Policies on Visual Arts
The Department of Visual Arts of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is responsible for implementing the policy on the study, support and promotion of visual arts. Its activities include financial support from the state budget to organizations supervised by the Ministry as well as private bodies and individual artists, and the organization of official participations in international fora.
The organizations funded by the Department are the National Gallery, the Greek Chamber of Fine Arts, the National and the State museums of contemporary art, and the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography. The State Museum of Contemporary Art, founded in 1997, organizes the Thessaloniki Biennial. This international venue focuses on researching and promoting contemporary creators from areas where their artistic production is not widely known. The activities take place in the whole city, highlighting the links of the various layers of the cultural heritage of Thessaloniki with current creative movements. Its international character in research and promotion covers all forms of contemporary art. Its orientation is mainly the South East of Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as Caucasus, Black Sea, Middle East, North Africa and the Arab worldThe National Museum of Contemporary Art (NMCT), established in Athens in 2000, focuses its activities on the promotion of contemporary Greek creators abroad, education, research and publications, in view of contributing to the gradual development of an audience through the discovery, familiarity and critical reception of contemporary art. In this framework, NMCT organizes workshops for young children and their families, social groups with specific needs, immigrants and rehabilitation centers. The resources of the Museum are mainly state but also private funding, sponsorships and co-productions. The Museum considers as main challenge the scarcity of resources.The Thessaloniki Museum of Photography organizes exhibitions, photographic missions in various countries, speeches, master classes, seminars, workshops, portfolio reviews and awards.
The resources of the Museum mainly come from the state budget, but it also relies on European Union resources, private funding, sponsorships and co-
productions. Four people are occupied with its projects. The main challenge the Museum is facing is difficulties in regular funding. Its work reaches more than 100.000 persons. Its results are mainly promotion of young creators and their work, as well as promotion of foreign creators in the Greek society and education and training. In the future the Museum plans to expand its activities in new areas, such as workshops for social groups with specific needs, including immigrants and prisoners, and to reinforce its action in research and education.
The Department of Visual Arts provides financial support on a non-regular basis to private bodies such as the Hellenic Centre for Photography (HCP47), which organizes the Athens Photo Festival, and REMAP KM48, an art platform, which organizes exhibitions in urban spaces and promotes interaction of the public with the
art. Another activity of the Department is the funding of artists to present their work in significant international fora, such as the Venice Biennial. A particular activity is the promotion of the exhibition “New Roma Photographers” which has been presented in many international exhibitions. The material comes from a special project of the Department, which took place between 1999 and 2004, in vocational training workshops held with Roma children in Athens.