Carving Marble, Connecting with History

The art of marble carving has been practiced in Greece since ancient times, and this is visible all around modern Athens. This ancient practice, however, never stopped. The same techniques are put into practice today, to produce Modern Art objects, architectural elements and studies of ancient masterpieces.

CYA values this ancient art as an enriching experience for students. The CYA Department of Student Affairs and its Executive Director Nadia Meliniotis collaborates with one of the best local marble art workshops in Athens, located just minutes’ walk from CYA. This gives students something more than just a fun hobby for the duration of the semester (though fun is definitely a part of it!). The activity proves to be a means of connecting with History in a hands-on way.

I looked forward to every class. It was great to connect to the past in this artistic way. I have gained an appreciation for marble sculptures around Athens.

Stephen Dierkes, College of the Holy Cross, CYA Spring ’21

This semester, students of CYA’s course on Ancient Greek Sculpture taught by Dr. Athena Hadji were encouraged to join, and thus expanded their understanding of the subject.

My piece represents Aphrodite from the Parthenon pediment. I was inspired by my professor, Athena Hadji’s description of this artwork. It is a beautiful model for my own creativity and will forever remind me of my time in Greece. 

Jennifer Rubin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CYA Spring ’21

At the end of the semester, all finished artworks created by Spring students were displayed at the CYA cafeteria for everyone to enjoy. All students took their artwork with them when returning home, a beautiful souvenir to keep for life.

Marble carving is not easy! But with careful guidance from the workshop instructors, perseverance and a big dose of motivation, Spring ’21 CYAers created their own works of Art, using the same techniques used by Phidias or Praxiteles more than two millennia ago.

I have loved my time at marble carving. Every Thursday I looked forward to spending my evening chipping away at the stone, and I loved leaving covered in marble dust. This has been one of the most memorable experiences for me this semester.

Caroline Tyler, College of the Holy Cross, CYA Spring ’21

Written by Sofia Stavropoulou
CYA Social Media Coordinator