Marianna Afentouli’s fine arts exhibition inspires

On Monday, April 1, internationally recognized artist Marianna Afentouli presented her second solo fine arts exhibition entitled “Byzantine Art & Symbolism” to a 41-member international audience with a reception in the Gallery of the Nanuet Public Library.

The exhibit—organized by Adult Program Coordinator Kristen McInerney—will stay standing until May 31, allowing members of the public to enjoy the artwork for close to two months. Each piece took the mother of two an average of two weeks to a month.

“She’s really high caliber,” said McInerney of the highlighted artist. “When she came to us, I got the feeling that it was such an honor for her. But it felt like an honor for us!… I don’t think that a lot of people in our community would be able to see this unless they really went to Greece. It’s beautiful.”

Afentouli is a third generation Byzantine mosaic iconographer and daughter of the renowned iconographer, Mr. Miltiadis Afentoulis. She is a graduate from the Preparatory and Professional School of Fine Arts Panormou-Tinos, Greece, where she specialized in Marble Sculpture, as well as from the Sivitanidios Public School of Trade and Vocations, Athens, Greece, where she specialized in Mosaics and Stained-Glass.

  At the April 1 reception, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America was represented by Fr. Michael Palamara, presiding priest of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church of West Nyack-New York, who delivered an invocation (“The Akathist Hymn”) and a greeting, congratulating Afentouli.

“On behalf of H.E. Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, I wanted to congratulate Ms. Marianna Afentouli,” said Father Palamara. “We are so proud to see this Byzantine Artwork come to life prominently displayed in a public place, here in our home county, Rockland.”

The Meteora Chapter 455 president of West Nyack, NY of AHEPA, Michael Tribunella, co-sponsored the event, and honored Afentouli with the “International Art Excellence Award For her Outstanding Contribution and Commitment to Traditional Unique Byzantine Iconography Art,” describing her as an “Exceptional Byzantine Mosaic Iconographer”.

“Byzantine art is part of who I am, as I grew up in an artistic family,” Afentouli told the crowd that had gathered to admire er work

“Throughout my life, my path to the Byzantine art was so conscious thanks to my late grandfather, Vasileios Afentoulis, and my father, Miltiadis Afentoulis…I would like to express to you all my gratitude for making my second solo exhibition so special.”

The reception was MC’d by the journalist-sociologist Dr. Despina Afentouli, who also talked about Christian symbols in the Byzantine art.

“Art is meaningful beyond languages,” Afentouli told RCT. “I can’t imagine my life without being an artist. Especially as an iconographer. It’s not just an art, it’s a spiritual type of art.

Afentouli receiving award.

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