Exploring The Underground, And Underwater, Art Scene

Culture Vulture
by Ian Yates, Greece | September 1, 2016

Credits: © Piet Freitag

Not many people have heard of the small town of Paleochora on the south coast of Crete but it is growing in stature in the art world. 2016 sees it holding its fourth year of the ‘Paleochora Art Week’, which strangely runs for 16 days from 3rd September through 18th September…who thought artists could be strange? Apparently the name stuck after their first exhibition, which of course ran for seven days; so Paleochora Art Week didn’t sound so bizarre then. Since its inception it has grown exponentially and it now hosts one of the largest collective of art works in the whole of Greece.

In 2015 the highlight was an underwater art exhibition beneath the waves at Methexis Beach. You couldn’t see the exhibits from the shoreline but instead had to don a snorkel and mask and fin your way a few metres out to sea. From an underwater kafenion to lovers inspired portraits the underwater exhibition was the first of its kind in the area and generated a huge amount of interest amongst locals and visitors alike. For those that were not too keen on the sea, or just didn’t want to get their hair wet, the artists had arranged for a film to be made which was screened in the local tavernas and restaurants to allow everybody to see their work.

This year the line up of artists from all over the world is pretty impressive; Anthony Bijnen with Art Dome, Bradley Owen, Claudia Boldura, Jacek Malik and Piet Freitag to name just a few of the international artists and photographers who are displaying this year. There are also artists closer to home who hail from Crete and Greece, such as the magnificent photography of Giorgos Statheas and the beautiful artwork of Nikos Klioronoms and Maria Papadogiannaki.

Throughout the town will be 20 of the so-called ‘Art Points’ where the work from over 40 artists will be on general display to the public. The local businesses are also getting involved and will host displays throughout the festival ‘week’. The town committee members have come up with a great plan on raising charitable funds and are running a tombola where a lucky winner will walk away with one of the featured pieces of artwork as the top prize. For a few euros you could be the proud owner of a very impressive work from one of the top independent artists on the world stage.

So if you are an art lover and fancy a late summer holiday, maybe you haven’t quite decided where to go yet and are looking for inspiration? Why not try out the beautiful island of Crete and pop along to the south coast to experience the tranquil calm of Mediterranean life amongst some truly amazing art. Who knows, the inspiration to draw, paint, picture, sculpt or write may just set you up to create something that is suitable for inclusion in the 2017 Paleochora Art Festival?

Maybe, just maybe, I will see you there.


Credits: © Piet Freitag

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