CM: Dr. Margaret Steward was elected President Emeritus of Pierce College. During Dr. Stewart's term, the College was once again forced to relocate, this time because the Greek governement expropriated the campus in Hellenikon in order to expand Athens International Airport. The College was compensated with sixty acres of land at the foot of Mount Hymettus in Aghia Paraskevi. While still at Hellenikon, the College had invited artist Alkis Ghinis to give a lecture on painting, which is where Dr. Stewart met the painter. Later, in 1967, Dr. Stewart commissioned Ghinis to do her portrait. Ghinis recalls having had five sittings of Dr. Stewart in situ at her residence on the Aghia Paraskevi campus. The emphasis on the sitter's head suggests the artist's recollection of Dr. Stewart as a very warm and affectionate person. She was wearing a jacket that was partially unbuttoned and adorned with a brooch on the side of her heart. Her hands were crossed. The background reveals the wall of the room opening to a corridor, which is decorated with a painting and a medallion. Despite ascribing to Surrealism, Ghinis claims to include in his paintings things that are logical and make sense. Following the sittings, the final touches of paint were applied on the painting by Ghinis at his Athens studio.
Alkis Ghinis said the following for his painting: "At the time of executing this portrait, there was a strong surreal element in my work, but this painting stands out. Dr. Stewart was an intellectual with great spirituality. Her face is deliberately illuminated against a dark background. There, on her face, I gave the weight. She wears a partially unbuttoned sweater and pin at the side of her heart. Her hands are crossed. The background with its ambiguities looks rather fantastic. One door leads to another room decorated with a picture and a medal with a woman's head. There is some correlation between the one space with the other. It is not clear to the eye, but - unless memory fails me - the portraits on the pin, the medallion and the painting relate with one another.
[Megakles Rogakos 01/2005]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens