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MEROPE PREKA (Greece, Athens b. 1934 / act: Athens)

Merope Preka Merope Preka-Stephanatou was born on 13 March 1934 in Athens, Greece. She studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts - ASFA (1958) under Andreas Georgiadis; Yannis Moralis; Pavlos Mylonas; and Pantelis Prevelakis. In 1963 a scholarship enabled her to study the techinique of stained glass at the École Supérieure Nationale des Métiers d'Arts, in Paris, under M. Frézil and René Giroux.

Merope Preka was awarded the following prizes: Painting Degree Examinations, Athens School of Fine Arts (1958); Panhellenic Avant-Garde Painting Competition, Athens(1962); Panhellenic Cover Competition by the Lambrakis Foundation, Zygos Gallery, Athens (1961); 1st Prize in the Panhellenic Stained Glass Competition by the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry - ACCI (1973); 1st Prize at the Commercial and Industrial Chamber of Athens (1974); 1st Prize for the Painting Exhibition by the International Women's Cultural Federation (1995); Silver Medal of the City of Kavala and of the Metropolitan Bishopric of Philippi (1982).

In 1975 she was elected member of the Action Committee of the Art Chamber of Greece on the Law on Artists, and member of the Organising Committee of the International Art Exhibition at the Zappeion, Athens. From 1960 to 1967, she worked as Director of the Art Section of the National Organization of Hellenic Handicraft - EOEX, from which position she resigned in 1967, as an act of resistance to the dictatorship. From 1968 to 1985, she taught painting at the Vacalo School of Art & Design. She has taught Art History at five annual seminars for institutions and private organizations; has delivered more than seventy lectures on European Painting of the 19th and 20th centuries, Greek Painting of the 19th century, and Ancient and Hellenistic Sculpture, as well as on the History of Vitro from antiquity to the present day, in principal cities of Greece; at the Cultural Centre of the Popular Bank, Nicosia, Cyprus; at the Centre d' Action Culturelle - Bonlieu, Annecy, France (1986); and at the Cultural Centre of the University of Nice, France.

Merope Preka presented the following personal exhibitions: Painting, Alkis Costakis Gallery, Plaka (1954); Painting, Syntagma Art Gallery, Athens (1956); Opus Sectile I, Athens Art Gallery, Hilton Hotel Athens (1968); Opus Sectile II, Contemporary Graphics, Athens (1980); Ora Cultural Center, Athens, Greece (1980); Opus Sectile III, Survive Gallery, Athens (1981); Opus Sectile IV, Institut Français, Larissa (1986); Opus Sectile V, Institut Français, Kalamata (1986); Opus Sectile VI, Aigokeros Gallery, Athens (1990); Opus Sectile VII, Apopsi Art Center, Athens (1990); Opus Sectile VIII, Institut Français, Athens (1991); Spring Fresco, Art & Design Gallery, Serres (1996); and Santorini or Summer's Myth, Gyzi Megaron, Santorini Island(1996). She also took part in a great number of group exhibitions, including the following: Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits throughout Time, ACG Art Gallery, Athens (2008). She represented Greece at the following international exhibitions: Mostra Internazionale di Firenze, Italy (1960-1966); Foire International, Galerie Zygos, Montreal, Canada (1962); Pavilion of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Thessaloniki International Trade Fair (1965); Panhellenic Exhibition, Kremasti, Rhodes Island (1966); XII Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (1973); and Pan-European Exhibition of Monumental Art, Château des Papes, Avignon, France (1990).

Merope Preka's monumental works include the following: stained glass for the lobby of Atlantis - Chandris Ocean Liner (1971); 80 m² stained glass to the height of three floors at the Commercial and Industrial Chamber of Athens - CICA (1974); glass-based sculpture at the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair for the pavilion of the Public Power Corporation (1973); stained glass for the Chapel of the Leontios School, Athens (1974); 20 m² stained glass at the VIP reception room of the Bodossaki Factory; stained glass of the Pantocrator at the headquarters of the Metropolitan Bishopric of Didymoticho (1980); stained glass of Saints for the Baptistery of Hagia Lydia, Ancient Philippi, Kavala (1980-1986); and stained glass 26 m² for the lobby of the Agricultural Bank, Nea Smyrni, Athens (1990).

Artworks by Merope Preka are kept at the following institutions: The American College of Greece, Athens; Vorres Museum, Peania; Pierides Gallery, Nicosia; Psychiko Municipal Gallery - Meni & Takis Lefas Foundation, Athens; Nikos Grigorakis Museum of Engraving, Psychiko; Museum of the City of Athens - Vouros-Eutaxias Foundation, Athens; Ignacio Garcia-Lorca Museum, Spain; Rethymno Museum of Contemporary Art; Palladium Hotel, Ermioni; Town Hall of Lixouri, Cephalonia. Artworks by her can also be found in the following private collections: Helen, former Queen of Romania - Italy; Juan Ajaro, Brazil; Dimitris Argyrou, Canada; Dimitris Aslanoglou; M. Christophilou; G. David; G. Dougas; M. Hatzimichali-Pataliou; Akis and Katy Kafopoulos; G. Karagionis; G.O. Katakalidis; E. Kominou; Polyvios Marsan; H. McTaggart; Robert Keeley - USA; Dimitris Michaelides - Canada; Dimitris Moustroufis; Evangelos Moutsopoulos; C. Petropoulos; M. Photiadis; and Gerasimos Touliatos. Artworks by Merope Preka have adorned magazine articles by the following distinguished Greek writers: Maria Karavia; Amalia Megapanou; and Ioanna Tsatsou. Her texts and monographs have been published in authortiative journals, such as Lexi, Efthyni and Parodos. Merope Preka was appointed to address the following events: Nice Colloque, France (1986); 1st Panhellenic Conference on Orthodox Ecclesiastical Art, Thessaloniki (1993); 2nd Panhellenic Conference on Ecclesiastical Art, Patmos (2003); and 1st International Glass Conference, organised by the Demokritos Institute, Rhodes (2005).

Merope Preka is a member of the following organizations: the Association of Alumni of the Athens School of Fine Arts; the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece; the Federation of International Artists' Exchanges; the Nikolaos Perantinos Sculpture Museum; the board of the Greek section of the Fédération Internationale Culturelle Féminine; and the Board of Management of the National Gallery - Alexandros Soutzos Museum.

Merope Preka continues to live and work in Athens.

[Megakles 04/2007]

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
DÉSALEUX, EDITH Meropi Preca: Europe Artisanat, Délégation Hellénique - Vitraux 1990 Palais des Papes, Avignon, France [French]
DELENDAS, JEROME & LYDAKIS, STELIOS Santorini or Summer's Myth 1996 Megaro Gyzi, Santorini
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits throughout Time 2008 ACG Art, Athens

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