On August 22nd friends and art lovers, including Mayor Yiannis Rangoussis and his wife, gathered at the Aghios Athanassios Old School in Naoussa for the opening of the art exhibition of four artists who work on Paros.
Around Gyp Mills' sensual and graceful bronze and marble sculptures the works of the other three artists were presented: Michaela Ruleta's gouache peppers seem almost to be dancing around each other as the wind whirls through her grey and black Paros villages.
The poetic and translucent colourful facades of Cristof's villages are in joyful acrylic and pastel ('technique mixte'). The stimulating photographs of Fran6 Roger catch glimpses of Paros boats in black and white which are re-coloured with computer technology and transposed onto canvas.
For the occasion the Old School was enhanced with beautiful traditional Greek furniture from Macedonia and Santorini, fine carpets and colourful cushions. The furniture was courtesy of the Palaiopoleio Antique shop and the carpets from the artists' friend Vassilis Giakoumis, the well-known dancer. All frames were made by Idea Studio.
After the close of this exhibition on August 31st, the next exhibition by IPAC (International Paros Art Circle) artists Aristides Varrias and Frédéric Bootz opens September 2nd at 8.30pm and runs until September 16th (open 6-12pm daily).
Aristides Varrias is exhibiting twenty four sculptures of heads. Twelve of them come from the 'Yades Collection', six from the 'Plous Collection' and the remaining six from the 'Flowers of the Stones'. All are sculpted from lychnite, the uniquely smooth and transparent Parian marble from which the famous Venus de Milo (at the Louvre in Paris) and Hermes of Praxiteles at Olympia are made.
Aristides' sculptures, fashioned with the same instruments that the ancient Greek sculptors used, are faces which 'emerge' from each piece of marble, without altering the original shape. In this way each piece serves as a special and independent entity with its own unique personality. The faces change their expression as the light on them changes. Their personalities transform the viewer, who is challenged to be engaged as 'Prosopo'.
Frédéric Bootz is well known in Greece. He has lived on Paros since 1984 and exhibited a number of times in this country as well as participating in various events in several other countries. In his work Frédéric says he is always looking for something that has been lost - like a lost paradise. Something quite chaotic, but always with the light of hope. His pictures show small human figures, small because they represent the fact that all of us - finally - will disappear, though he views that simply as the reality of life, not something to be particularly sad about.
Living on Paros has, he says, influenced his work - in particular in his use of the colour dark blue, which he never used before. For him this colour represents heaviness, mystery and myth. He keeps aware of the work of other artists to remain clear in his inner navigation for his own work, seeing his own development as a painter as a kind of search for meaning. Ultimately he finds meaning in the practical: "You live. You do your work. You clean the house. You go fishing. You prepare the dinner. You paint. Life."
He sees survival as life's highest priority and art as an integral part of survival. "Without art, life is poor. Look at the old days in Greece. Everyone was surrounded by art, stimulated by art. What a culture! What a civilization! A place without art is permanently
in danger of disappearing - like a field without sun and rain."
Frédéric will be showing 26 pieces of his work, all completed during
the past year, at this exhibition.
Following the exhibition of Aristides and Frédéric, two more IPAC
artists, Andree Schulz Walgenbach and Peter Seibt, will be showing
their work at Aghios Athanassios, opening at 8.30pm on 18th September
and running until 1st October (open 6-12pm daily).
Andree Schulz Walgenbach was born in Berlin in 1945. He first came
to Paros in 1968 and has been returning every year since, spending
part of his year here and, since 1986, part of his year in the area
of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Murnau, Germany.
From his very first visits to Paros he began to make sketches and
watercolours (aquarelles) of the island. In this exhibition he will
show work from 1995-2003, all completed on Paros, under the title "Landscapes
of Paros". These pieces include some very personal impressionistic
oil pastels on paper and drawings called "Sentimental Journey", which
he is showing for the first time. They were created in the summer
of 1995 at special moments and in some of the areas of Paros he loves
He has since changed his technique to gouache on canvas. Some of
his paintings from winter and spring 2003 give an impression of the
gardens of Paros; others - six under the title of "Growing Cities" - represent
the destruction of unspoiled nature for the sake of 'civilization'.
This work was included in the EuroArt exhibition in Graz, Austria
in May and June 2003. See also Andree's website: www.andree-schulz.de.
