Artist Aliki Pappa working on her drawings during the group show "A heap of broken images where the sun beats" at the Aegean Center for the Arts, in Paros, in September 2018.
About the Cycladic Arts Program:
What: The Cycladic Arts Program is an artist run initiative that gives creatives the opportunity to live and work outside of their usual environment, providing them with an ideal place and time to reflect, research and produce work. As part of the program, they are housed and work in a modern and functional space that has been created within the core of a traditional Cycladic house in Alyki, a seaside village of Paros. The residents will be inspired by a new place and a different culture to explore new ways of expression and experiment with new materials. Cycladic Arts also aims to facilitate artistic exchanges outside of Greece. Greek artists are encouraged to travel and exhibit abroad, meet other artists with different backgrounds, and feel a part of the international artist communities around the world.
Where: The program operates in Greece and abroad and includes actions to create conditions for creative collaborations, the exchange of ideas and opportunities between creative minds, including artists of all media, curators, writers, poets, filmmakers - and more. In Greece, the Cycladic Art space where the artists live and work is housed in a recently renovated traditional Cycladic house, built in 1925, located in the picturesque village of Alyki, southwest of Paros, an island in the Aegean Sea. The Cycladic Arts Artist-In-Residence building of 350m2 includes: (a) an exhibition space, (b) accommodation and studio spaces for three residents, (c) common interiors (kitchen and laundry area), (d) the studio/office of the program coordinator, and (e) the courtyards and the surrounding gardens which are places for rest, creating and meeting.
Who: Cycladic Arts was created as a result of the personal and professional career of Dimitra Skandali, a multimedia artist, who shared her time between the United States and Paros from 2011 through 2019. She currently lives and works on Paros and exhibits in Greece and abroad. She is the Program Director of the Cycladic Arts complex as well as the coordinator of the Cycladic Arts Artist-In-Residence Program. To support this initiative, an advisory committee of independent curators and creative minds from the United States, Europe and Greece has been set up. The advisory committee consists of: Katie Hood Morgan, independent curator and cultural producer based in New York's Hudson Valley, Holly Blake, Senior Residency manager of The Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California, Heidi Quante, Bay Area Interdisciplinary Artist & Arts Fundraiser, Camilla Boemio, Rome based, an AICA International Art Critics member and The AAC Platform Co-Founder, writer, consultant & curator, and Dr Kostas Prapoglou, Athens and London based, an archaeologist-architect, contemporary art critic, curator and founder of Artefact Athens.
Within Cycladic Arts exchange approach, collaborations with museums and institutions around the world are cultivated in support of our vision: Torrance Art Museum has been the first one to support this idea facilitating the necessary steps to publish an open call and select one artist from Southern California per year and send them to Cycladic Arts with paid flight fair and the residency cost. The same with AAC Platform, based in Rome, who will make the necessary steps to send one artist from Italy yearly.
Why: The Cycladic Arts program aims to facilitate a dialogue, an exchange of experience, knowledge and skills between people from diverse geographic and ethnic backgrounds, ages, and forms of art and culture.
Cycladic Arts Program provides opportunities and support for creative people to experiment, to conquer new challenges, to be inspired, and meet new worlds; for the local community to interact with visual artists, writers, theorists and people of spirit and their work; to share concerns and a feeling of belonging to a wider community. In the end, to attract an alternative way to experience the island.
The Cycladic Arts Program educational topics:
• Historical, material and intangible cultural heritage
• Sustainability and respect for natural resources
• Traditional professions such as agriculture (cultivation of local products like olive growing, viticulture, beekeeping) and various ways of fishing (longline fishing, trawl, purse seine, pyrofan, barcarola, trolling)
• Raising awareness for the preservation of the very few remaining traditional wooden boats
• The natural beauty that stretches from the emerald beaches surrounded by small cedar forests and the coves in between natural granite rock-sculptures
• The beauty of the mountains and hills with their dry stone walls creating the "terraces" and the simple Cycladic architecture of the traditional settlements of the island; the unique ruins and remnants of prehistoric, ancient Greek and Roman civilisations; the traditional Byzantine churches and monasteries and the Frankish castles
• Traditional music and poetry that originates from the years of Archilochus the Parian (7th century BC).
How: The Cycladic Arts Artist-In-Residence space with its traditional architecture and rich history, aims to be a cornerstone for the dissemination and preservation of the cultural heritage of the island, while becoming a magnet for the fermentation of ideas and a meeting place for exchanges between locals and foreign visitors. Visual artists, art and culture theorists, curators, writers, poets, and other creative minds can benefit not only from this unique living and working experience but also from studio visits from various visitors, and the opportunity to exhibit their work at a future time after their residency is completed.
Within its realm of interests, Cycladic Arts program will do its best to organise a series of activities in Greece and abroad to support exchanges of artists, and also to create conditions for creative collaborations, exchanges of ideas and opportunities.