Host Country Studies Trip to the Tellogleio Foundation of Art in Thessaloniki

The Teloglion Foundation of Art was established in Thessaloniki in 1972 to honour Nestor and Aliki Telloglou, two prominent Thessalonians, who donated their art collection and their entire property to the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Since 1999 the Foundation has been installed in a modern building at the University campus in order to make its art collection available to the public.

It was high time for Pinewood Elementary School students to visit Tellogleio and be guided to two very special exhibitions, one dedicated to Vaso Katraki, a distinguished Greek artist, and another dedicated to Verdi and Wagner the famous Opera composers.

Birthdays must be celebrated. Especially the 200th, like those of both composers born in 1813, Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi. The Tellogleio Foundation put together a wonderfully colourful exhibition to honour the two musical maestros. Costumes, operatic scenery sets, manuscripts, rare publications and partitures, are among the exhibited items that transferred our students to the magical world of opera. Verdi, we were told, created some of the most beloved operas of all time, from the romantic tragedy of Aida and Rigoletto to the Shakespearian dramas of Macbeth, and Otello. His music, lyrical, emotional and romantic transcends the barriers between high and low culture. Wagner’s music is on an altogether more intellectual sphere, it’s music, at its epic, definitive height. I hope the Tellogleio exhibition will inspire our students to pursue new musical interests.

The Vaso Katraki exhibition was a different experience for our students. It is dedicated to an important Greek lady, a distinguished artist who devoted her life’s efforts to mastering the art of stone engraving. She was born in Aetolito, a small island, joined to the mainland by two stone bridges with many small arches, but she dazzled the world with her innovative art. Her decision was to leave behind representational ways of expression and turn to a more abstract style, borrowing elements from Bronze Age Cycladic Art, and progressive artistic movements like Expressionism and Cubism. Our students were moved by her earlier works inspired by her life in Aetoliko, impressed by the difficulties of stone engraving, and overwhelmed by the emotional power of her later art.

Amalia Spiliakou
Host Country Studies Coordinator