C.P. Seibt has lived, travelled, studied and worked in several countries
in Europe, in the USA, Asia and Africa. For the last 11 years he
has been working mostly on Paros. He paints, creates objects and
installations and contributes to the presence of art on the world
wide web (see www.transrealart.com).
His work is owned by several collectors, museums and companies in
Europe, America and Japan. At this exhibition Peter will be showing
several pictures from a new sequence of his work entitled "The Odyssey".
He explains the title: "The Odyssey is most important for Greece,
not only as part of the Greek (and, indeed, the world's) cultural
heritage, but as a source of insight for the individual life of each
human being. The Odyssey is a story from which an artist - constantly 'travelling' with
his work - can learn much. One's individual way of painting and creating
is similar to the journey to Ithaca. You never stay in one place.
You rest, perhaps, for a while, but sooner or later you must move
on through the endless sea of art. Nothing is certain, nothing secure.
You must navigate all the time, again and again resetting your compass
according to your inner direction towards Ithaca.
Everything Odysseus encounters on his journey, an artist will encounter
too. Endless risks, adventures, seductions. There is the island of
the Lotophages, the Lotus Eaters: nice people, but dangerous, as
eating the flower causes you to forget what art asks from you and
what you have to do. Then there are the Laestrygones: the market
eats you up if you focus your success on it instead of on the creative
task at hand. The sweet voices of the Sirens sing their song luring
you to adapt your work to the expectations of yesterday's taste.
The Charybdis tries to suck you down into your own deep shadow. The
heads of Scylla are hungry for your discipline, awareness, honesty
at work, courage, humour with disasters, sadness about the ugliness
rather than beauty of things or people. Some of the so-called experts
in the art market are transformed into animals. And all the time
Poseidon is right behind you with the ignorance of mediocrity and
the ever-present threat of stormy seas.
"It can be really dangerous, but remember Athena is on your side,
supporting you with advice and giving you hope to continue with
your work, promising that Ithaca still exists as long as you try to
reach it. And then there is Circe - the pure magic of art. Meaning
that something works, though you don't know exactly how. One
moment nothing is there, but you begin and suddenly something
new exists. Magic. Odysseus spend a whole year with Circe,
believing it was one night. As an artist, you spend your whole
life under this magic influence.
"And although an artist
might try to stay on the nice, secure, easy surface of reality, the visit
to Hades is unavoidable if any real work is to be created. You have
to go within yourself as deep as possible, always. There you are
confronted by your own ghosts and fears as well as the spectres of
the collective unconscious. Only then will you be guided to the new
understanding that transcends the limits of the rational mind. This
process assists you on your way to Ithaca by helping you become
more authentic, simpler, discarding narcissistic mannerisms and
behaviour and adopting a more direct and honest approach.
"There is humour in art too, of course. I am sure that Odysseus was
not always worrying and bitter, overcome with concerns. We always
have a good reason to enjoy our journey - it's our life. So we should
smile and laugh as often as we can, especially about oneself. I love
life, I love art, I love people - I smile!"
Peter's next projects
after the Odyssey sequence include one for
Paros and another huge project of 21 pictures to be completed by
the end of this year. This latter is a work under the patronage of
UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, that will travel around the world
and involve audience participation.
He doesn't know what comes after that, except, of course, his continued
journey towards Ithaca. And if he should arrive there?
"That's all in Constantine Cavafy's beautiful poem - 'Ithaca gave you the
journey'. That's it."
Natasa was born in Athens in 1969 and had her first lessons in painting
from her artist mother Chara Belegri.
She studied at the school of Byzantine Hagiography at the Centre
for Greek Art and Culture. She also studied painting and drawing
for two years with painter Lorenzo Karpathaki and with Jane Morris
Pack at the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts on Paros. She has held
a number of individual and group exhibitions and lives and works
permanently on Paros.
Natasa expresses herself on canvas and wood with vivid colours using
oil, egg tempera and aquarelle. She likes depicting nature on unreal,
dreamy backgrounds. She looks at art purely as a demonstration of
inner feelings and moods and not as a profession. One of her beliefs
is that art should be passed on to others both as technique and as
ideology, and that is what she practices in her everyday life. She
also creates Byzantine icons and mosaics.
Her work will be on exhibit at the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts
from August 21st until September 7th. For further information call
22840-23630 or see www.parosweb.com/natasa/.
