Academy Now is an organisation dedicated to recent art

graduates with the aim of creating opportunities for new aspiring

artists through exhibitions, events and a programme of courses.


In 2010 Laura Tori Petrillo started selecting “new talents” during the final degree shows of the art colleges in London and in 2013 founded Academy Now. Among the first 20 shortlisted students, there were recent graduates such as Fatma Bucak, Frank Ammerlaan and Nicolas Feldmeyer who are now internationally recognised artists.

The independent low-budget production and experimental cut of the show alongside with the derelict nonwhite cube space (Maple Street 30- Hanmi Gallery), draw curiosity and brought unexpected attention. In 2014 over 800 people signed up for the private view of the second exhibition which took place in Bologna (Art Defender). In 2015 and 2016 Academy Now presented its new artists in two spectacular venues in Bruxelles: Tour & Taxis and Mont des Arts (Off Art Bruxelles).

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In April 2016 Academy Now presented artists Stephane Roy and Zhu Tian at Do Disturb, Palais de Tokyo, Paris. In the same year Academy Now integrated its activities proving support to students in the competitive application process of prestigious art collages in London and New York. In 2017 Academy Now launched a new event format dedicated to companies, Art & Business. In 2018 Laura Tori Petrillo and Claudio Cazzara established Academy Now APS in Sasso Marconi (Bologna) in view of the new collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art Bologna (MAMbo). In the same year Academy Now announced the launch of ANMAMbo, opening in May in Villa delle Rose with the exhibition You Can Do It and You Must Do It. In 2019 Academy Now has launched a year-round programme of talks and courses dedicated to aspiring artists.


Laura Tori Petrillo is the co-founder and art director of Academy Now. Born in Zurich, she lived/worked in Italy, Austria, Belgium, England and Spain. She gained her MA in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna and she was awarded with an MA in Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism at the Essex University (UK). She is a researcher, curator, gallery manager, event coordinator and started teaching in 2010. She is visiting professor at Fondazione Modena Fotografia, Fondazione Studio Marangoni and IsozeroLab and lectures in various public and private art institutions. Her research interest focuses on contemporary visual culture and emerging talents. She is currently working on “Becoming an Artist”, a research dedicated to the career patterns of aspiring artists given their different social/cultural background.

Since 1997 she continuously contributed to international exhibition projects and events in Europe in private and public galleries/museums. She worked with Prof. Peter Weiermair at the Museum Rupertinum in Salzburg and with art patron David Roberts in London. She started her carrer working with established artists like Christian Boltanski, Arnulf Rainer, Miroslaw Balka and Marlene Dumas and currently works mainly with emerging artists.

She wrote essays on the evolution of public and private art spaces in London and Italy in the new Millenium and on artists Shirin Neshat, Christian Boltanski and Candice Breitz.

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Claudio Cazzara is the co-founder of Academy Now.

Trained engineer and musician (Conservatory of Bologna and Paris) plays in Italy and France in the 80s till mid 90s while developing his career in the marketing aerea in major multinational companies. In the late 90s starts photographing. From 2012 till now he has explored portraiture through collaborations with musicians

and visual artists.

Recent selected publications include: 2012 2019 Academy Now web & blog; 2017 Alex Pryodny, Sound Impressions, CD Cover, NY; 2015 ART ZIP Magazine- London, pp. 159-160-165, Issue 13, Portraits of visual artist Zhu Tian; 2015 LADIES & GENTS Magazine, Milano Finanza, Issue 52, p.60; 2014 Academy Now I Limited Edition Catalogue.


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Collector and president of

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin.

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Head of cultural program & special projects and chief curator of performance art at Palais de Tokyo, Paris.



Private collector and art patron, Berlin


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Senior lecturer at the University of East London and

Director of Diversity Art Forum, London

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Artist, winner of the Broomhill National Sculpture Prize 2014 (UK) and the Catlin Art Prize 2015 (UK), London


Artistic director of MAMbo -Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna

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Co-director of P420 Arte Contemporanea