When you visit a small village like Keratokampos in the southern coast of Heraklion Prefecture you are prepared to find certain things -like fish taverns and hotels- but probably not a modern art gallery. However, here you will find one of the few galleries in Crete exhibiting the works of acclaimed Greek artists, housed in the building of a former olive oil factory.
About 200 pieces of art (paintings, engraving art, sculptures) donated by their creators are now hosted in this small seaport of historical Viannos. Among them selected works of Fasianos, Mytaras, Parmakelis, Kessanlis, Tsoclis, Rokos and others. This was the ‘crazy’ vision of one man, Savas Petrakis, member of the Cultural Association of Keratokampos ‘Vigla’. The realization of his dream was not an easy task; it took a lot of effort to bring a ‘different’ kind of culture in this corner of Crete and to establish an art foundation for an international audience. However, as an ancient Greek proverb says, if you insist at the end you will win!
A few words about the Gallery of Viannos
The Art Gallery of Viannos was inaugurated in 2008 by the President of Greece, Karolos Papoulias. A few years back, in 2005, the first art exhibition featuring 80 paintings took place in a municipal building of Viannos at the beach of Keratokampos. Since that day, the donations of art works multiplied and today the Gallery hosts around 200 works of various techniques and styles, all from Greek artists. Apart from the exhibition space the Gallery expanded its activities and now has its own publications: gallery catalogues, ethnographic texts and more.
Unfortunately, today the Art Gallery of Viannos is another victim of the economic crisis. The lack of economic resources and staff present challenges for the continuation of Savas Petrakis’ vision – who left this world early.
Will we witness yet another cultural loss in Greece?