The Aegean Center Fall 2012 Student Exhibiton

7, December 2012 § Leave a comment

The Aegean Center Fall 2012 Student Exhibiton

Featuring works of painting, photography, drawing and printmaking by the students of the Aegean Center.
Friday, 7 December, 19:30
All are welcome.

The Aegean Center Autumn 2012 Reading

4, December 2012 § Leave a comment

Tonight at the Aegean Center, the writing workshop led by Jeffrey Carson will present its autumn 2012 reading. The evening will feature poetry and prose by Emily Eberhart, Claire Goldman, Leslye Graham, Cassandra Knisley, Ilyah Kyriakopoulos and Lisa Nam.  The reading will begin at 18:30 in the Aegean Center main room.

Writing Workshop Leader – Jeffrey Carson

 

A Day on the Aegean – Our Antiparos Trip

27, May 2012 § Leave a comment

The Aegean Center Journey

13, April 2012 § 1 Comment

Student Post: Abby Diamond

14, November 2011 § 1 Comment

My junior year of high school, I realized that I needed to change. It began with the unnerving sense that I was following a trajectory of always looking forward to what comes next (next week, next assignment, next form of schooling) without being able to revel in my present moment. I was a student who would stay up working until 12:30 at night and then wake up at 5:00 the next morning to do more work for days on end. I loved school. I was hungry for the knowledge but the pressure I felt to succeed, to achieve, to excel beyond expectations was forcing me into a corner and my body couldn’t handle what I demanded of it. I was exhausted, getting sick all the time, and worst of all, time was whizzing by. At the rate I was going, I felt like I was racing for something, but I couldn’t say what it was.

I knew I had to take a gap year before college because I wanted so desperately to stop everything and look at life from a new angle. I wanted the time and space to immerse myself in my passions in totality and to strive to perfect them. To be surrounded by creativity that would inspire me to bring out my own. It feels somewhat surreal how perfect the Aegean Center is turning out to be for those needs.

Stepping into my new world, I found that the changes occurred naturally. I started writing in a word document on my computer called “My happiness project” multiple times a day and jotted down random thoughts, quotes, and sketches in journals. I vowed to stay off of Facebook and my quality of life swelled immediately. I gave some long and hard thought to the concept of generosity, and finally figured it out in full what I assumed I had known all my life; share everything and the world will be even more beautiful! I started listening to podcasts about energy healing and stopped wearing shoes most of the time. I’m not exaggerating… I found peace.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about all of this is how much work I am actually doing. Hours are spent in my painting studio, the music room practicing arias, vocal exercises and breath technique, in my apartment writing short stories or sitting somewhere outside, drawing for Jun’s Basic Drawing Class assignments. The difference is that it doesn’t feel like work. In fact, I dropped the phrase “getting work done” in my mind altogether, because now I know it’s not about being finished with something. Rather, it is about the moments that go into creation. When I stopped seeing the final result as being the objective, I learned to feel where I was, what I was doing, to feel my process, feel the present moment.

I stopped eating as fast as I could. Stopped editing my creative writing with the intention of pleasing any eyes but my own. Stopped scribbling down schedules for myself planned down to the minute. I slowed down. I started doing stretches and laughter yoga every day. Miraculously, I somehow had more than enough room in the day for what I wanted to do. Without Facebook or TV shows or texting, I found that I was incapable of wasting time. Whether my moments went into drawing in my sketchbook, cooking for my friends, sleeping, having a conversation with someone face to face, or standing silently and feeling myself breathe, I was living in a way that was healing and refreshing. I finally felt that I owned my actions and that I was doing everything for myself.

Early on, there was that inkling of dread in the back of my mind that said this was all too good to be true. Maybe I could live my months in bliss here, but ultimately I would go back home and feel once again swallowed by deadlines, checklists, and the saying my mother learned from her days of pastry chef school playing in my head to “move with a sense of urgency.” But as the days have unfurled and I keep getting happier and happier, less and less stressed, that sense of panic I felt looses its hold. To the questions that I have been asking myself from the moment I stepped into the Villa Rospigliosi in Pistoia: “Why can’t real life be like this? Why can’t creativity govern me all the time?” I suddenly dare to answer “It can.”

Student Post: Kristen Weber

14, March 2011 § Leave a comment

Upon landing on Paros, the first thought that crossed my mind was, “I can’t believe THIS is my home for the next three months.” I’m the type of person that enjoys living somewhere with a lot of aesthetic beauty, and Paros definitely has that covered. After meeting up with the other returning students, whom I spent last fall in Italy with, they took me around to show me the ropes. At first I thought I would never be able to find my way around this island, since the roads were built to confuse invading pirates. But after a few days of walking around, I got the hang of it.

Going out for food here is another new experience altogether. The first three nights we went to a restaurant called Albatross. The food there is so delicious, that we clearly couldn’t resist going. Albatross is also the first place I experienced eating a mussel, which was alive before it went into my mouth. I’ve always said I would eat an animal as long as someone else did the dirty work for me, but I caved when everyone told me to try it. I feel that the spirit of this program is to try new things, so it was a great time for me to get over my fear of eating something while it’s still moving.

