Victoria Square Project
Conceived by artists Rick Lowe and co-leading artist Maria Papadimitriou as an ongoing social sculpture during the documenta14 exhibition in Athens, Victoria Square Project (VSP) has evolved into an open community centre in the place of a previously vacant shop in the neighbourhood of Victoria Square, one of the most deprived areas of Athens severely hit by the financial crisis. More than 150 activities have taken place in collaboration with the local community, businesses, public institutions, municipal programs, international and local artists, highlighting the cultural and historical features of the area.
Victoria Square Project is one of the best examples that challenge the problem of vacant spaces in Athens and has added up to the municipality of Athens wider strategy to tackle the problem in the city together with citizens.
Artists Rick and Maria, together with local agencies, are finding ways to forge connections, initiating dialogues that link art and culture with small businesses as well as with support networks for immigrant and refugee groups. Rick is the artist behind Project Row Houses, in Houston USA and it was a long time dream to work with him. Project Row Houses’ work with the Third Ward community began in 1993. Where others saw poverty, these artists saw a future site for positive, creative, and transformative experiences in the Third Ward.
With the founders engaged with a community of creative thinkers and the neighbours around them, Project Row Houses quickly began to shift the understanding of art from traditional studio practice to a more conceptual base of transforming the social environment.
VSP was developed together with Maria Papadimitriou greek artist behind Souzy Tros; a project aiming to weave together the city of Athens and its inhabitants into a vibrant multicolour network through an open embrace of its diverse communities by organising art-based projects, events and workshops.
I joined the team together with Sophia Handaka from Benaki Museum, sharing the same love and passion for community start-ups. I am currently leading the Business Development plans of the project, hoping to create yet another hub of creative and community activity in this urban and diverse city centre environment.
2018 - now