CULTURE

A ‘city’ devoted to art located outside Athens

For the past few years, Stavros Michalarias, a well-known art restorer and art trader, has been working on the idea of an Art City, an expansive arts complex that would lie outside the center of Athens and would bring together all aspects of the decorative and fine arts. His vision has now turned into reality as his multiplex Art City opened to the public a few weeks ago a short drive away from the center of Athens, in the area of Malakasa along the National Road from Athens to Lamia. Stretching across 6,000 square meters on a 22-acre site, the complex is an ambitious project both by virtue of its size and its location outside Athens. Michalarias’s Art City is based on a premise contrary to his other two well-known art venues in the Kolonaki district. Decentralization, large spaces and a contact with nature is the logic of Art City, whereas the neoclassical buildings of Kolonaki observe the traditional urban character of Athens. Both ventures, however, show Michalarias’s aptitude for designing tasteful spaces that blend successfully with their surroundings. Michalarias conceives of a building as a harmonious entity that is structured in such a way so as to offer the visitor a complete experience. His Art City is supposed to offer different functions and a variety of fine and decorative art exhibitions, both contemporary and traditional. It houses a permanent exhibition of old paintings, sculptures, icons and other art objects, as well as a permanent exhibition of contemporary art by Greek and international artists. Also planned are exhibitions on young artists and art stores that will include drawings, lithographs, multiple and limited edition art objects. Art City also includes a library and an Internet cafe/restaurant. Its open-air premises also house temporary exhibitions on open-air sculpture. Apart from an exhibition space, Art City is also meant as a workshop. It includes studios where artists can work and specialized workshops on art conservation. Art City is open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily except Monday. At the 37th-38th kilometer of the Athens-Lamia National Road, Malakasa, tel 22950.982.22).