I wanted to give you an inside peak in to the Foundation and how we operate. As much as I have fought the fact that this business is personal, I have finally accepted the fact that it is. So many of the people that work in the studio have become our SkopArt family. We follow the careers of so many of the artists that have come through and continue to keep in touch. It enriches our lives and makes us feel proud that they spent a few weeks in our studio.
Because we live in the Skopelos community, we want the artists and students to interact with the people so they will have the “Greek experience”. I have always been a believer that the people make the place, and that is so true of Skopelos island. These people want to make sure you have the best experience possible in spite of whether they make money or not. Try sitting at a taverna for less than an hour. You will be hard pressed to get your bill. They want you to stay and have a good time. They don’t care about the turnover of the restaurant or what you ordered. Did you know some Greeks will sit at a cafe for hours on end and only order one 3 euro coffee? And it will take hours for them to drink their coffee! Not like us Americans that tend to down everything very quickly.
Siga, siga (slowly, slowly) is the Greeks motto. It is a profound statement and one that took me so long to understand. Everything happens in its own time which drove me absolutely crazy as a driven American. Now I get it and trust that it will all get done (just not on my timeline!).
But I digress, of course your art is the most important thing to us. We want you to be able to have the ultimate environment to create. But we do believe that the environment should include having a few experiences like visiting the local ceramist, Nikos Rodios or meeting the beekeeper Spiros Cosmas. It is all part of the package.
What does that mean to you? Well, I am most happy when you are happy. I have learned that I can’t make everyone happy but if I can facilitate you having a great experience, I am going to do it. It is my pleasure to see people not only create art but also meet the fabulous people from Skopelos who I love dearly. This is an overall experience and although it is fine for you to hunker down and do your work, I have found the people that are willing to venture out and interact with the locals have a better experience and their art reflects it.
Each year I can’t wait to meet our new set of artists and students that come through. Some artists are not so new and come yearly or every other year. That is also so exciting because I get to see my family again! Like I said, this is personal and I won’t apologize for it. You mean something to me. So if you dare take the plunge and come to Skopelos, I will be happy to facilitate your Greek adventure!
I hope to see you soon…
Jill and daughter, Zoe