Hellenic American Project Releases Virtual “Life-Giving Art” Exhibit

Life-Giving Art: 9 Women Artists of the Diaspora Exhibit; HELEN DAFERERA, Labyrinths, 2020

The Hellenic American Project recently held a virtual reception for their “Life-Giving Art: 9 Women Artists of the Diaspora” exhibit, which celebrates the concept of motherhood.

The exhibition was organized by both Queens College sociology professor Dr. Nicholas Alexiou and art historian Tiffany M. Apostolou, who also helped in curating the event.

The purpose was to bring together nine women artists of Hellenic descent and to have them showcase pieces that reflected their unique experiences within the diaspora, exploring themes of identity, belonging, and motherhood.

With the effects of the pandemic, the exhibition also functioned as a response to the unique circumstances imposed by the quarantine. According to Tiffany M. Apostolou “We wanted to evoke, as close as would be possible through solely digital means, the true experience of seeing an art exhibition.”

Curator Tiffany M. Apostolou selected the pieces that would best convey the themes of the exhibit. Photo credit: nyu.academia.edu/TiffanyApostolou

Dr. Nicholas Alexiou also added by saying that “against the difficulties of the times, an art exhibit is an attempt to elevate people’s spirit and to stand by the community, both in general and in a particular sense.”

While Greek-Americans have made significant contributions to the field of art, they are still relatively not well known within the community. Thus, the goal of the exhibit was to also help showcase the development and diverse expression of the Greek-American diaspora.

“To a large extent, the history of the Hellenic experience in America has yet to be fully researched and documented, as well as preserved,” Alexiou added.

The artists that were featured in the exhibit include prominent figures such as Eozen Agopian, Helen Daferera, Nicole Economides, Eleni Giannopoulou, Morfy Gkikas, Despina Konstantinides, Despo Magoni, Aphrodite Navab, and Sophia Vari.

DESPINA KONSTANTINIDES, Cabiria, 2015

Curator Tiffany M. Apostolou expressed her thanks by saying, “We were honored with the participation of nine artists from different walks of life and stages in their careers that allowed us to give a broader introduction to the wonderful work being produced by women artists of the Greek diaspora.”

Both organizers hope that the exhibition will imbue viewers with a sense of nostalgia from reminiscing over the deep and meaningful connections of life during these difficult times.

A physical catalog of the exhibition that delves deeper into the works and diaspora is expected to be published soon. Viewers are able to access a virtual version here.

The “Life-Giving Art: 9 Women Artists of the Diaspora” exhibit can be viewed on the HAP website as well as updates regarding new content and upcoming events.

The Hellenic American Project is a nonprofit program under CUNY that documents the Hellenic American presence in the US from the first wave of mass immigration in the 1900s to now.