NEW YORK – The Consulate General of Greece in New York with the Nisyrian Society and Fairfield University, presented the opening of The Island of Nisyros: A Photographic Essay on February 28.
Nisyros is a small island in the Dodecanese, northwest of Rhodes and is generally considered one of the hidden treasures of the Aegean Sea. It has a volcano like Santorini, but it is not overrun by tourists. An integral part of the island’s charm is its authentic villages, the traditional cafes, the squares, and the churches founded on the rocks.
All of the above, as well as the eerie beauty of the volcano, sparked the Fairfield University Professor of Art History and Visual Culture, Katherine A Schwab.
Dr. Schwab presented her impressive photographs from her trips to Nisyros. In the exhibition presented at the Consulate General, one can make a short visual trip to Nisyros with images from the capital of the island, Mandraki, but also from other villages, such as Emporios, Nikia, as well as the volcanic crater Polyvotis.
It is noteworthy that Schwab, with lengthy in-depth investigations and analyses, has decisively contributed to the important historical recognition of the unique metopes on the east side of the Parthenon, which represent the creation of Nisyros during the battle between sea god Poseidon and the giant Polyvotis. Poseidon threw a piece of the larger, neighboring island of Kos at Polyvotis, and thus formed Nisyros. This representation is also the emblem of the Nisyrian Society.
Anthoula Katsimatides acted as Master of Ceremonies for the event and announced the speakers, Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras, the new President of the Nisyrian Society Nicholas Papamichael, Fairfield University President Mark Nemec, the Dean of Fairfield’s College of Arts and Sciences Professor Richard Greenwald, and Dr. Schwab.
“Today we are all Nisyrians,” Consul General Koutras said in his welcoming remarks.
He added that it was a great honor presenting the exhibition with Fairfield University. Koutras said, “This event gives me great joy because it combines two of my favorite activities… reading history and landscape photography. Nisyros, as you know, is the birthplace of some of the most prominent members of our Greek-American community in New York, such as the Catsimatides family and the Andriotis family and many more.”
Nisyrian Society President Nicholas Papamichael, thanked Koutras, Fairfield University, and Dr. Schwab. Fairfield University President Mark Nemec said, “Our relationship with the Consulate General of Greece in New York is about fifteen years old and the Consul General himself has visited our University. Our relationship with the Greek-American community has a long history.”
Dr. Schwab said that “my trip to Nisyros began out of curiosity. I have a series of graphite drawings describing the remnants of the eastern metope of the Parthenon. And I refer to the square marble frames above the columns of the monument, which can be seen today at the Acropolis Museum. The Parthenon East Metope 6, shows the mighty god Poseidon pushing down a large rock, burying with it a kneeling victim, the giant Polyvotis. The rock covers half the surface of the square frame – the marble frames are more than one meter in size. This rock depicts Nisyros.”
Nisyros is the only landscape feature in any of the surviving Parthenon metopes. The exhibition was organized by the Program in Art History & Visual Culture in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Fairfield University and it forms the third exhibition collaboration with the Consulate General of Greece in New York. Dr. Schwab’s original Parthenon drawings were exhibited at the Greek Consulate General in New York in 2014 which served as the launch for a traveling exhibition in the U.S. through 2018 and her Photographs of the Caryatid Hairstyling Project was presented in 2015.
Present at the exhibition opening were His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Archdeacon Panteleimon Papadopoulos who is also an alumni of Fairfield University, Consul of Greece Lana Zochiou, and Consul General of Cyprus Alexis Phedonos-Vadet.
Also present were John Catsimatidis accompanied by his wife Margo, Nikos Andriotis, George Andriotis, Maria Andriotis, Nicholas Kourides, Professor Dean Scaros, George Venizelos, Eftychia Pilarinos-Piper, Konstantinos Rallis, Jimmy DeMetro, and many more.
The exhibition will remain open to the public at the Consulate General, 60 East 79 Street in Manhattan until March 14, Monday-Friday 9 am to 2:30 pm. Upcoming events at the Consulate General include the Open House on March 22 in celebration of Greek Independence Day March 25th, as well as the opening of the solo exhibition by the artist Giorgos Taxidis.