The exhibition "Metamorphosis" opened at the Holland Tunnel Arts
Center in Paroikia in mid-August with their annual Arts & Jazz Weekend
featuring Dutch pianist-singer Heleen Schuttevaer and her jazz quartet.
Participating artists are:
Paulien Lethen (New York, USA) shows a series of compositions (collages,
paintings) about the mystery of what is and what may be, changing
chaos into order, randomness into balance. Lethen is the director
of the Holland Tunnel Gallery in New York and its summer extension
Jan Mulder (Utrecht, Netherlands) considers himself a classical painter
in the modern tradition. His paintings and watercolours are abstract
landscapes, painted with perceptible vitality and energy.
Bix Lye (New York, USA) explores the "grey area" between sculpture
and painting. His sculptures are intriguing compositions, though
they seem simple and minimalistic at first sight.
Jos Looise (Rotterdam, Netherlands) works in various media. He is
a painter, photographer and designer and in "Metamorphosis" he will
show a selection of drawings.
Holland Tunnel is located in the former stockrooms of a 17th century
merchant's house off the main shopping street in Parikia between
the Pirate Bar and the Aghios Trianda Church.
The exhibition is open by appointment until September 15th. For further
information call 22840-22195 or 22840-22700.
The work of Greek painter Yiannis Dendrinos will be on exhibit this
month at the Agricultural Union building (Enosi Agrotikon Syneterismon)
on the road to Kamares from Paroikia.
The exhibition is open from August 27th until September 7th between
the hours of 6-9pm.
The Anezina Gallery in Drios held a highly successful opening of
its latest exhibition on the evening of August 11th with guests including
Yiannis Rangoussis - the Mayor of Paros, Christos Vlachogiannis - the
President of the Municipal Council, and other local dignitaries.
The exhibition, "Odi sto Theos" (Song for the Summer) featured the
work of twenty Greek artists and ran until the end of August. For
further information about the Anezina Gallery contact gallery owner
Dimitris Pantzatidis on 22840-43901 or 697-7537070.
Since the beginning of June and continuing until October, a group
show, organised by Maité Martini, is on display on the upper floor
of the Metaxas Gallery in Naoussa. Presenting the work in various
media of women who live in or are related to Paros, the exhibition
includes: boxes and paintings by American artist Caroline Adams,
monotypes by Neva Bergemann from the USA, landscape oil paintings
by Greek artist Dimitra Chanioti, paintings in acrylic by Vasiliki
Bisbicou, monoprint landscapes in egg tempera by American painter
Jan Clark-Kokkini, acrylic and aquarelle paintings by Maité Martini,
aquarelle and pastes by Isabella Mavrogeni, egg tempera and oil paintings
by Jane Morris Pack, marble and wood sculptures and drawings by American
sculptor Britt Spillers, mosaics by Angelika Vaxevanidou, charcoal
and watercolours by Judith Voboril, oil paintings by Marsha Spyridoyannakis
from the USA and photographs by Susan Daboll-Dimitracopoulos from
Next year the Metaxas Gallery will expand the exhibition of paintings,
sculpture and photography to include the ground floor space and it
will be run as a non-profit enterprise for the benefit of Parian
For further information, call the Metaxas Gallery on 22840-52667.
Paros Summer Music Festival
The last two concerts of the 2003 Paros Summer Music Festival organized
by Nancy Goldenberg will be held during the month of September.
The first will be held on Saturday, September 6th at 8pm when the
young prodigy Asian violinist Lana Yumi Lee will play the famous
Mendelssohn violin concerto, the Debussy sonata for violin and piano,
the Paganini 'Cantabile' and the unbelievably difficult, tour de
force piece by Sarasate the 'Carmen Variations', with Nancy Goldenberg
Lana Lee is currently in her third year at New York's Juilliard School.
She began studying violin at the age of nine. She has won many important
competitions and has made numerous appearances to great acclaim.
Reviews have described her as having a rare combination of passion,
musical maturity and outstanding technique, an amazing young talent
with the ability to keep the audience "so quiet that you could hear
a mouse". The New York Times wrote "the audience was spellbound during
the concert and on their feet cheering afterwards"; and Newsday: "An
outstanding performer not to be missed".
