ART: Summer Art Workshop in Greece


June 2017
Dates will be announced.

The Athens Centre’s summer art workshop,  is a two-week session concentrating on creating images of Greece through various media, which include, but are not limited to, watercolor, pencil, ink, oil pastels and mixed media. The course will emphasize using the vibrant city of Athens as well as the Aegean island of Kea as an inspiration to create individual expressions, and will encourage students to develop and sharpen their abilities to see the world around them in a new way. The workshop takes place at the Athens Centre’s neoclassical facility in the central Athens area of Mets and on the Island of Kea. The Centre has sponsored various types of art workshops and courses for more than 40 years, both in Athens and on the Greek islands of Aegina, Spetses and Naxos.

This intensive summer art course in Athens and on the Island of Kea is a two-week session concentrating on creating images of Greece through various media including, but not limited to, watercolor, pencil, ink, collage, and mixed media. Working on site, the course will emphasize using the Greek environment to create individual expressions and will encourage students to develop and sharpen their abilities to see the world around them in a new way.  The distinctive beauty of the Greek landscape and the oft-noted quality of “Greek Light” has impressed artists for centuries by its ability to influence color and form dramatically.  These will be major players in developing the students’ abilities to see and interpret what they see in new and exciting ways. Like the early travelers to Greece, before the invention of the camera, students will keep a sketchbook/journal as a record of their experience in Greece along with producing a number of finished artworks.  The culmination of the class will be an exhibition of student artwork.  This course is for beginners as well as students with prior art experience.

Participants will discover the rich layers of history in Athens from the Ancient, Byzantine, Ottoman and Neoclassical periods by sketch and paint on site at the temple of Zeus, the Ancient agora, the Acropolis of Athens, Anafiotica, Ag Foteini Church, the National Gardens, the Benaki Museum and the new Acropolis museum, as well as a visit to a stone carving workshop where ancient techniques of carving marble are still in use. Students will be introduced to the vibrant contemporary art scene at the many Athens art galleries and the National Contemporary Art Museum.

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Seascapes and Lands

Seacapes will be the focus of work on the Aegean Island of Kea (Tzia), the northernmost island of the Cyclades (about 1 hour by ferry from Lavrio) Staying at the Karthea Hotel in the port village of Korrisia, students will draw and paint along the coastline at beaches and rocky coves; at the yacht port of Vourkari and at the ancient site of Agia Irene, all within walking distance of the hotel.   A visit to Kea’s capital, Ioulis (Hora) in the mountains above the sea provides a rich variety of subject matter for drawing and painting including the Cycladic style architecture of the town; the monumental, ancient lion of Kea located a short distance outside of town on an ancient footpath; wildflowers along this footpath (wild oregano, thyme and capers will be in season in July) and the rare oak forest on the slopes of the central mountains.


Of interest on Kea for free time:

A network of 14 marked hiking trails, that lead to wonderful hidden places on the island on ancient trails and stone paved mule paths; A dive center offers scuba diving and excursions around the island by boat; an archaeological museum; two galleries and many, shops, restaurants, bars and cafes to enjoy.

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What are classes like?: The 2 week session concentrates on creating images of Greece using the rich Greek environment as subject matter for drawing, collage, watercolors and mixed media artwork. Each participant will also keep a personal journal/sketchbook combining images and words as a daily record of their stay in Greece. Most art work and journal entries will be made on site following classroom demonstrations and discussion of strategies for making art on site. We will include both techniques for making realistic works and varying degrees of abstraction of image while experimenting with a variety of different drawing and color media.

Instruction will accommodate both participants with little or no art training and those with previous art background. Each participant will choose his or her own focus and form for creating images of Greece. For example, some may choose to do all the sketching and most of their finished art work in their journal/sketchbooks, while others may focus on drawing or work in color on a larger scale. Still others may wish to create a hand-bound artist book of their artwork.

Students of all ages and backgrounds, on beginning, intermediate or advanced levels, are welcome to join the workshop. Typical sessions have included art teachers, university students, working artists, and people who have not tried any form of art before, but are eager to learn. Students will be grouped according to previous art experience and ability. The grouping will be flexible, according to student need and development.

Course durationParticipants with less than two weeks at their disposal are welcome to register. Fees are pro-rated accordingly.

The workshop is led by Judith Allen, a university instructor with years of experience teaching art to people of all ages and abilities. The course is conducted in English, though the instructor speaks Greek as well.

