Our vision is to be a source of inspiration for future generations and a point of reference for artists and art lovers.
Our mission is to support and promote contemporary art and culture and to aid lifelong learning and the transmission of knowledge to future generations.
Guided by her love for art and the conviction that culture and hospitality are inextricably connected, in 1988, Gina Mamidakis organized the first Art Symposium, inviting 32 artists and 5 curators from Greece, Europe and the United States to Minos Beach art hotel. Long before art residencies became popular in Greece, the first Art Symposium brought together artists who coexisted and produced sight specific sculptural installations. The success of the first Symposium led to two more, in 1990 and 1993. The second Art Symposium invited 16 emerging and renowned artists and 6 speakers from the Mediterranean to explore the idea of a New Mediterranean Cultural Identity. Three years later, shortly after the end of the Cold War, the third Art Symposium, exploring the relationship between art and politics, brought together 22 artists whose work had been restricted by totalitarian regimes.
After each Symposium, the artists left behind the in situ sculptural installations they had created, thus setting the foundations for what is today an emblematic art collection comprising more than 70 artworks, the majority of which are on permanent display at the Sculpture Garden of Minos Beach art hotel. With such an important window into the artistic experimentations of the second half of the 20th century, the Sculpture Garden – a legacy shared by the G&A Mamidakis Foundation and bluegr – is simultaneously an independent entity and an integral element of Minos Beach.
The George and Aristea Mamidakis Foundation was established in 1993 by Gina Mamidakis, in honor of her parents. With art and culture as our central pillars, we conceptualize, coordinate and implement activities and initiatives that support and promote contemporary art and the production of new works, freedom of artistic expression and lifelong learning.
Since its establishment, the G&A Mamidakis Foundation has implemented a variety of
activities in order to help students and guests become more acquainted
with contemporary art and culture. Apart from the three important and pioneering Art Symposia (1988, 1990 & 1993), over the years, we have promoted contemporary art through many group and solo exhibitions with accompanying catalogues, as well as numerous site specific commissions. In addition, through our educational programs, we wish to inspire the creative forces of the new generation by providing ground for learning, experimentation and development. Among other things, we have produced a series of seminars on Greek
mythology, conducted educational tours of our art collection, and held
creative workshops for students, in collaboration with schools in Crete.
The establishment of the Art Prize in 2019 facilitates the production of new artworks and constitutes the culmination of a thirty-year long effort to strengthen contemporary artistic leadership, which now more than ever needs the appropriate support and promotion. The Art Prize does not only support artists financially, but also provides them with the opportunity to create a site specific artwork that will join an important cultural heritage. Finally, the soon-to-be-launched International Artistic Research Residency Programme aims to facilitate the movement and collective creation of international cultural professionals.
We seek to create and maintain a network of international institutions and people from various scientific and cultural fields which will continue to grow, offering its members support and opportunities for future collaborations.