On Saturday, 20th September at 8pm, the world-famous mime artist
Irene Orda appears in an evening of mime and music with Maroulia
Kontou and Nancy Goldenberg on piano.
Irene Orda was born in Zurich and studied ballet at a very young
age. Thus began her love of all kinds of dance and movement. She
lived in Vienna and studied pantomime with Samy Molcho (the best
in the world), took acting lessons and devoted herself to learning
Indian temple dancing. She then moved to Paris to study at the Ecole
de Mime where she learned to combine dance and pantomime. She now
performs all over the world.
Ms Orda's pantomime will be accompanied by Nancy Goldenberg and Paros
pianist Maroulia Kontou. Reviews have touted Ms Orda's performances
as being wonderfully funny, entertaining and pertaining to everyone's
every-day life. The music she performs to is the 'Carnival of the
Animals', Schumann, Debussy, and popular and jazz music.
Next year the Paros Summer Music Festival plans to give concerts
on the islands of Syros, Naxos and also perhaps Samos. A CD will
be available for sale at the last concert comprising the best of
the performances from this 2003 season.
Tickets for the festival can be reserved by calling 22840-52807 or
22840-24607 and should be collected on the night by 7.30pm. Book
in advance if you want to be sure of a seat. Ticket cost is 12 euros.
A Review by Jeffrey Carson:
Oxana Archaeva, soprano Vlad Weverbergh, clarinet Nancy Goldenberg, piano
Archilochos Hall, Saturday, August 9th
The most beautiful musical instrument, the most sensitive, willful,
expressive, flexible, and communicative is undoubtedly the human
voice. We are much more apt to criticize a singer's instrument than
a flutist's, the same way that we are much more apt to criticize
an artist's drawing of a nude than of a flower: we are the nude,
so no deformities permitted. Consequently when one goes to hear a
singer, one is nervous: will this be a success, or will we cringe
in our seats? Even a famous diva can have an off night, and there
are no cover-ups. Singing is a stressful profession.
From her first group, soprano Oxana Archaeva set us at our ease and
increased our expectations. Her technique was unobtrusively superb;
her voice was rich and big; her stage manner, in a décolleté red
dress, was appropriately pleasing; her program was ambitiously varied;
and her musicianship evident through every number. She began with
two arias by Alessandro Scarlatti, who would be a big name were eighteenth-century
opera popular, and one by Stradella, from whom Handel liked to plagiarize.
This was followed by a deliciously showy Mozart aria: surely Mozart
had a voice such as Miss Archaeva's, confident high and low, in mind
In keeping with the mood of the evening, accompanist Nancy Goldenberg
glided suavely through her own transcription of popular Mozart arias,
mostly from the Magic Flute, with some Figaro thrown in. We on Paros
know Nancy is a virtuoso pianist, but we like to be reminded of it.
And of course we are all grateful to her for producing the Paros
Music Festival, which has contributed so much to Paros's cultural
The first set concluded with Schubert's 'Shepherd on the Rock', one
of those pieces whose magical innocence, under the guise of the pastoral,
suppresses notions of sophistication or naivet?. Probably Schubert's
last work, it begins with a flowing andantino for piano and clarinet.
The soprano enters with the words, "When I stand on the highest cliff,
gazing into the deep valley, and sing and sing", and the clarinet
echoes each phrase; the allegretto ends Schubert's life with praise
of spring. The clarinet is not usually a pastoral instrument - that's
the oboe's role - but Mr. Weverbergh made it so, with the breath
of verdant valleys and azure skies. This was twelve minutes of pure
After an intermission made more convivial by cold wine donated by
Paros's Moraitis winery, Miss Archaeva gave full release to her passions
in Violetta's aria from La Traviata, "Ah, perhaps 'tis he", and later
to her flirtiness in Manon's aria from Massenet's opera. Between
these, Mr. Weverbergh and Nancy played an arrangement of five piano
pieces by Debussy, in which the clarinet's open smooth sound let
the varied impressions speak for themselves.
It is not surprising that Miss Archaeva, a Ukrainian, has a flare
for Russian song. After a group of beautiful Tchaikovsky songs -
you don't hear these very often - she concluded with five songs by
Rachmaninoff, romantic, nostalgic, chromatic, sung with much feeling.
For encore, we were given a big aria from Tannhauser, which let her
soprano expand, and Gershwin's 'Summertime', which let it soar.