National Hellenic Museum announces two exhibition extensions:
Hellenic Heads by George Petrides on display through January 14, 2024.
Gather Together: Chicago Street Photography by Diane Alexander White on display through February 18, 2024
The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) in Chicago is proud to announce the extension of two vibrant exhibitions by Greek American artists through early next year. The exhibitions exemplify NHM’s mission to share Greek history, art, culture and the Greek American story, and to make the rich Hellenic legacy relevant to visitors through engaging content that incorporates contemporary themes.
Touring sculpture exhibition Hellenic Heads by George Petrides, which features six larger-than-life busts inspired by key periods in Greek history spanning 2,500 years, will now be on display through Sunday, January 14, 2024.
Gather Together: Chicago Street Photography by Diane Alexander White, a series of more than 80 historic photographs showcasing Chicago’s Greek American celebrations alongside other ethnic and cultural festivals and parades, will now be on display through Sunday, February 18, 2024. Gather Together is generously sponsored by the Christ N. Dalmares Family.
The National Hellenic Museum (333 S. Halsted Street, Chicago) is open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets are $10 and include admission to all exhibits, with special discounts available for seniors, students and children. Admission to the museum is always free for NHM Members. The museum will be closed in observance of holidays on December 24, 25, 31, and January 1. For more information on current exhibitions, events and memberships, visit nationalhellenicmuseum.org or call 312-655-1234.
In Hellenic Heads, globally recognized sculptor George Petrides presents a personal exploration into his Greek background, seeking to understand the cultural influences that have shaped him and the people closest to him. Starting with a rigorous research process including archaeological artifacts, academic sources, family stories and historical photographs, Petrides studied six important periods in Greek history spanning 2,500 years: the Classical Greek Period (510 BC to 323 BC), the Byzantine Period (330 AD to 1453 AD), the Greek War of Independence (1821 to 1829), the Destruction of Smyrna (1922), the Nazi Occupation and Greek Civil War (1941 to 1949) and the Present. Following this research, Petrides sought out sculptural precedents for inspiration, ranging from works from these periods to more recent sculptors such as Michelangelo, Houdon and Rodin.
Then he asked family members to pose for him, producing six larger-than-life busts for the Hellenic Heads exhibition, which are approximately three feet in height and stand taller than six feet on pedestals.
In Gather Together: Chicago Street Photography, Chicago-based Greek American photographer Diane Alexander White presents over 80 historic works showcasing Chicago’s Greek American celebrations alongside other ethnic and cultural festivals and parades, primarily from the 1970s and 1980s.
Depicted events include the Greek Independence Day Parade, Greek Festival, Bud Billiken Day Parade, Japanese Festival, Chinese New Year Parade, Puerto Rican Festival, Mexican Civic Society Parade, Mexican Festival, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Jewish Festival, German Von Steuben Day Parade, Polish Festival, Festa Italiana and the Indo-Pak Parade. Diane’s works vividly capture the universality of how Greek Americans and Chicagoans from neighborhoods across the city gather together to show pride in their diverse communities.
Bio for George Petrides
Named a “globally recognized sculptor” by Forbes (2022), George Petrides’ work can be seen around the world, ranging from public sculptures in Greece and Turkey marking the centennial of the destruction of Smyrna in 1922, to a bronze head in the renovated Tiffany’s flagship store at 727 Fifth Avenue in New York. Petrides, who lives and works primarily in New York City, creates sculptures that include figurative and abstract, in sizes ranging from palm-sized to over 12 feet on a base. Born and partially raised in Greece, he is steeped in ancient Greek and Roman sculpture and the later works that were influenced by it (Donatello, Michelangelo, Rodin, Maillol, et al.).
Furthermore, modernist sculptors of the mid-20th century such as Giacometti, and contemporary sculptors who reference ancient Greek sculpture such as Ray and Bhabha, have played an important role in his work. His primary artistic interest is in the human experience in the form of the body and the head, exploring the beauty and the imperfection of people and of life.
Growing up in a family of artists and business people, Petrides’ first career was on Wall Street. He took his first art class at age 32 and continued taking art classes for some 20 years before committing to make art full-time. He studied drawing, painting and sculpture at the New York Studio School (whose famous students include Christopher Wool and Cecily Brown), at the Art Students League, and at the Academie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. In 2017 he dedicated himself to making art full-time. He has had solo shows in Brookline (Mass), Dubai, Monaco, Mykonos, Southampton (NY) and Washington, DC; and he has participated in multiple artist or group shows, including an exhibition with the important Greek American artist Nassos Daphnis in New York. For more information, visit petrides.art.
Bio for Diane Alexander White
Photographs from film begin as negative images, which are developed in the darkroom where a positive print is created. As a lifelong Chicago photographer, Diane Alexander White has explored the negative and positive effects of photography since 1972. Her father Angelo D. Alexander, who emigrated from Greece in 1920, became an avid photographer and shared his knowledge of the camera with his daughter, Diane. While attending the University of Illinois Chicago she took her knowledge of photography one step further by learning the ways of the darkroom.
Photography instructor Robert Steigler opened her eyes to the art of capturing the street image as he was influenced by Harry Callahan, Arthur Siegel, Aaron Siskind and others at the Institute of Design (IIT). Upon graduating in 1976, she began working in studios and darkrooms and continued with her street photography. In 1983 Diane was hired by Field Museum head photographer Ron Testa to photograph natural history collections and she continues to work there to this day. For more information, visit dawhitephotography.com.