By Stephanie Nikolopoulos
NEW YORK – Athens street scenes, Medieval Cretan towns, and Santorini churches exemplify the diversity of Greece in “Echoes of Greece,” a photography exhibit currently on view at New York City’s Umbrella Arts. Seen through the lens of ten photographers, the country and people depicted are at once familiar and timeless to anyone who has traveled there in the past thirty years.
A wild-haired, mustachioed man sits smoking at a visibly dirty outdoor table in a small village, in Judith Panagotopulos’ “Good Morning.” Chin tucked into her neck, eyes hidden behind sunglasses, a burly shopkeeper in a calf-length floral skirt sleeps in the tiny entrance to a newsstand crammed with tourism books, magnets, and gleaming icons in a typical Athens scene, shot by Susan Schiffer. Margarita Mavromichalis’ vibrantly colored “Resting” depicts an old woman in Rethymno, sleeping peacefully in a bed outfitted with a clash of patterned sheets.
The group exhibition originated from two photography workshops Harvey Stein and Mavromichalis ran in Greece this May. In addition to students spending time photographing people, fish markets, cemeteries, and the sea, the instructors led them in demonstrations, discussions, and critiques of their work. Afterward, Stein asked each of the photographers—Bruce Cohn, Leda Costa, Jeff Larson, Catherine Lehman, David A. Loomar, Mavromichalis, Judith Panagotopulos, Lynn Savarese, Susan Schiffer, and Jackie Schwimmer—to submit eight to ten photographs, from which he then selected the final three from each photographer. These thirty works makeup the “Echoes of Greece” exhibit, as well as a corresponding book.
Umbrella Arts is located at 317 East 9th Street in New York City and is open Thursday through Saturday, from 1 to 6pm. The exhibit runs through January 16. More information is available at umbrellaarts.com.