heartfelt words, Zavagno addressed the audience of students and teachers, testifying to his strong bond with Friuli and a craftsman knowledge that made his family happy. In fact, his grandfather, Enrico Zavagno, was from Spilimbergo and like many young people he had emigrated in search of happiness. Through family changes he had come to the United States. After an initial period in which deployment in such a diverse society was certainly not easy, with language barriers and a labor market offering low-skilled activities to foreigners, the Friulian “Henry” succeeded in opening his own business in 1924 in Cleveland, specializing in machining. of marble and partly in the execution of mosaics. Strategic choices, ingenuity and competencies made the company grow through generations and still in operation. As a grandson, Zavagno learned crafts by watching his grandfather and father at work: they were the ones who gave him the techniques and, above all, the passion. He learned by doing, with experience, without specific training, and although David Zavagno later achieved his professional career in another sector, the love of stone and mosaic remained in his soul as well as his being from Friuli. , Spilimbergo, where the two aspects are closely linked due to its family history and biography, two sides of the same coin.
In clear words he explained his feeling by being at the Mosaic School in the Centennial Year the only place where one acquires a profession which our ancestors learned with difficulty in the shops and on the building site; a profession that, because of its specificity, gave many emigrants to the United States initially, but also to the rest of the world, the opportunity to succeed and transform from workers to entrepreneurs.
Zavagno therefore invited the students to become aware of the importance of the school they attend, an opportunity that his grandfather and the other Friulians of the time did not have, and he encouraged them to excel in the art of mosaic, to develop their skills to the maximum. , to bring skills, creativity, beauty to the world. “You have arrived here at Spilimbergo, leave a mark, your footprint! Take your mosaics with you wherever life takes you: the world is yours to explore. I can not wait to see your footprints, your works ”. With this wish, Zavagno, in order to demonstrate his appreciation of the pedagogical work carried out by the school, handed over to the president and the director a large donation of ten thousand euros in his name and his wife Denise, with what I hope it will support the training activity. He then wanted to deliver two honors from the embassy and the American Association, which brings together marble and mosaic companies in the hands of director Brovedani: a bond that started in the 1930s was never removed and is today renewed.
“The generous and concrete gesture of David Zavagno and his wife Denise is for us a testament to how the Mosaic School of Friuli is valued in the world,” President Lovison declared. “We train the students, but it is they as mosaic masters who bring the passion, knowledge and beauty of mosaic to everywhere. We are proud of this and it is our duty to thank those who have done before us to make this school an international mosaic center.I welcome the call from our American supporters to ensure that the school is committed to always being first in everything it does, we owe that to the many emigrants from Friuli, to our country and also to our friend David Zavagno, to whom our most sincere goes. “Gratitude”.