Art Hopping In The Aegean: Aegeanale’s Contemporary Art Festival Travels The Greek Islands

Photo of Danai Molocha
26 January 2016

A new art and culture platform aims to establish the Aegean sea as a fascinating destination for contemporary art lovers, with site-specific art, traveling exhibitions and accompanying events giving the ancient sea new cultural nuances. From painting to video and mixed-media, Aegeanale reinvents the Greek archipelago as a place of inspiration, creativity and captivating intercultural dialogue for locals and visitors alike.

Filippos Tsitsopoulos artwork/ | © Kivotos Arts Project

Established in 2012 and run by an international team of specialists, Aegeneale begins its first artistic adventure in summer 2013. The organisation aims to highlight the Greek archipelago as an international cultural destination, where typical island-hopping turns into a creative journey with changing scenery and artwork. To the art-loving visionaries involved, the current Greek state of affairs can only serve as an added challenge and an ideal opportunity to capitalize on the region’s extensive potential for forming new intercultural friendships in a time of tension.

Sculpture by Martha Dimitropoulou/ | © Kivotos Arts Projects

A number of islands dispersed throughout the Aegean sea — namely Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Crete, Lesvos, Sifnos and Rhodes — will host the traveling art projects that shape this year’s Aegeanale, which began in May 2013 and will restlessly continue until the end of tourist season in October. The cultural vision of the Aegeanale team doesn’t stop there however: from summer 2014, a visual arts residency program will take place in six Greek islands, with the participation of five international curators and six artists. The plan involves guest artists molding each island’s natural landscape and resources into site-specific installations that will permanently occupy the space, ultimately creating ‘a pioneering open park of art’ that will give each destination a unique artistic identity and legacy.

Kivotos Hotel/ | © Kivotos Hotel

In 2013 there is still plenty to keep arts-fuelled island-hoppers busy: to name just a few, the new exhibition space ‘Loved’, in Paros’s Paroikia, is hosting the exhibition True Romance (1-23 August), with the playmobil-inspired photographs of Nikos Rakkas. As for the typically forward-thinking Mykonos, the scenic Kivotos boutique hotel proves there is much more to the island than its famous club culture. Kivotos Art Projects @ Kivotos Hotel, curated by Sozita Goudouna, inaugurate the hotel’s new exhibition space with five successive shows alternating video, photography, painting, sculpture and mixed-media by Polina Kassimatis, Hara Piperidou, Brigitte Polemis, Filippos Tsitsopoulos, Yiannis Christakos and many more. Parallel exhibitions will take place in other curated areas of the hotel, while the opening ceremony of each show will make sure it turns into a full-scale event, with accompanying performance, music and dance by prominent guests.

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