1st Educational Workshop: “Contemporary Art on Our Side”

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Introducing students to the world of modern art!

The Educational Workshop “The Contemporary Art on Our Side” for middle and high school students was successfully realised by the G. & A. Mamidakis Foundation.

The G. & A. Mamidakis Foundation and its artistic director Sotiris Bahtsetzis, implemented the Pilot Workshop “The Contemporary Art on Our Side” on Sunday, October 21, 2018, at the Minos Beach art hotel in Agios Nikolaos, Crete.

The aim was to guide secondary school pupils, from the town of Ag. Nicholas of Crete, in the world of contemporary art. The participation in the educational workshop was free, as it was supported by the G. & A. Mamidakis Foundation, as part of actions promoting art and culture in the local community of Agios Nikolaos.

The workshop was held twice on Sunday from 11:00 to 14:00 and 15:00 to 18:00 and was attended by a total of 53 students from the 1st and 2nd General Lyceum and the 1st Gymnasium of Agios Nikolaos accompanied by 9 teachers. The workshop was also attended by the Head of School Activities of Agios Nikolaos Secondary Education. In the three-hour training workshop/tour, students had the opportunity to come in contact with Contemporary Art and take a tour of important works of the Foundation’s art collection exhibited at the Minos Beach art hotel.

The purpose of the specific educational workshop (which is in full association with the modern museum pedagogical theories) was mainly concerned with the approach of museum objects /content through the promotion of personal interpretations and personal creative expression by visitors. In this sense, the general aim of the educational workshop was to promote the outdoor museum of modern art as a place of non-formal learning.

The content of the workshop concerned a discussion with the children on basic concepts of contemporary art, such as public and private museums, the collection of works of art, the role of the artist, the concepts of aesthetics and elegance, the concepts of realism and abstraction, as well as the particularities of modern artistic production.

The approach of the workshop focused on promoting critical thinking and dialogue, and developing skills to analyze and approach museum content. Both the discussion and the tour of the collections aimed at giving feedback to imagination and creativity, raising questions, leaving room for uncertainties and assumptions, but also creating links with both school teaching material and everyday reality of the students. A list of the collections of the G. & A. Mamidakis Foundation, a copy of Cynthia Freeland’s book “Is It Art?” and souvenirs, were offered to every student and teacher.

Teachers and students responded positively, showing great interest in the workshop, while expressing their desire to implement other educational workshops for all forms of art. As well as participating in workshops that the children will create works of art under the guidance of an artist.

The workshop was attended by the Vice-President of the Foundation, Mrs. Marilena Mamidakis, who welcomed the children and said:

“I am delighted to welcome you to the first tour of our open-air museum, in Minos Beach art hotel. This institution began about 30 years ago and the collection is listed by 70 works of art on the premises of the hotel, by renowned Greek and foreign artists. The Foundation was created by my sister and is dedicated to our parents, George and Aristea. The pillars of the Foundation are Art, Culture and, of course, People. I present to you the curator of the collection, Mr. Sotiris Bahetsetzis and I conclude with a wish, when you are studying in Greece or abroad, remember this day and be proud that you saw, you were guided and you talked about one of the few open-air museums in Greece, located in Agios Nikolaos. Be sure to become ambassadors for other schools in your prefecture and the whole Crete.”

It is worth noting that other workshops with the same theme will be organized in the spring 2019, as there was interest from other classes of schools for participation in the workshop.


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