Significant was the participation of the Cultural Organization in the workshop organized by the Municipality of Kallithea which was held with funding from the Ministry of Culture and was dedicated to the Municipal Galleries. Apart from the Municipal Gallery of Patras, the galleries of the Municipalities of Alimos, Heraklion, Ioannite, Karditsa, Nikaia – Rentis took part in the conference.
On behalf of the Municipality of Patras, the President of the Cultural Organization Katerina Geropanagioti and the head of the Municipal Gallery Yianna Panagopoulou participated in the workshop. The presentation of the actions of the Municipal Gallery of Patras was held alongside the screening of visualized material.
The President of the Cultural Organization began her statement with a reference to the “adverse conditions experienced first-hand by visual artists and the public, stressing that the commercialization of art has brought multiple blows to visual artists who are daily faced with huge financial problems in their living, with difficulties to exhibit their work, whose copyrights to their works are exploited for the profitability of business groups and all kinds of intermediaries.”
He also referred to the “consequences of commercialization that are reflected in the difficulties that the public faces in order to come into contact with the visual arts, such as the expensive tickets to private galleries, museums and other venues, the lack of infrastructure that will promote adequately and without barriers the multifaceted visual arts education, both in Attica and in the region…”, adding that “..it is precisely at this point that the role of the Municipal Galleries is highlighted. A role that can have its own share of contribution to the better, more substantial and more qualitative opening of art to society. As the Cultural Organization of the Municipality of Patras, to which the Municipal Gallery of Patras belongs, we are trying to unfold our action in this direction…”.
She then presented the actions of the Municipal Gallery of Patras where he made special reference to the fact that “the Cultural Organization in the three years of the pandemic not only did not shut down, but against the negative conditions that were formed under the responsibility of the government, continued and continues its actions and the production of culture.
Only at the level of artistic interventions in the last two years the municipal gallery has held numerous events, organizing exhibitions, workshops, guided tours and book publications…”.
On the actions of the Municipal Gallery’s connection with civil society, the President of the Cultural Organization made a detailed reference to five thematic units in which the Cultural Organization moves, noting the following:
- Art in the city – art for the city
Under the title “art in the city – art for the city”, we describe the series of outdoor exhibitions that we started at the end of 2020 and continue until today.
In this context, reproductions of works by Greek – and among them several Patrina-based – artists, belonging to the permanent collection of the Municipal Gallery, are placed at bus stops and in squares, in order to activate a new dimension in our daily movement, while at the same time defining a cultural route, constituting individual parts of a comprehensive exhibition that extends throughout the city.
- Art and culture next to our fellow human beings
We cooperate with the social structures of the Municipality that support vulnerable groups of our fellow citizens, such as Help at Home, the Soup Kitchen, the Homeless Shelter, the People’s Solidarity Care Centre. Paintings, curated by the Artists of our Workshop, decorate the Homeless Shelter. There are artistic interventions in the War Shelter of Ypsilon Alonia, where there is a permanent exhibition of historical memory dedicated to the anti-fascist struggle of the Patra people. Greeting cards painted by the student sections of the Art Workshop travelled in 2021 to schools in the fire-affected areas of North Evia.
- Young people’s contact with the visual arts
In cooperation with the Departments of Cultural Issues of Primary and Secondary Education of Achaia, educational programmes are organised, through which, on the one hand, the familiarisation of students with the museum spaces and on the other hand, their acquaintance with works of art is sought.
Along with the operation of our art workshop and the painting, ceramics and hagiography departments, we give the opportunity to all solar groups to come in contact with the arts.
- Outdoor Sculpture Symposium
For one month Patras turned into a “cradle” of sculpture through the organization of the International Symposium of Sculpture on the theme “1922-2022, refugees”. Ten artists from Greece and abroad carved ten marble blocks, creating corresponding sculptures, which remained in the city and already form an open-air sculpture gallery.
Summing up, she stressed that “As a Municipal Authority, our priority in the field of art and culture is reflected in the operation of the Municipal Gallery, trying to develop through this structure the interest in true art, taking special measures to reach young people. To go out of the context of a classroom and be presented in the neighborhoods of the city. For us it is important for art to reflect, to awaken, to be socially useful”.