A few days ago in the Ducal Palace of Urbino there was the end-of-competition party entitled “Raphael in Minecraft” which confirmed the great success of an initiative launched by the National Gallery of the Marche with the support of the Global Minecraft Mentor Marco Vigelini for the 500th anniversary of the death of one of the greatest artists in the world.
In the presence of about 500 students from schools from all over Italy (more than 100 schools entered the competition during the year, involving over 2000 students) the executive director of the National Gallery of the Marche, Peter Aufreiter, illustrated the final numbers of the project and told some of the most interesting stories received with the students’ digital drawings, which show how art education, if carried out with new video game tools such as Minecraft, is an inclusive process that brings together important and qualified content.
In this video you can see a digital Minecraft work created by kids aged 7 based on The Marriage of the Virgin by Raphael and on the tools they thought Raphael used for his works.
The great enthusiasm of the children has positively infected the teachers and the families involved in supporting the initiative, thus completing a small miracle of participatory education where a community of children and young people was created which proved to be ready to explore life and the works of the great painter Raphael, in an approach enhanced by the creative tools of the Minecraft platform.
The initiative, conceived by Sebastiano Deva of Apptripper and Marco Vigelini of Maker Camp, with the support of Microsoft and Cisco, saw the participation of thousands of students engaged in school and extra-curricular time to generate Minecraft worlds dedicated to the most important themes of life of Raphael and the city of Urbino itself.
It was a non-competitive process, exclusively based on the creative potential of the children, which has also created a new form of experience of the artistic contents of the Palazzo Ducale, thus making it “an open and compulsive space” rather than a place of mere conservation.
The return of this process took place with a truly innovative solution, shared by the executive director Aufreiter who with this choice suggests a dynamic view of the use of art: for the first time in the world the winning works created in Minecraft are shown (until October 2019) inside the Palazzo Ducale, right next to Raffaello Sanzio’s masterpiece, Il Ritratto di Gentildonna, called “La Muta”.