aegean center history
a PHOTO ARCHIVE
Here is a selection of photographs, clippings, posters and mementos from the past 50 years. It is a work in progress as more images come in, with the help of alumni and former faculty. Due to the large number of images, there may be a delay in loading.
1966: the founding of the Aegean School for the Fine Arts
1966: The Civil rights movement is in full swing in the U.S. and the Vietnam war escalates.
The early years: 1966-1983
1967: The Greek Dictatorship takes over and the Junta is established.
1968: Martin Luther King is assassinated.
1969: Neil Armstrong walks on the moon.
1974: Turkey invades Cyprus. The Junta collapses. Liz and Jeff Carson begin teaching at the school.
1981: Greece joins the E.U.
A photo gallery showing Paros and the Aegean School in 1978 from photographer and former student Chris W. Nelson:
1984-89: transitional years
1984: Reagan is re-elected as president.
1985; John Pack becomes the director of the school.
1986; The Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurs, the Challenger space shuttle explodes, Jane Morris comes to teach.
1989: The Berlin Wall falls, the World Wide web is invented and Jane and John marry on Paros.
1990: The Aegean school becomes the Aegean Center and inaugurates the first italy session in pistoia italy
1990: The name is changed to the Aegean Center to comply with Greek law.
1991: The Aegean Center cookbook
1991: Apple's first laptop.
"This is the Aegean Center's student cookbook from 1991. Alice Meyer-Walace, John, Jane, Jeff and so many others put this book together. In the spirit of the 50th anniversary of this amazing school I have posted this book. I was a student there in 1988 and my sister Rachel was a student in 1991. I point to my time on Paros with the Aegean Center as one of the most important and inspiring art educations I have ever had. "To marvel is the beginning of knowledge..." Life has been marvelous ever since." -Painter and Educator Julian Parker-Burns
1992: Birth of Gabriel Pack
Assorted photos from the 1990s
1996: Greek-Turkish crisis over the Imia islands. Greece joins Schengen.
1997: First Harry Potter book is released. Scientists clone sheep.
2001-2002 The new aegean center building & the restoration of the neo-classical building
2001: The 9/11 tragedy in the U.S.
2002: Greece adopts the Euro.
2003: The invasion of Iraq by Bush.
2004: the beginning of the aegean center vocal program:
2004: Athens hosts the Olympic Games and wins the Euro League and Eurovision.
Under the direction of Orfeas John Munsey the Aegean Center Vocal program lasted until 2015. Twice a year the Aegean Center Vocal Ensemble performed free concerts throughout Paros and on a couple of occasions on the the island of Naxos. Orfeas also directed the Aegean Center Solo vocal program, where students would study a full vocal repertoire of classical, medeival and modern compositions culminating in a solo concert at the end of each semester.
2005 The Aegean center sanctum in lefkes
"Dreams are also often realized with the help of others who believe in what you are doing — the John Van Burens, the Rosamond Olivettis, our faithful alumni and their families. In the case of Lefkes, it was through the kindness of Monique Mailloux and Stelios Ghikas who founded the beautiful Studio Yria in Lefkes and Kostos.
This beautiful space, outside of the daily path from home to studio, in a different village on the island, allows students to find a quiet place dedicated to thought and conversation.
Within the space our intent will be: to contemplate Art and Place, finding personal meaning in its message, to increase our ability to observe, to still the obsessive contemporary art ego and pinpoint our focus, to clarify our attention and quiet the anxious world outside. Over the years Lefkes has always provided this ‘quiet space’ for me personally."
2006: THE AEGEAN CENTER 40TH ANNIVERSARY AND THE FESTIVAL OF THANKS
To celebrate these 40 years I decided that indeed a "celebration" of some sort was necessary and that this event, in whatever form it took, must be a gift to Paros, and to Greece, for providing such a magnificent and inspiring home for our program since 1966.
I decided that the best gift we could give would be the universal gift of music, and so was born, The Aegean Center A Cappella Music Festival, that took place the entire month of June, ‘06. The Festival of Thanks! This festival was the first of an annual event to take place every June on Paros.
The Hilliard Ensemble
The Anonymous 4
The Tallis Scholars
The festival was a enormous success and, true to our word, given to Paros as the gift promised. The power and beauty that surrounded all present at the concerts is very difficult to express. In an attempt to do so I want to share an encounter I had with a local man that, I believe, tells the story very well indeed. It is extracted from a letter I wrote to the performers after the Festival had ended.
"...and every time I encounter someone who was at the concert they can not find words. Something has happened here on Paros. A local Greek man, a big man, came up to me and wanting to express his thanks grabbed my hand and looked at me in such a way that it sent shiver through me. He gripped my left hand with his left, and with his right hand began to make a wild but graceful gesture of swirls above us over our heads. Tilting his head upward he stared at his hand swirling and swirling with such a look of amazement and joy. I stared up at his hand swirling and swirling as he tried to reach further toward the sky. We were transfixed and we stared for I don't know how long. Then he brought his swirling hand down slowly and stared at me again, still holding my hand and patting his heart gently in thanks. Not one word was spoken.”
...Life for us has changed on Paros. It has no choice now, after the concert, after the Music. Even if one tried to close their ears, tried to close their eyes and their heart to such beauty, the sheer power of it would defeat them, would crush any force trying to keep it out of their life. The music is in us all. It is present. It lives and will be apart of everything we do and become.
The music is now in these ancient walls (the Baptistry of the Church of a Hundred Doors)... such Beauty and power will reverberate for another 1700 years. It will be here forever. It will be present and touch those who, in time forward, never were present June of 2006. They will walk among the stones and feel something. They will not know what is effecting them when they encounter the stones.
They will consider and muse
And say softly to themselves,
How very beautiful
These walls are.
...Such things happen in life. There are those times when one encounters Beauty of such magnitude that everything must change, it has no choice."
a collection of photos from 2006-Present
2007: Global economic downturn and major fires in Greece. The iPhone is released.
2008: Jun-Pierre Shiozawa begins to teach.
2009: Barack Obama is sworn in as president, and Greek debt crisis begins.
2013: The NSA documents are leaked by Snowden.
2014: NATO ends combat operations in Afghanistan, Scotland votes 'no' to independence.
2015: Greek bailout crisis and the fear of 'Grexit'.
2016: Migrant crisis and The 50th Anniversary of the Aegean Center.
Throughout the years the Aegean Center has hosted a number exhibitions, concerts, readings and lectures. Here is a gallery of posters presented in chronological order to the present since 2001.