Productive season for Bozcaada ‘artists’ colony’ draws to a close
The final exhibition of the season at Bozcaada Art Gallery, on the island of Bozcaada off Turkey’s northwestern province of Çanakkale, is titled “A Meeting of Ceramics, Glass and Sculpture,” and features the work of many local artists.
Artists from this small island in the northern Aegean, across from the legendary city of Troy and the city of Çanakkale, brought their works together to salute the ending of yet another busy artistic season. On the opening day they also held a meeting to discuss the artistic future of the island - especially as a center of ceramic arts - which has had a reputation as an “artists’ colony” for many years.
Back in the late 1960s, when the island, now a favorite tourist destination, was a remote and isolated place, a group of artists and university professors chose it as their summer residence, constructing small huts in Sulubahçe, near the now crowded Ayazma Beach.
The huts are still there, though surrounded by villas, and some of the original founders still come to spend their summers there, along with many other artists and intellectuals. There are today three art galleries on the island, as well as a number of small venues for other artistic and cultural activities.
Belgin Şahin, who has been in charge of Bozcaada Art Gallery for the past six years, says she is pleased with the way the season has unfolded, despite the troubled circumstances in the rest of Turkey and the summer resort towns along the Aegean coast.
“We’ve gone on as if living in normal times, opening one exhibition after another. We believe that no matter what happens, art prevails in the end,” Şahin said.
“We decided after many exhibitions of paintings and photographs that clay, glass and sculptures deserved a combined showing of their own,” she added, referring to the latest exhibition.
Şahin, herself a ceramics artist, is exhibiting some of her own pieces at the exhibition, which will continue through Sept. 20.
Ergün Arda, an instructor at Çanakkale University, is the curator, while other artists whose works are exhibited are Şerife Biçici, Ece Güneş Erten, Meliha Coşkun, Sinem Kınay, Sibel Kuru, Hilal Ünver, Zerrin saraçoğlu, Göksel Sevim, Hülya Talay and Zeynep Tolun.
Kınay, a ceramics artist residing in Çanakkale, said the exhibition was another manifestation of their efforts to preserve and revive the deeply-rooted ceramics tradition in the region.
Kınay and her friends have established a study group under the auspices of the Çanakkale Municipality to promote the study and production of Çanakkale ceramics, known for their glazed pots and ewes. A few examples of these ceramics are displayed in the exhibition.