It seems that AIST, Associazione Italiana Studi Tolkieniani, has been really busy on the conference front lately. As an Italian and Tolkien admirer, I like to keep an eye on their activities, so I can share them with you. This time, it was Giampaolo Canzonieri who communicated the following:

“Arts, culture, entertainment, music and much more, with the main focus on the artistic aspect. This will be Fantastika 2015, 2nd edition of a Tolkien-dedicated event which could take place only in Dozza, in the surroundings of Bologna, where the world-famous Biennale of the Painted Wall is held in September. Fantastika will take place on May 16th and 17th, while all the relevant exhibitions will stay open until June 7th.

Organized by the Dozza City of Art foundation under the patronage of the municipality of Dozza, and by Associazione Italiana Studi Tolkieniani (AIST) with Ivan Cavini (internationally renowned artist and Tolkien fan) as the supervisor, this year’s event will not be confined inside the walls of the medieval fortress but will spread throughout the medieval village as well. AIST members will coordinate all Tolkien-related activities, including some artistic exhibitions. It will be an opportunity to meet serious and world-renowned scholars, for Fantastika and AIST are a guarantee of quality.

To offer the widest possible spectrum of the Fantasy world, as many as twenty artists have been invited to exhibit; they will put their work on display as well as holding several sketch-sessions. Angelo Montanini – professor of Illustration at the “Galli” Academy of Fine Arts in Como, but for Tolkien fans simply the most famous Italian artist – will “godfather” the event, holding a workshop on illustration techniques on Saturday morning, while the guest star of this edition will be Davide Baldoni, well-known Disney artist who has created stories for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck magazines as well as graphic adaptations of Disney Channel animated series. Other guests will include Riccardo Rullo, an illustrator who is working with the US Alderac Entertainment Group, Ryan Lovelock, well known in the world of French Bandes Dessinées and Italian comics, Daniel Valentin Simion, author of a cartoons dictionary consisting of over 90,000 entries, Francesco Filippi, award-winning writer and film director, Cristiano Licciardello, a H.R. Giger’s heir from Dozza itself, and Emanuele Manfredi, illustrator and cartoonist.

The main event, however, will be a tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien, entirely supervised by AIST and multi-centred on Arts, Crafts, Publishing and Lectures.


The Art Gallery will host “Under the Mountain – Pictures from the Olympus”, an exhibition of Alessio Vissani, official photographer of the Greisinger Museum of Jenins in Switzerland (first museum about Tolkien in Europe), and “Tolkien – Light and Shadow”, a display of the works of Simona Calavetta, illustrator, comic book writer, author and editor of several children’s magazines. There will also be works by Tiziano Baracchi, who after years of oil-painting has discovered digital illustration, Andrea Piparo, a young but already renowned Tolkien Artist, and Maria Di Stefano, already a guest at Fantastika 1st edition.


The fortress higher floor will host “A tailoress in Middle-earth”, an exhibition of artistic hand-embroidered, Tolkien-inspired garments created by Daniela Mastroddi.


Ivan Cavini and Alessio Vissani will present their new book Designing and building Middle-earth, published with the support of the Dozza Foundation.


Sunday will see two Tolkien lectures, Tolkien, a modern classic, in which AIST President Roberto Arduini and philosopher, scholar and writer Claudio Antonio Testi will speak about Tolkien and the Classics – a newly published book that confronts the Author of The Lord of the Rings with several ancient, modern and contemporary classics – and Who is Tom Bombadil?, in which Testi will propose a new solution to one of the most mysterious characters of all Middle-earth.

Dozza is located 3 km from Via Emilia and can be easily reached by car or public transport from Imola, 6 Km, or Bologna, 25 Km.”

To read the article in Italian you can visit the AIST website, here.