Singer-songwriter Georgia Mancio and art historian Marie-Anne Mancio explore the unexpected connections between artists, musicians and cultural innovators in an interactive online course. ‘Extraordinary Artists’ begins this Friday 17 September. Feature by Izzy Blankfield.
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Georgia Mancio is well known to LJN readers: a multi-award winning, multilingual vocalist and lyricist, who won Best Vocalist at the 2021 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Her sister, Dr Marie-Anne Mancio, is an art historian and accredited The Arts Society Lecturer who has written and presented online courses for Tate, as well as co-founding Infems (Intersectional Feminist Art Collective).
Over six sessions from 17 September to 22 October, the Mancio sisters will explore the stories of Extraordinary Artists whose works and contributions go beyond geographical and temporal borders. Drawing unexpected parallels between music, art, science and history, Georgia and Marie-Anne will offer their own profound – and different – perspectives on cultural figures.
“We grew up sharing a lot of artistic endeavours and exploring our creativity together,” says Georgia. “It feels really natural that we’d eventually do something together.” Marie-Anne adds: “We’ve always both been interested in coming at things in a very interdisciplinary way. It’s not about looking at art in isolation or music in isolation – it’s so much richer if you can say, that was happening at the same time!”
The inspiration behind the course is personal for the Mancio sisters. “I’ve always been really fascinated by the trajectories of people’s artistic lives, as well as their personal lives,” Georgia tells me. “I find it really inspiring that if you ever get stuck in your own practice, to go to someone who’s been there and done it way before you. It reminds you that if you’re veering off course, that that veering point is actually a starting point for something else.”
The series definitely looks extraordinary: beginning with Chilean-American artist Cecilia Vicuña and her inspiration, ‘The Mother of Latin American Folk’ Violetta Parra, Georgia and Marie-Anne will explore the legacy of gender fluidity, the world of cinema and ‘Science Queens’ Anicka Yi and Hedy Lamarr. The course also includes a week dedicated to ‘Men Behaving Badly’, drawing together the stories of artist Frans Hals and controversial jazz legend Jelly Roll Morton.
Extraordinary Artists will bring into dialogue well known cultural figures with names that are less familiar. As Marie-Anne says, “We’ve tried to choose some personalities with their own very inspiring, fascinating life stories that will carry people through, even if they don’t think they’re particularly interested in one art form or the other.” Georgia agrees: “We’re really just showcasing fascinating people, because the personal stories – the characters, the personalities with multifaceted, even secret careers – are the ones which really stick.”
Extraordinary Artists begins on Friday 17 September and runs for six weeks. Find out more and sign up here