As we started classes this past week, I thought I would be getting stressed at the rapid pace. So far I have just been accepting of what the classes and professors have to offer, and with that have been getting more excited with the work I am doing. After attending a school with a lot less encouragement, it is like a breath of fresh air being here. My nerves have calmed, my mind has been at ease, and all I want to do is live in every second of these next few months.

Student Exhibition

10, December 2010 § Leave a comment

10 December 2010 Friday 19:00

OLIVE PICKING ON PAROS

27, October 2010 § Leave a comment

Student Post: Lliam Storms

12, April 2010 § Leave a comment

Before I moved to Paros three Easters ago I remember ranting and raving to all my friends about me being here on time for the greatest Greek celebration of all. Suma (a Parian name for a Greek moonshine also known as Tsipouro ), music, family and good friends and of course lamb on the spit!

It was indeed a boys morning this sunday. Shaun, John Masters and “The Butcher” Lambis impaled our lamb and got the coal going whilst most of us were still off in la-la land. By 11 more of us had arrived and we started the  roasting and roughly three hours of the same boring circular hand movement. Some adventure it was none the less. By the end of the procedure our lamb had an armor of wire tying it down as numerous times it had threatened to fall into the hot coal.

Spirits were high and the mood was great. Food had started to fill the tables in the Aegean Village courtyard with each student having prepared a dish or bringing a side or drink. Finally we could eat. Crispy roast lamb, amazing corn chowder,tasty ratatouille,fresh salads,easter bread, chips – oh no, sorry, “French Fries”-  you name it! This was a feast worthy of stretching for hours and boy did it ever! The afternoon passed slowly and wonderfully. There were calls for wine, occasional nibbles on what little food remained, warm laughter and humongous bellies resting on tired legs scattered all around the courtyard. If I cared enough I would now be on a strict diet to rid myself of the weight gained this Easter so BIG success says I !

Thanks to everyone for an amazing day and of course special thanks to the Packs for the lamb and little Gabriel (now twice my size) for all his help and company!

Lliam Storms is a photography student here at the Aegean Center. This is his third semester.

The Aegean Center @ New York’s Metropolitan Museum, December 22

2, February 2010 § 1 Comment

When lovers of Paros get together away from the beloved island, it is always an elite occasion. We know just what we miss, where we were, whither we should like to return.

When, during the spring semester of 2008, Liz and I told several students that in December we would be in New York City, where we grew up, to visit friends, relatives, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, they importuned me to accompany them about the great museum, as I had so many museums in Italy as part of our September course of study. Usually Liz and I are so pressed for time in the city, that we can barely manage to visit one or two students, though often there are a dozen there. I agreed, and in early December sent out an announcement on Facebook that on December 22 Liz and I would meet any students who cared to join us in the museum’s lobby, and that we would proceed to look at great art, with plenty of blah-blah to go with it.

The delegated morning was cold, and there was snow on the ground. We arrived an hour early, and soon students began showing up. By the appointed hour, 20 students had arrived; three from a dozen years ago, three from a month ago. With them were a mother, a sister, a husband, a lover, and several friends – and memories of Paros and anticipated revisitngs introduced everyone. The first object we looked at, of course, was the Classical Girl with a Dove, a beautiful marble relief found more than a century ago, built into the Castro Wall on Paros. Its skill and tenderness made Paros glow in our minds.

Since most of the students had studied with us in Pistoia as well as Paros, we next went to the medieval room, to inspect a sculpture that has probably not been looked at more than a dozen times in its long stay in the crowded room: the lectern, in the form of Saint John’s eagle, from Giovanni Pisano’s pulpit in the church of San Andrea in Pistoia; the rest of the pulpit fortunately remains in situ. Giovanni was probably Europe’s greatest sculptor in 1300. Dominating the room was the Met’s beautiful Christmas tree and crèche, with its eighteenth-century wooden figures from Naples.

Then we went upstairs to look at paintings, beginning with Duccio’s little tiny Madonna, a recent acquisition and the museum’s most expensive. We had spent a long time looking at the great Duccio altarpiece in Siena, and were almost startled to discover that our memory of the radiance of its forms and colors were not exaggerated.

After an hour of Italian paintings, we moved on to Rubens, Hals, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. I don’t usually get to talk much about these artists, and lecturing focuses the attention. And although the museum was crowded for Christmas, the rooms with the greatest paintings were, as usual, sparsely inhabited.

During lunch at the museum’s cafeteria we chatted, inevitably, about Paros. I was amazed and pleased to discover how many older students were still in the arts, and how many younger ones were hoping to remain so. May John, Jane, Elizabeth, and I take some credit (or blame) for this, and not just the inspiration of the beauties of Paros?

A year ago students under Jane had undertaken a Velazquez project, and the museum fortuitously had a small, choice show of the great Spanish master. And then, for the photography students, we looked at the big Robert Frank show. It was now three o’clock, and most of us had been there almost four hours. We parted reluctantly.

These were all top quality students, whose interest in art is unwavering. And it is the best students who are most likely to return to Paros, to remember what the island gave them, what the Aegean Center gave, and what they have given themselves.

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