NEW YORK – AGAPW, ALLILONnet, and Coco–Mat hosted the opening of the art exhibition, Painting the Greek Summer. The distinguished artists Yiannis Kaminis, Eirini Linardaki, Argie Moutafis Agelarakis, Aphrodite Navab, and Margaret Tsirantonakis are included in this celebration of art, community, and summer which opened a reception/networking event on July 24, at the Coco–Mat Showroom in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood. The paintings will be on display at Coco-Mat into September.
Welcoming the attendees, AGAPW founder and president and local coordinator of ALLILONnet for the USA – NY, Olga Alexakos, presented the five artists and their works, which are for sale, while underlining that each project has a reference point to Greece and its various aspects, such as history, mythology, and the colors of Greece.
Video by TNH/Costas Bej.
Speaking of the co-organizers’ philosophy, Alexakos said that Coco-Mat represents the welcoming Greek culture as do AGAPW and ALLILONnet, “We are open to accepting organizations from other cultures, nationalities, and all together we create this beautiful city, New York.”
Then, referring to the terrible fires in Greece and the national period of mourning that was declared, she asked for a moment of silence in memory of the victims.
Alexakos said that this is the second art exhibition at Coco-Mat to promote Greek-American and Greek artists in New York, noting that the message that she wants to communicate through this event is that “Greece lives among us” and that the event creates a “bridge” between Greece and New York.
A common point among the artists, she said, is their love for Greece, explaining that Yiannis Kaminis lives in Thessaloniki, Argie Moutafis and Margaret Tsirantonakis are based in New York and visit Chania in the summer, while Aphrodite Navab is half Greek and half Iranian, lives in New York, but has Greece in her heart.
Among the participating artists, Tsirantonakis and Linardaki were present, and thanked the organizers and described the themes of their works.
As Coco-Mat sales manager in New York, Zographos Zografos said, the company, even before operating outside of Greece, has always promoted other Greek organizations and groups with a similar philosophy, with children’s parties, cooking demonstrations, and painting exhibitions. He noted that “Coco-Mat is Greece. We always first opened the door to share Greek hospitality with the world and then we were trying to do business, too.”
Referring to art exhibitions on the company’s premises, Zografos said, “We always work with ambitious artists, who are showcased in a space like this, the showroom, which is particularly suited to art exhibitions,” adding that Coco-Mat likes the Greek idea to be heard, especially outside of Greece.
At the same time, he pointed out that Coco-Mat managed to expand outside Greece, highlighting the fact that despite the difficulties caused by the economic crisis, 100 percent of production continues in Greece and especially in Xanthi. “And so we keep the quality, he said, “and we also contribute the most to Greece, jobs.”
Towards the end of the event, the raffle drawing took place courtesy of Coco-Mat which donated two pillows for the raffle, and artists Aphrodite Navab and Margaret Tsirantonakis, who donated their works to benefit AGAPW.
More information is available online: www.agapw.org.