The year is 1929 when the young Arturo Deana buys the tavern called “La Colomba”: here artists, sailors and guests of various types can bring their meals from home and pay only for drinks. Those who are too poor, can pay for their meal with an artwork. So far nothing unusual, except that among them there are Tosi, Morandi, De Pisis, Chagall, Kokoshka and Picasso. These are the years of Peggy Guggenheim, of the meetings with the Dukes of Windsor, with Maria Callas and all those characters that, somewhat by chance and a bit out of curiosity, enter La Colomba and contribute to build its fortune, perhaps unconsciously. Deana’s passion for art and for the sparkling environment of Venice increases with the years, to the point that the entrepreneur becomes collector first (thanks to the suggestions of his friend Diego Valeri), and then promoter. He organised "Premio Pittura de La Colomba" in 1946, after the interruption of the Biennale due to the war; the success of the event is such that it is remembered in history as "little Biennale". In 1953 was born the "International Contest for a Colomba menu" which called for 300 artists.
The award returns in 2006 thanks to Lino Cazzavillan's commitment, the current owner of the restaurant La Colomba, and Sara Sist who proposed the award in its original form together with Laura Aliprandi: hundreds of contestants from around the world participated as a proof that art is alive along with the tradition. Young artists with manga work and artisans with transparent glass thread works propose their version of the menu for the restaurant La Colomba.
The next appointment is a bet: to give a new life to one of the intellectual salons of Venice. This is an operation of cultural promotion made by those who live with art and discover talents, not a show-off destined for a few. It is the case to say, welcome to the private who explores and can recognize the cultural weight of a city like Venice and of an institution like La Colomba that is now ready to take wing again.
"During this period of global uncertainty, there is the desire to make a total renewal." This is the challenge of Sara Sist, gallery owner and talent promoter. "Reopening La Colomba with artistic events is a way to pick up again Deana's heritage and I feel the need to soak up this flow of creative energy that comes from the past, from the artists who have passed through La Colomba, but that I also connect to the staff and artists with whom I collaborate".
Young talents just like Jisbar, an artist who, during the event that will be held at the restaurant La Colomba on September 11 and 12, will propose menus in 30x30 format customized on the moment. Halfway between tradition and performance, between the past that seems to whisper from the halls of La Colomba and a roaring pop art that cannot wait to take over the dominance: these are the ingredients that meet in a worldly Venice, a safe port where art and beauty keep walking side by side when it is most needed.