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The Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation and the 2016 student painting contest

For the second consecutive year the Foundation Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation organized an event in honor of the students who excelled in the 2016 Children’s Gallery of Greece drawing competition, entitled ‘Christmas’.

The event, held on Sunday January 22, 2017 at the NJV Athens Plaza hotel, was attended by 49 young artists, all students of primary schools, along with their parents, teachers and representatives of artistic workshops from throughout the country including: Thessaloniki, Crete, Euboea, Rhodes, Amfilochia, Larissa, Andravida, Paros, Serres, Farsala and part of Attica, Maroussi, Mati, Galatsi, Patissia, Argiroupoli, Nea Makri, Perama and Holargo.

It is worth noting that more than 600 children from all over Greece took part in the competition.

The honorary guest of the event was noted Greek painter and professor of Architecture at the Polytechnic School, Sotiris Sorogas.

The Foundation’s President, Mrs Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, greeted the children with open arms. She said: "We wanted this to the our institution’s first event for 2017 as it sends such an optimistic message for the new year to our favourite children who can see the holy days of Christmas through these beautiful paintings. The works emphasise their expectations, a glimpse of the world we dream of through pure and innocent eyes!

“We are delighted that the competition has been embraced within such a short time by many schools and students from various parts of Greece. And in this year's contest, we received many outstanding projects. Each was unique and really could be the subject of our Christmas card. Each of the drawings is a window to the world as they see, perceive and envision children, and seeing the world through their eyes, I feel so proud of the young generation of our country.

“I wish you all a Happy New Year, and that God gives you health and happiness in your life, good progress and may your dreams come true.”

The winner of this year's competition was seven year old Joy Baziotis, a 2nd grade from student of Kosteas-Geitonas from Maroussi whose painting, the Tree of Peace, Hope and Love, was featured on the Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation 2016 Christmas card.

Joy received the ‘Boat’, a signed engraving by Professor Sorogas as her prize and inspiration to follow in his footsteps.

The award, along with commemorative diplomas, was presented by Mrs Vardinoyannis who was accompanied by the winner of last year's competition, nine year old Thanassis Sotiropoulos, from the 5th Amaliada Primary School.

Honorary diplomas were awarded to all children at the event.

The Children's Gallery of Greece was represented at the event by teacher, Catherine Lengou,who addressed the guests.

Professor Sotiris Sorogas was introduced by the Director of the Vasilis and Marina Theocharakis Foundation’s Visual Arts Programme, Takis Mavrotas.

Mr Mavrotas said: “Sotiris Sorogas is one of the major exponents of contemporary Greek art, who, through his varied works, highlights and adds to European painting. He is not only a deep thinking artist, but also an innovator in the teaching of painting. In 2004 the Athens Academy honoured him for his valuable cultural contribution to Greek art.”

Professor Sorogas said: “Events like today’s are comforting for our country which is experiencing decline in so many areas. Such uplifting occasions give us the courage to continue our lives because Hellenism must never die out. I want to express my deep gratitude to Mrs Vardinoyannis who is at the heart of all these activities. It is great to think that such Greeks continue to exist. It is fair to say that the state ‘machinery’ is dead and I believe it will be private initiatives like this that will breathe life into our society again. And, of course, Mrs Vardinoyannis is the soul of these activities is the soul. She is not just Marianna Vardinoyannis, she is someone who has touched us all.”

All the children and their teachers were offered ‘Delphi Highlights’, a book recently published by the Delphi European Cultural Centre of Delphi and the Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, featuring the works of Greek and foreign artists shown at the Delphi Centre .

The event was followed by lunch.