The Hellenic Art Galleries Association and the J. F. Costopoulos Foundation realised, for a third consecutive year an educational programme on the course of the artwork addressed to students of the Athens School of Fine Arts, practitioners and theorists of art. Organised as part of the events for Art Athina, the programme was based on an idea by Art Athina’s artistic director Stamatia Dimitrakopoulos, and implemented by Antonis Kourkoulos and Meni Strongyli who represented the two co-producers, respectively. This year the team was joined by curator Daphne Politi, who undertook the successful coordination and enriched the project with additional educational tools.
The main aim of the programme is to inform and inspire art students and to prepare their introduction to the art world. The students are invited to approach the artwork and gain First-hand knowledge of the entire process, from production to display. The programme consists of two sections/visits to studios of artists and visits to art galleries. While this year’s version started regularly with a visit to the Kalfayan Gallery during an exhibition of Edouard Sacaillan, the advent of the pandemic and the need to protect citizens from C0V1D-19 led to the decision to continue online so that the students would not miss out on a valuable and informative contact with the art world.
Thus another six teleconference meetings were held with visual artists and the heads of the galleries that represent them in Athens. During these visits the students had the opportunity to meet with artists in their own place of work and discuss practical matters, gain insight into the workings of the art market and understand the galleries’ role in the chain of showcasing and promoting the work of their associates as well as the relationship that gradually takes shape between artists and galleries, as seen from both perspectives. Further topics discussed included artistic residency programmes and the various organisations that provide practical support to artistic creation.
Finally, they attended a seminar again via teleconference-organised specifically for this gear’s special circumstances by curator Daphne Politi on the subject of art publications. The seminar was also the springboard for this volume, whose preparation was undertaken by the students who worked with enthusiasm and inspiration under the guidance of the organising team.
This “exercise” in assimilating and putting into practice the educational programme came as the culmination of what turned out to be a peculiar almost exclusively virtual journey of knowledge that, we believe, still managed to bring the participants unexpectedly ‘close’ despite the unprecedented circumstances.
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