Friday saw a first-of-a-kind arts event taking place in Paphos with more than 80 visual and performance artists exhibiting and taking to the stage in the harbour’s Castle Square.
Via Art – Art and Musical Festival takes place every evening until Sunday. It is being jointly organised by Mstasy Productions and Paphos Municipality’s Youth Board.
Mstasy Productions is no stranger to local events having organised the Paphos Beer Festival for several years and presenting a Commandaria Festival at the end of September.
Tassos Anastasiou of the events company says that it has moved into arts in order to give the community the chance to get close to a range of practices and the opportunity to “understand the arts better”.
“We’ve got artists and performers coming from all across Cyprus, as well as Greece and beyond,” Anastasiou told The Cyprus Weekly.
“The festival is a meeting place for amateur and professional artists who want to present their work, ideas and visions. Visitors will have the opportunity to indulge and experience a wide spectrum of art forms such as visual arts, performing arts, music, art photography, decorative arts, small-scale theatrical performances and much more.”
Each evening, there are live music gigs and dance performances. A programme of bands and musicians will perform pop and rock, acoustic guitar and eclectic rock on the Via Art stage while dancer Kornel Hajagos will bring an internationally-informed brand of choreography to the event.
Also a feature of every evening is a cutting-edge performance art piece by Sophia Terlenga, Connecting the Labyrinths, that delves into the subconscious of the performer and viewers. “My subject pertains to the archetypal instinct, the images of the conscious and the individual and collective subconscious, as well as mythology,” said Terlenga of the piece.
For visitors who want to get a taster of a new craft skill, there will be nightly workshops covering topics that include glass art (stained glass, fused glass and mosaics), wood art, stencilling, pastels, as well as a special session on cartoons.
There are also workshops specifically for children, including a costume making event and a musical session based around a folkloric tale.
Open throughout the three-day festival will be three gallery tents housing fine art, sculpture and graffiti art by both professional and amateur artists. Well-known local fine artists include Stella Karageorgi, Elena Daniel, Christos Avraam, Sergei Hadjiadamos and Yiannis Sakellis. Those working with film include art photographer George Pantazis, Michalis Kouloumos and Anna Kim.
Bringing a novel participatory digital art element to the festival is TEPAK, The Cyprus University of Technology.
“TEPAK have created what they describe as an interactive wall,” Anastasiou explained.
“It’s a huge screen with projections of film and images which are influenced by passersby.
“Sensors react to the movement of a viewer’s hand for example and the projections change. In a sense, the viewer co-creates the work.”
Cocktails, beers, wines and soft drinks will be available at cash bars to keep visitors refreshed.
Compeering the three-night Via Art festival is award-winning Cypriot model Natalia Mavromoustaki who goes by the stage name Nat Princesa. Modelling for seven years, she has appeared in Cosmopolitan and Esquire and won The Face of the Globe in 2016.
“There is no one highlight in the event,” Mstasy’s Anastasiou said. “The highlight is the variety.”
Via Art – Art and Musical Festival takes place at Paphos Medieval Castle Square in Kato Paphos on July 29, 30 and 31 from 6pm until midnight each evening. Entrance is €5. Some workshops have an additional charge. For further details go to:
www.viaartfest.com or call 26 250 311.