Red Regatta | The Final Series

Thursday, August 1, 2019 Permalink

This September, artist Melissa McGill will launch the final series of Red Regatta programming in locations across Venice, from inaugurating the annual Regata Storica (a celebration of Venetian maritime culture dating back to the 13th century) in Bacino San Marco to events at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

Red Regatta comprises an unprecedented series of large-scale choreographed regattas of traditional vela al terzo sailboats, hoisted with hand-painted red sails, that activate Venice’s lagoon and waterways. The public artwork unites Venetians and visitors to celebrate the cultural and maritime history of the city and call attention to the forces of climate change and mass tourism that threaten its future.

Red Regatta is presented in collaboration with Associazione Vela al Terzo Venezia and co-organized by Magazzino Italian Art Foundation, along with more than 250 local partners. Red Regatta is led by McGill, curator Chiara Spangaro, and project manager Marcella Ferrari and it’s the first artwork to be registered as a Clean Regatta, a program of Sailors for the Sea that mobilizes sailors to protect the ocean through education and activism.

We’re honored and touched to have been hosting the project’s first chats and meetings, a sort of headquarter and place of comfort and sharing for Melissa, Chiara e Marcella.

Red Regatta encourages a new appreciation of the interaction of the defining forces of Venice – water, wind, art, and architecture – that both continue to inspire and challenge its residents,” states artist Melissa McGill, “As the sails glide though the lagoon in unison, the distinct reds will visually mix, join, and blend. Against the contrasting sky and sea, the reds reference the forces of life and passion, of alarm and urgency, and Venice itself – from its bricks and terra cotta rooftops, to its flag and history of trade in red pigment, to paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, and other Venetian masters.”

Upcoming regattas and public programs:

Red Regatta, coinciding with Venice’s Regata Storica September 1, 2019, 12:00 – 5:00 pm
Route: Canale della Giudecca – Bacino San Marco

Family Event 
September 1, 2019, 3:00 – 4:30 pm, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Dorsoduro, 701-704

Open House: Past to Present / Local to Global
The Vela al Terzo sailing tradition, with the Associazione Vela al Terzo and Red Regatta
September 14, 2019, 3:00 – 7:00 pm
Ocean Space, Chiesa di San Lorenzo (Castello 5069)

Red Regatta, coinciding with Regata di Burano, September 15, 2019, 2:00 – 4:00 pm. Route: Burano – Torcello, viewing locations: Burano waterfront and Torcello waterfront

Concurrently with the historic Regata di Burano, which features the centuries old tradition of the voga alla veneta amongst other Venetian maritime traditions, Red Regatta will move through the Northern lagoon between Burano and Torcello. Engaging with the landscape of this unique section of Venice with its ancient Roman ruins and distinctive architecture, the vela al terzo fleet will weave through the islands and call attention to the location’s history and traditions.

Additional details on programs and opportunities to view Red Regatta will be announced. For more information visit


Photo: Matteo De Fina & Yuko Gherardi

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