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Instructor: Judith Allen-Efstathiou resides half the year in Athens and half the year in Portland, Maine where she is a printmaker and design instructor at the University of Southern Maine and Maine College of Art. She exhibits her prints, drawings and paintings in both Athens, at the Jill Yakas Gallery, and in Portland, Maine, at Whitney Art Works. Her work is included in the recently published book: A History of Maine Printmaking: Imprint of Place.

Questions or inquires about the program may be directed to her at

University credit is available for eligible students from the University of Oregon. For more information regarding U. of O. credit, email Emily Leuning at There are additional fees charged by the university if participants request academic credit. Other colleges and universities often grant credit for the workshop to their own students by special arrangement with the registrar or Studies Abroad office. Teachers can earn credit towards their continuing accreditation by participating in the program.

Art Supplies Drawing boards will be provided for each student. A list of other supplies for the course, which students should bring with them, will be provided with the pre-program information upon registration. There are also art supply stores in Athens, though many items would be more expensive than in the States.

Classrooms:  Classes are held in the Centre’s neo-classical building in the central residential area of Mets. There is a full view of the Acropolis from the rooftop terrace.

Location: The Athens  Centre office and classrooms are located 15-30 minutes walk from major museums and archaeological sites of Athens, including the Acropolis, the new Acropolis Museum, the Agora, and the Benaki and Cycladic Museums. The central shopping area of Athens are also within walking distance, as are the neighborhoods of Plaka and the Monasteraki Flea Market.

Housing: The housing arranged by the Centre is in furnished studio apartments consisting of one large room with bathroom and simple kitchen. The studios are located in a residential area five minutes walk from the Athens Centre. Double or single accommodation is available. Information can be sent upon request at

Additional Program activities: An important part of the summer program,  included in the program fees, are one or two guided visits each week, to sites including the Acropolis, the new Acropolis Museum, the Benaki museum,  and to art galleries and other cultural and historical places in the city. A day trip to a nearby island will provide an opportunity to hold class in a very different setting, with plenty of time during the day to swim in the clear blue waters of the Aegean, Homer’s “wine-dark sea”. Poetry readings in the evening are always an enjoyable part of the experience, as is the public reading by program participants. A Welcome reception and a Farewell dinner are also scheduled at the beginning and end of the course.

Independent activities: Athens Festival events take place during the summer at the Herod Atticus theatre under the Acropolis, and most participants will choose to attend at least one of these performances. Weekends are free for independent activities or travel.  Many students elect to go to the  Peloponnese to visit Nauplion, Mycenae, or Epidaurus, or to islands such as Hydra, Spetses, Mykonos, or Santorini. Others stay in the city to explore Athens in more depth, and take advantage of the many events and cultural activities which take place each summer.

ComputersParticipants are encouraged to bring their laptops with them. Most computers have built-in adaptors to use with the electric current in Greece, which is 220v. There are five computers and a printer available for student use at the Centre’s computer facility. Wifi covers the classrooms and courtyard.

Program Dates: TO BE ANNOUNCED. Participants arrive on Monday June…. A reception for students and faculty of all the summer programs takes place that Monday evening in the Athens Centre courtyard. The Welcome Dinner follows in a local taverna. Classes begin on Tuesday morning at 9:30am. The last day of class is Friday, June …. Students depart on Tuesday, June …

Registration: To register for the Art Workshop, complete the registration form on the Athens Centre’s web site, at Fees/Registration page. A detailed program bulletin will be sent to participants upon registration for the program and receipt of course deposit. Registration deadline is May …, 2017.

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Tuition fees: 1280 Euros (for two weeks). You make your payment at our Fees/Registration page.

Housing fees: Please contact our Housing Coordinator at Olympia Kappatou, at

Housing fees are pro-rated for those registering for less than two weeks of the program.

Fees can be paid by cash or credit card at the Athens Centre office, or Paypal via our website.  Bank account information for transfers is available upon request.  (Double room accommodation available only if there is someone else who wishes to share)

A deposit of 250 Euros must accompany the application form. The balance of the tuition and housing fees must be paid by May …, 2017. (The deposit is part of the full tuition fee, and is credited towards the full amount.).

Refunds: Full deposit, tuition and housing fees are refunded if a participant cancels before May …. If cancellation occurs after May …, half the fees are refunded. No fees are refunded after June 12th, but a tuition and housing credit valid for one year will be given.

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