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The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs presents

Let Our Voices Emerge – Paintings by Olga Stamatiou

An Exhibition at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park


CHARLESTON, S.C.— The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs presents Let Our Voices Emerge – a show of oil paintings by artist Olga Stamatiou, curated by Maureen Morrisette. This exhibit will be displayed at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park from March 23, 2013 until April 28, 2013. The opening reception is from 5pm until 7pm on Saturday, March 23, 2013. Ms. Stamatiou will host a lecture at the gallery April 14th at 3pm.  Dr. Helen Delfeld, assistant professor at the College of Charleston, will give a lecture on gender issues at the gallery April 7th at 3pm. The exhibition, opening reception, and lectures are all free and open to the public.

 Let Our Voices Emerge combines oil paintings by Olga Stamatiou with a curated selection of videos from the Women’s Voices Now Film Festival to create an exhibit that examines women’s rights and self-expression.  Utilizing thought- provoking imagery and strong symbols, Stamatiou uses art to convey a message about women’s invisibility worldwide.

 Inspired by demonstrations in Egypt’s Tahir Square and the efforts of oppressed women to gain civil rights, Ms. Stamatiou depicts women in various stages and types of hijab, a veil which is most commonly worn by Muslim women as a symbol of modesty, privacy, and morality.  “Stamatiou emphasizes that her women are not victims,” says curator Maureen Morrisette, “Instead, they are metaphors for the universal struggle to be seen and heard…When united by cloth and common action, as demonstrated in the signature painting, the women surge ahead like soldiers.  Their supernaturally lit headscarves imbue them with determination and power.”

 Women’s Voices Now Film Festival (WVN) has supplied short films to further illustrate this struggle for self-expression.  WVN, based in California, is an organization that believes in the importance of adding new voices to the struggle for social, economic and political equality.  The films presented in this exhibition focus on the challenges and solutions faced by women in the global struggle for gender equality.


About the Artist: Olga Stamatiou was born in New York City in 1946.   At the age of eighteen, she went to live with relatives in Athens, Greece.  It was there, in the vibrant atmosphere of the mid-1960’s, that she began her formal art education, studying with the painter Ilias Dekoulakos.  She returned to the United States and continued her studies at Boston University’s School of Fine Arts, where she received her BFA and MFA degree in painting.  She also completed a graduate program in Art Therapy at the Metropolitan College of Boston University.  Stamatiou lived and exhibited in the U.S. during the next twenty years before returning to Greece in 1997.  During the next five years, she had exhibitions in Athens and Nice, France.  Now residing in Beaufort, South Carolina with her husband, the artist continues to paint full-time.  In 2004, Stamatiou started a non-profit company called Seewall Child.  The company builds and installs award-winning, art based interactive, instalations in crisis centers for women and children.

 The City Gallery at Waterfront Park, owned by the City of Charleston and operated by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, is a tangible resource and reliable venue for displaying the finest contemporary art from local, regional, national and international artists, stimulating discussion and dialogue among audiences. In the process, those who visit the City Gallery at Waterfront Park will be educated, enlightened and inspired by their experiences in this cultural space. The City Gallery provides access to the visual arts for everyone in Charleston, S.C., visitors and residents alike, by offering exhibits that are all admission-free. The City Gallery is located at 34 Prioleau St. in downtown Charleston, S.C., and gallery hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.  For more information visit www.citygalleryatwaterfrontpark.com

FOR MORE INFO:                Barbara W. Vaughn, Director

City of Charleston Media Relations/Public Information

Phone: (843) 724-3746 Fax: (843) 724-3734

Email: vaughnb@charleston-sc.gov