2007 / 2009 / 2011/ 2015
James Hull and Donna Veverka arrived at the Palmerino for a first stay in 2007. Welcomed on arrival with a lunch in the garden with other very sociable residents, they fitted in naturally, immediately becoming actively involved in helping us with our first ideas, so much so that James and Donna offered to make the panels to create the first exhibition in the hall of the villa for a small exhibition of a group of contemporary Japanese artists, all students at the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Firenze. James then curated the exhibition.
In September 2009, having seen the success of the first collaboration, another invaluable help arrived just as spontaneously from James, to mount another exhibition of American artists supervised by Sandra Wakeen and in residence for the autumn. James returned from Boston and was fundamental in harmonising the characteristics of the group.
In the footsteps of these successful collaborations, two years later, they organised a trip of 12 contemporary American artists to the Palmerino and set up an exhibition of their work during the two-phase summer residency. A huge job, especially having to send the works in advance and dealing with all the customs bureaucracy. The Open Palmerino that month was really our first encounter with professionalism and a chance for us to grow under their expert guidance.
Always in love with Italy and Tuscany, Donna and James together with their pet Micro in the early years, a black poodle who is also very affectionate with our German shepherd, were able to exercise their specific arts at the Palmerino. James, a photographer and visual artist, has put his sensitivity at the service of other artists, opening his own gallery and working as a curator in many organisations in his country and in Europe, while Donna, a goldsmith and designer, draws on the architectural heritage of Florence and Siena for inspiration and to create her precious jewellery, recreating original volumes and shapes for this purpose, and forging real sculptures to wear. Their frequentation of Italy every two years, punctuated by the Biennale d'Arte Moderna in Venice, which they never fail to visit, earns them a dense network of friendships and places of the heart that are constantly growing, and we can only hope that the Palmerino will constantly remain one of those to be found to develop new adventures, but also just for the pleasure of meeting up with friends!