Contest rules and how to participate

Section 1 – Objectives

As part of a broader initiative aimed at strengthening cultural and economic ties with the United States, the Regional Government of Tuscany (Economic Promotion Agency of Tuscany) together with the municipality of Pisa and the Chamber of Commerce of Pisa have organized a contest entitled The Pisan Romanesque Meets Contemporary America.
The Piazza dei Miracoli and its Leaning Tower are symbols of the city of Pisa recognized around the world. What is perhaps less well known is that these buildings represent some of the finest examples of the Romanesque style of art and architecture in Italy. The goal of this contest is to increase knowledge and appreciation among schools and families in San Francisco and New York City of this important chapter in the history of Italian art.
Other objectives are:

  • to foster interest in the cultural heritage of Tuscany and Pisa – its history, architecture, art, and archeology;
  • to stimulate the interest of students in this subject by engaging their imagination, powers of observation, and ability to use material ranging from texts to photographs and graphic images in a creative project.
Section 2 – Who can participate

This contest is open to students of all high schools, private or public, located in San Francisco (California) or New York City (New York). Either an entire class or a group of students or an individual student may submit an entry. Participation is free of charge.

Section 3 – Criteria for the entries

The entry may take the form of a drawing, photograph, work of graphic art, or short video film. It should be inspired by the Pisan Romanesque style, for example, applying it to modern architecture and incorporating some of its main characteristics and motifs – contrasting, comparing, or creating a fusion between the old and the new. Some themes that could provide ideas:

  • the Leaning Tower and other monuments in Cathedral Square are rooted in Italian artistic and architectural traditions, but were also influenced by cultural trends originating in other parts of the world and in other cultures (Roman, Byzantine, Islamic);
  • the application of geometry to architecture, in order to fill and create movement in space and an interplay of light and shadow in particular the use of round arches, columns, pilasters and barrel vaults;
  • the creation of images using a striking visual language made up of signs and symbols, ranging from the geometric to the naturalistic, realized for public display in places of great visibility.

More information (documents, images and videos) can be found at the website (
All entries must be submitted in digital form (e.g., a scanned drawing, digital photograph, or digital video). Digital photographs should be of sufficiently high quality to allow for enlargement, with a minimum resolution of 1200 x 800 pixels. Digital videos (.avi, .mov, .mpg4) should have a minimum resolution of 640×480 pixels.
The work must not contain any elements that might indicate the authorship of the work (information regarding authorship and a statement affirming the originality of the work submitted must be provided in a separate form; see the website).

The Società Storica Pisana, which has been charged with receiving and processing the entries before they are presented to the panel of judges, declines all liability for the eventual circulation and publication of photographs containing identifiable faces. If there are any such photographs or films, the school sponsoring the entry must enclose a statement declaring that the individuals concerned have waived their right to privacy and granted the school permission to reproduce and exhibit the images on request, as part of the legitimate activities of the contest. The Società Storica Pisana furthermore absolves itself from any responsibility, either direct or indirect, for errors in the content or misleading representations of the authorship of the material submitted.

Section 4 – Submission procedure

All entries must be received no later than than March 25, 2015. They should be sent directly to the Società Storica Pisana via the contest website [registration section].
Each entry must be accompanied by a form [available at the website, registration section] in which the following information is provided: the name of the school; the year, class and names of the students who participated in the project; the name and the e-mail address of the teacher; the title of the work, the medium used, and a brief description of the work.

Section 5 – The panel of judges

A panel of judges will be chosen by the Società Storica Pisana that will consist of:

  • an expert on modern art and photography;
  • an expert on the history of medieval art and architecture in Pisa;
  • an expert on the medieval history of Pisa;
  • a representative of the Consulate General of the U.S.A. in Tuscany, dept. of Education;
  • a representative of the schools in San Francisco and New York City;
  • an expert on American culture who has also studied and worked in Tuscany.

The entries will be divided into two groups – those submitted by high schools in San Francisco and those submitted by high schools in New York City. The two groups of works will be judged separately and prizes will be awarded for the best works in each group.
The entries that come in first in each group will be awarded a cash prize. In addition, a second project from each group will be selected for an honorable mention.
The decision of the judges will be communicated no later than May 15, 2015 and will be final.

Section 6 – The prizes

First and second prizes will be awarded for the best entries submitted by students from the city of San Francisco and the city of New York, respectively:

  • First prize for a work submitted by a group or class from San Francisco: $1,300
  • First prize for a work submitted by a group or class from New York City: $1,300
  • Honorable mention for a work submitted by a group or class from San Francisco: books on Italian art and handcrafted items made by artisans working in the Tuscan tradition
  • Honorable mention for a work submitted by a group or class from New York City: books on Italian art and handcrafted items made by artisans working in the Tuscan tradition

In addition, the teacher in charge of the class or group in San Francisco that has been awarded first prize and the teacher in charge of the class or group in New York City that has been awarded first prize will each be invited to spend a week in Pisa (all travel and accommodation expenses paid) in June 2014 during the annual festival known as Giugno Pisano.

Pisa, December 8, 2014