ATHENS – In support of its signature scholarship programs, the Fulbright Foundation Greece hosted Fulbright POLYMORPHIA, its 2019 version of the organization’s Art Supports Education, Fulbright Alumni Art Series.
An initiative demonstrating that art supports education, just as education supports art, the Fulbright Alumni Art Series sees Fulbright artists reciprocating the opportunity they were given to enhance their studies, by contributing artwork to support Fulbright Greece. Since its inception in 2009, a total of 35 artists have participated in the program, donating original or limited edition works of art.
“Fulbright Greece has a long tradition offering scholarships to artists, and it seemed natural to tap into our alumni resources to raise funds,” said Fulbright Greece Executive Director Artemis Zenetou, who has been with the Foundation for 18 years. “That is the genesis of the grassroots initiative Art Supports Education Fulbright Alumni Art series,” she said.
The Fulbright Foundation is the flagship international educational and cultural exchange program of the United States of America in partnership with more than 160 countries worldwide. It offers programs for accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach, and conduct research “helping to build mutual understanding and find solutions to critical international concerns.”
Fulbright Greece provides scholarships to Greek and U.S. citizens and serves as the official center of information about studying in the United States. Since its inception in 1948, Fulbright Greece has awarded over 5,500 scholarships, while more than 380,000 Fulbrighters from the United States and other countries have participated in the global program since its inception in 1946.
“Being a Fulbright Scholar changed my life. I had a scholarship to attend Columbia University, but Fulbright helped me get there. It was an honor to be part of this grant, and just going to the States, I could not have imagined what life would be like, so I want the same thing to happen for other people,” said participating artist Eleni Mylona, who was a Fulbright Scholar in the 1960s. “It really gives you wings and exposure to other cultures…their ways of teaching, thinking and everything,” she said.
Hosted at i-D PROJECTART, a concept store in the center of Athens, this year’s Fulbright POLYMORPHIA aimed to highlight the diversity (polymorphia) of expression that characterizes the contemporary visual art scene and the arts in general, an element that is firmly supported by the Fulbright Artist Program.
“We are giving back to the Fulbright Foundation that helped us…we hope that these pieces of art will be sold in support of the future Fulbright scholars,” said participating artist Angeliki Chaido Tsoli, whose featured artwork The Greek City included four polaroids depicting Greektown Chicago. “For me, the Fulbright experience was an opportunity of a lifetime, and one of the most significant things that have happened to me in my life thus far,” she said.
Participating artists include Erieta Attali, Dora Economou, Efi Chalikopoulou, Leonidas Chalepas, Titina Chalmatzi, Sofia Dona, Fotis Flevotomos, Elias Kafouros, Pygmalion Karatzas, Diane Katsiaficas, Zoe Keramea, Apostolos Kilessopoulos, Sia Kyriakakos, Pelagia Kyriazi, Maria Letsiou, Ioannis Michaloudis, Eleni Mylonas, Dimitris Papaioannou, Marilena Stafylidou, Lambros Papanikolatos, Vangelis Pliarides, Loukia Richards, Fotis Sagonas, Alex Simopoulos, Giorgos Taxidis, Antonis Theodoridis, Angeliki Tsoli, Giorgos Tzinoudis, Costas Varotsos, Nikolas Ventourakis, Adonis Volanakis, Kristina Williamson, Zafos Xagoraris, Yiorgis Yerolymbos, Sotos Zachariadis and Theodoros Zafeiropoulos.