The Maria Lai "Art Station" of Contemporary Art was founded in 2006 to house the works Maria Lai donated to the town of Ulassai. It is in the old railway station (hence its name) where theme exhibitions of the over 100 works by the artist are mounted on a rotating basis. The station shares the objectives of foundation - museums dedicated to one artist (preserving - exhibiting and promoting the works) and adds other, somewhat unusual ones that spring both from the specific nature of Maria Lai's artistic career and the circumstances that led to the establishment of the foundation. Indeed this latter grew out of the commitment of an entire town the identified with a creative career in which it has taken an active part for over twenty years, beginning with an extraordinary event "Legarsi alla Montagna" (Binding to the Mountain), held in Ulassai in 1981, whose two protagonists were Maria Lai and the entire community itself. In the following years , Lai participated periodically in the life of town. After being restored, the old wash-house was enhanced with Lai's "Il telaio soffitto" (The Loom-Ceiling) and later with works by other artists: Costantino Nivola's "Fontana -sonora" (Sound Fountain), Luigi Veronesi's "Fontana della Sorgente (Fountain of the Spring), and Guido Strazza's construction "Fontana del Grana" (Fountain of Wheat). The 1990's witnessed the challenging task of the beautifying certain streets surrounding the town: "La strada del rito" (Street of Ritual), "La strada delle capre cucite" (Street of Sewn She-goats), "Il Muro groviglio (Wall Maze) and "La scarpata" (Escarpment). Among the most recent works are the terra cotta books in Via Venezia with carved writings on art; the large blackboard "L'Arte ci prende per mano" (Art takes us by Hand); and Il Volo del gioco dell'oca" (The Flight of the Snakes and Ladders Game) and "La Casa delle inquietudini" (House of Restlness), a fantastic creation inspired by Salvatore Cambosu's short story "La Capretta". Thus Ulasssai, a town on the Ogliastra hills with only 1,600 inhabitants, has become a special place; both a museum town ant the nucleus of Maria Lai's poetic world.
FONDAZIONE MARIA LAI
Ex Stazione ferroviaria Ulassai, S.P. n. 11 - 08040 Ulassai
(source: Guida ai Beni Culturali della provincia dell'Ogliastra)