The brave Pigafetta and the journey around the world. Open call for illustrators, graphic designers and artists

Promoted by the cultural department of the Municipality of Vicenza and the Bertoliana Library, with the support of Confartigianato of Vicenza, in collaboration with the cultural association Illustri, the open call intends to enhance the figure of the illustrious Vicenza Antonio Pigafetta among the younger generations.

The announcement “The brave Pigafetta and the journey around the world” avails itself of the prestigious patronage of the National Committee for the celebrations “500 years ago the first trip around the world: Antonio Pigafetta, from Vicenza, chronicler of the Magellan expedition”, established in the months past from the Ministry of Culture.

The Rules to participate can be downloaded from the website The application must be sent by email to the address: The delivery of the documents is expected by 5 September.

The announcement, aimed at graphic designers and illustrators of any age and nationality, aims to make young people aware of the value of Antonio Pigafetta in undertaking this unknown itinerary, under the banner of adventure and danger. The journey will make it a symbol of audacity, curiosity and courage: behaviors that are often characteristic of boys and girls towards the future and the unknown.

The creation of illustrations relating to the theme of travel around the world, in this declination of values, are designed for girls between 11 and 15 years old, and will subsequently be the subject of exhibitions in spaces in the city of Vicenza and Veneto, as well as a virtual graphic novel. The first exhibition of the works will take place from 17 September at the Gallerie d’Italia – Vicenza, in conjunction with the exhibition “This journey will never be made again. Pigafetta and the first navigation around the world “, which will recount the journey of the illustrious Vicenza, evoking the salient stages in Brazil, Patagonia, Philippines, Indonesia / Moluccas: the exhibition will show a selection of works including the precious manuscript of Pigafetta’s Report , the only copy known today, kept by the Ambrosiana Library in Milan.

A technical jury, composed of illustrators, editors and other professionals linked to the world of illustration and design, but also by representatives of the bodies involved in the project, will select the first 25 works that will be the subject of the exhibition. The supervision will be coordinated by the Illustri association, a reference point for Italian illustration since 2014 and which organizes the Illustri Festival widespread event every two years in Vicenza.

The announcement of the selected artists will be given by 17 September.

During the opening period of the exhibition, the works will also be evaluated by a popular jury made up of students who will visit the exhibition which will end on 8 January 2023. The jury, also taking note of the vote of the popular jury, will decide by January 15, 2023 the winner will be awarded the design and creation of a digital graphic novel, as well as a cash prize of 2,000 euros.

The elaboration of the textual part, the reference basis of the book, will be the result of a parallel contest aimed at students who will visit the exhibition at the Gallerie d’Italia, carried out in collaboration with the Department of Education of the Municipality of Vicenza.

“Vicenza has long welcomed the sparkling world of Illustri Festival – comments the councilor for culture Simona Siotto – that every two years brings to the city the ideas of well-known illustrators on the national and international scene. In fact, the exhibitions in the Palladian Basilica and Palazzo Thiene have recently closed. Illustri always reserves a space also for young people who are taking their first steps in this field. And it is precisely for the youngest that the open call was conceived with the aim of producing illustrations suitable for an audience between 11 and 15 years, with the hope that mainly young people will participate, although we have decided not to indicate an age limit. Above all, the real protagonist of the images will be Antonio Pigafetta whose 500th anniversary of the circumnavigation around the world with Magellan we celebrate. We hope that a young and creative language to communicate history gives an innovative and immediate reading ”.

“In view of the opening of the next school year – continues the councilor for education Cristina Tolio – here is a new project that enriches the already substantial program offered to our children. Students will be involved and will watch the history of Pigafetta using their own creativity and more. In fact, being part of the jury they will be more than protagonists, so these initiatives aimed at making the school world even more varied and interesting are welcome ”.

“Among the important tasks of the National Committee to celebrate the figure of Pigafetta – says the president of the Bertoliana Library Clear Visentin there is the desire to bring the younger generations closer to the story of this curious and courageous boy who, at the end of the 15th century, left Vicenza to explore the world. Using a suitable language is therefore essential; the call asks the artists to try their hand at the digital dissemination of Antonio’s story: a certainly arduous but fascinating task, which will bring together boys and girls but also weak readers. Thus it indicates an involvement in the illustrated story but also the evaluation – by the reader and watcher – of how it can be told. The main parameter will surely be wonder. Each table an open window on the extraordinary story of Pigafetta, an illustrious Vicenza who, I am convinced, will help young people to rediscover the desire to read, one of the missions of the Bertoliana Library “.

“Illustri Festival 2022 – concludes the president of the Illustri association Francesco Poroli it has consolidated and activated an ever wider dialogue with the many actors of the Vicenza area, including the Bertoliana Library. For this reason, taking part in such an important project is an honor and a great opportunity for us. And it is doubly so, because it confirms the idea thanks to which Illustri was born: to put a lighthouse on the Italian illustration scene, today more than ever fervent with talents ”.

There are not many certain news about the Vicenza traveler, starting from the dates of birth (around 1490) and death, but certainly Antonio Pigafetta will remain in history because he was among the very few survivors of the masterful enterprise of circumnavigation of the terrestrial globe alongside Ferdinand Magellan. He will be able to return in 1522, after three years of voyage, under the new command of the fleet of Juan Sebastián Elcano, after the tragic death of Magellan, collecting his notes in a text that will deliver him to universal memory: the manuscript of the Report will be exceptionally exhibited in the exhibition organized at the Gallerie d’Italia in Vicenza, from 6 September 2022 to 8 January 2023.

The brave Pigafetta and the journey around the world. Open call for illustrators, graphic designers and artists – WWWITALIA