Why come to Paros to learn art?
Artists have been coming to Greece for centuries. The special quality of the light in the Aegean may be a fascination, or the rich classical heritage are two among other reasons, such as the pleasant weather and inexpensive living costs. These elements and the accepting nature of the inhabitants made the islands a haven for artists seeking to find the solitude and the space to connect to their creative source.
What does Paros offer now? An environment free of malls, highways and advertising. A beautiful unpolluted landscape. An simpler schedule, walkable access to most needs, easily found social life, casual atmosphere. Nearby nature, a new culture which allows you to depart, to be an outsider, to learn about yourself in the reflection of others. The chance to participate in life under different terms. A community of people doing creative work where you join others engaged in art and ideas. Freedom from distractions.
The Aegean Center offers a place to incubate ideas and try things out. Experimenting with different media allows students to tap into inner yearnings and toy with ideas. An open curious attitude to the world is encouraged and since it is not a competitive atmosphere and there are no grades, the students are given the time for necessary thinking resulting in depth and clarity. For most it is a transformative experience.
The inspiration that lies innate in the pure beauty and artistic history of this place has been born within each of us as we continue to hone our craft. Even though we may not participate in each course, we are gaining new appreciation for many art forms. The effort we apply to our art directly connects to the experience of the process and the beauty of our final product. Judgment has no place here; the artists and their work are met only with open-mindedness, constructive support, and encouragement. Each of us is in some way lost, lost in a world that encourages consumerism, materialism, and financial gain. We are of the part of the world that does not subscribe to these beliefs; therefore, we are in essence outsiders, searching for places and people who are like ourselves. So we have come miraculously to find ourselves among a select group of individuals, and we have become, in this short time, a family of artists. We have taken the risk and the opportunity of transplanting ourselves from our everyday routines into the vast unfamiliarity of the Aegean Center, of Paros, of Greece. Being thrown into the ‘unfamiliar’ challenges our limiting beliefs, our past experiences, and in essence, who we are. This continuous odyssey of losing and discovering who we are defines our art. We are here to experience the process, and when we come out on the other side, we will see it with new eyes.
Suzanne Adams – June 2005