The owner of the Chalkos Gallery of Thessaloniki talks about Art, the pandemic period and how much it affected the field of culture. He also speaks about the big bet: the operation of a gallery inside the Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort.
- What motivated you to engage in Art and create a gallery in Thessaloniki and in fact in a difficult -chronically- period for Greece?
"My involvement with art arose through a wider study during my childhood. Books, magazines, visits to museums and archeological sites and as i grew up, trips abroad with visits to major art exhibitions. At some point, although Greece was in the heart of the crisis, i decided to combine my business with art by creating the Chalkos Gallery, in privately owned facilities in the center of Thessaloniki. From that moment on, the operation and development of Chalkos Gallery absorbs more and more time from my daily program".
- The covid 19 pandemic changed everything in our lives. It also affected Art, perhaps to a greater extent. As a gallery owner how would you describe your own experience in the covid era?
"The pandemic has definitely changed a lot in our lives. The experience of Covid 19 had two sides, on the one hand it cancelled our exhibition planning twice, in fact interrupting two of our excellent exhibitions a few days after their opening dates. The biggest blow was the interruption of the physical contact with the art circle that our gallery has created with its intense activity, a fact that slows down our development as in the new reality we will have to reclaim this part of their time. On the other hand, this period gave us the opportunity to mature new collaborations, to use new technological tools, to get close to artists who would hardly have time in the fast rhythms of everyday life ".
- You operate a gallery at Miraggio. What are the differences when creating an art space in a large hotel? What factors should one consider and in the end, what is the message that you want to convey?
"It is a huge challenge to create a gallery in a luxury hotel with an international clientele. In order to have a similar presence there, we studied many parameters and wanted to present well-known names of Greek painting. At this point I would like to thank the Art Forum Gallery of Mr. Pantelis Tsatsis for their support. We also wish to present younger and emerging artists from Thessaloniki, giving them the opportunity to promote their work in other markets ".
- Are you satisfied with the interraction of the hotel guests? Based on your experience so far, what are your plans for the future?
"We are still at the beginning of the season and the messages are encouraging, as the hotel has high occupancy rates and quality visitors who greatly love art and high aesthetics. Our plans for next year at the Covid-free Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort are to hold two to three selected solo exhibitions, create a sculpture park and, at the end of the season, host an art market conference in Greece. I would like to thank the owners and the management of the hotel for their excellent cooperation and assistance in creating this important pole of art at Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort".