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Curating the Future: Art History Week Highlights

On October 1-2, DEREE – The American College of Greece hosted the Art History Week, a two-day event organized by the History of Art Society with the aim to explore possible career paths for Art History graduates and art related professionals.

Under the theme “Career Carriers in Art History,’ the event featured renowned professionals who met at the John S. Bailey Upper Level to share their experiences, offer their advice and reflect on the past course and future employment opportunities in Greece.

The event was introduced by Xenia Kalpaktsoglou, curator, Founder and Co-Director of the Athens Biennale, who reflected on the mission of Athens Biennale and explained how it has managed to place Athens on the international map of art. Iliana Fokianaki, a curator, art critic and founder and director of the State of Concept-Athens took over to talk about the work of State Concept on consulting young artists toward reaching their goals. The next speaker, Polina Kosmadaki, curator at the Benaki Museum, analyzed the art of curating: what curating entails, which are the challenges faced in the curating process, and how important it is to be both organized and creative as a curator.

The second day of the event was opened by Despina Zefkili, an art historian and journalist, who shared moments from her 15-year career in the field of art and journalism and spoke of the digital age and the “democratization” in the media, which creates the need for specialized professionals. Christophoros Marinos, also an art historian and curator, delivered an insightful lecture highlighting the importance of familiarizing oneself with other forms of art and building one’s audience early on, while also relating the difficulties a curator can face. Following Mr. Marinos, Ergina Xydous, an art valuer and consultant, talked about the process of becoming an art valuer in terms of education and the relevant bodies of professional recognition. She addressed the different aspects of the profession, such as creating the official report for insurance purposes or giving value estimates for purposes of sale of art works.

Elli Kanata, director of the Elika Gallery, concluded the second day sharing her insights on the process of creating an individual profile for a commercial gallery – the type of art shown and the specific artists. She elaborated on the criteria for the choice of artists and pointed out the difficulties of a commercial gallery during the economic crisis in Athens.

Through this important cultural event that brought together important figures of the Greek art world, art history students were offered a “sneak peek” of the challenges and the opportunities they will encounter after graduation.

To find out more about the Art History academic program at DEREE, please click here.