THE ΤΕΛΟΣ SOCIETY speaks to Viktoria Fassianou, Co-Founder of
Tryfon Art Residency
Dimitris Tryfon, Founder
The Tryfon Art Residency is set in one of the oldest and most emblematic buildings of Molyvos’s harbor, it aims to function both as a studio and exhibition space for artists across disciplines.
Molyvos proposes an alternative lifestyle. Away from the city center and over-populated summer destinations still full of raw social and natural stimuli it is an ideal place for artistic production.
Promote Molyvos as a center for the arts. Invite leading and emerging artists to participate and be inspired by the village such as:
Ana Louisa Lolosidis
Racha El Khalil
Sarp Kerem Yazuv
Georgia Kotretsos: How did Tryfon Art Residency come to fruition, how did it evolve from being an idea to becoming a project? What was the gap it came to fill in Molyvos, Lesvos?
Viktoria Fassianou: Dimitris Tryfon, the founder of the project, is originally from Molyvos Lesbos from his great grand father who immigrated there from Ivali, Turkey. Dimitris from a very young age envisioned transforming Molyvos into a leading cultural center for visual arts and music. The village's natural and architectural beauty as well as the castle on the very top create a unique atmosphere that artists adore! Being friends from our childhood years, Dimiris, asked me if I would be interested to join this exciting project and build together an artistic residency at the north Aegean sea! We seek to invite artists from all over the world, but our key priority is to host Greek artist who never had the chance to see Lesbos and be inspired by its natural stimuli. Dimitris owns an emblematic traditional building in Molyvos harbor where artist use it as their studio and reside at a hotel nearby which used to be an old olive press of the village.
GK: TAR is a month-long residency program taking place at an old family-owned olive mill, which serves as both the studio and exhibition space. Your program hosts invited artists from Greece and abroad. What is the creative program TAR is proposing and what are some of the methods developed on-site informed by the immediate surroundings?
VF: The island of Lesbos and particularly the local community of the village of Molyvos is what inspired us first and foremost. We hope that artists will receive some inspiration from the everyday habits of the local community, the surrounding of the village, the wildlife, the sea and its artistic folklore influences. The village of Molyvos hosts a section of the School of Fine Arts in Greece and the island has a plethora of artistic influences such as the Teriad Museum or the Theophilos Museum, of the great Greek painter who was mostly inspired by the locality and the folkloristic aspect of Lesbos. Artists use any of their preferred materials such as canvases, acrylic, pencils, mixed media, marble, photography etc. and present to us great works of art as a result of their stay at the island.
GK: How has the program been received in Molyvos and what is the level of engagement between the artists-in-residence and the immediate community? How do you see TAR growing and in what direction?
VF: The local community has embraced the project 100%. You may see flyers and catalogues of the exhibition in small shops, hotel entrances, and restaurants and talk about it through word of mouth. People, as far as we understand, are excited when we are getting closer to August as the village is transformed into an open air festival, with outdoor festivities, concerts and the exhibition! We truly hope that we will be able to continue the project and expand it to various Greek islands. This year we managed to do a pop up exhibition in the island of Koufonisia with great Greek artists, with the support of the Museum of Cycladic Art and the Classical Music Festival of Koufonisia, organized by Kornilios Michailidis.