L’OPIFICIO delle ARTI
was founded by Calogero Zuppardo, an architect and glass artisan, who has been carrying on the Palermitan stained-glass tradition since 1985.
He combines the recovery of ancient techniques with new experiments born from collaboration with numerous artists, architects, and interior designers.
Calogero Zuppardo's interest in the Arts was born in the “Istituto Statale d’Arte”, where he interacted with masters who were still connected to the rich Sicilian tradition. He later deepened his knowledge in the Faculty of Architecture in Palermo, where he graduated in 1978, after developing a keen interest in creative gathering places. His interest was later revived and renewed through his collaboration with colleagues who shared the same desire for beauty and perfection, such as Roberto Alabiso, with whom he began working on glass, and silver craftsman Pietro Accardi, who helped him develop valuable works made of multiple materials and connect him to the prestigious Palermitan silver tradition.
In 1994, he founded the Associazione Il Baglio with Florentine painter Americo Mazzotta, with whom he participated in the creation of numerous stained-glass windows for churches in Italy and abroad.
Il Baglio, of which Zuppardo was president until 2020, promotes "friendship and collaboration among artists, architects, and artisans". Since 1994, it has organised the LabORAtorio di Arti e Architettura per la Chiesa.
During the VI edition, in August 2000 in Vienna, in front of the famous mantle of King Ruggero made in Palermo in 1133, he decided to call his activity
L’Opificio delle Arti", recalling the writing on the mantle's hem where the following is written in Kufic characters: "Performed in the royal workshop, where happiness and honour, well-being and perfection, merit and excellence have their dwelling...
This sentence has become the ideal program of L’Opificio delle Arti.
In the academic year 2019/20, he began teaching Stained Glass Techniques at the Palermo Academy of Fine Arts and developed a teaching method that stimulates students of the Decoration course to recover the Sicilian artistic tradition and bring it closer to the contemporary.
The invitation was eagerly accepted by Lorena Ferrara and Noemi Talluto, who are now permanent members of L’Opificio delle Arti, contributing to making it an increasingly attractive centre for young people and students from the Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture.