CHEAPART: 25 Years of Cultural Presence
CHEAPART was initiated in 1995 as one of the earliest artist-run spaces in Greece, later established as a Non-Profit Cultural Organization in 1999. The following 25 years mark a long course of research connected to experimental, creative practice, and the development of national and international networks of art communities and audiences. CHEAPART’s activity created a large impact on the latter half of the 90s in Greece, leading the organization to its second phase of innovation. With over a quarter of a century of sustained presence, CHEAPART has defined an entire era and continues to lead through its pioneer cultural program, empowering the next generations.
CHEAPART is considered to be the father of today's independent art scene, not only for its non-conventional practice, but also in its methods of sustainability, which have held the spotlight on the organization for almost 26 years. It’s most valued work since 1995 is the active support to young artists and their integration into the local and international art community. CHEAPART has presented over 390 exhibitions, among them, at the Sao Paulo Biennale (2004), ARTmART (Vienna Kuenstlerhaus), and other international exhibitions developed through CHEAPART’s affiliate spaces: CAMP! Contemporary Art Meeting Point, TAF The Art Foundation and the ArtWall Project Space. Since 1995, CHEAPART has collaborated with the largest part of the active community of Greek artists. It is important to note that a number of ongoing cultural activities in Greece draw from the ideas and dynamics of CHEAPART, enriching today’s contemporary Athenian art scene.
CHEAPART is constantly expanding its network, enabling artists to present new ideas and ferment future collaborations within the local and international art community. In collaborating with esteemed institutions such as the Vienna Kuenstlerhaus, Loods6 Amsterdam, the Austrian Embassy in Athens, bm:uk Ministry of Culture of Austria, TIF/ Helexpo Thessaloniki International Fair and other organizations, CHEAPART has succeeded to develop and sustain a leading contemporary art agenda which includes group / solo presentations, festivals art projects and programs in Greece and abroad. CHEAPART is a rare example of a Contemporary Greek Cultural organization which exports its practice and expertise with success beyond national borders, while maintaining its distinctive features and characteristics abroad. This is accomplished by penetrating the local contemporary art scene that accepts and incorporates these events into the core of the community.
CHEAPART’s partners and collaborations include (among others): Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, Austrian Embassy in Athens, Embassy of Greece in Vienna, Embassy of Italy in Athens, Embassy of the Netherlands in Greece, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Athens, Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Athens, Bundeskanzleramt: Österreich, bm:uk Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur, Athens Trigono (exclusive donor Stavros Niarchos Foundation (ISN), Athens Partnership, City of Athens, City of Thessaloniki, Wien Kultur, Finish Institute in Athens, The Danish Institute at Athens, Akademie der bildenden kuenste wien, Athens School of Fine Arts, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Die Angewandte / University of Applied Arts Vienna, The American College, American Hellenic Union, TIF/ Helexpo Thessaloniki International Fair, Athens Trigono, Kuenstlerhaus Vienna, Loods6 Amsterdam, Vienna Art Week, Art Athina.
CHEAPART first introduced Back to Athens International Arts Festival at the beginning of the crisis in 2012. Until today, Back to Athens has created an art trail through the Athenian neighborhoods and districts, from Kotzia Square, adjacent to the Athens town hall (2012 - 2014), Exarcheia Square (2016 - 2017), the Commercial Triangle of Athens (2018 and 2020), to the Isaiah Palace at Patission Area (2021), the city’s artistic community is engaged in a large cultural get-together of curatorial exhibitions, performances, music performances, screenings etc. Back to unfolds the concerns and expectations of artists and the public, providing valuable insight on the issues and concerns of the art community, while leaving conclusions to rest on interpretation.
Athens Intersection Cultural Program was initiated by CHEAPART in 2017 with the collaboration with the Athens Commercial Triangle Revitalization Program of the City of Athens (supported by an exclusive donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (ISN) coordinated by Athens Partnership). Athens Intersection implemented 60+ exhibitions and events in public spaces and abandoned locations within the Athens Commercial Triangle, with an average 15,000 visitors. The program aimed to establish the importance of artistic events, as a vital tool for the social re-development of the historical city center of Athens and the empowerment of community participation in the arts. Athens Intersection continues its artistic exploration having engaged with four of the most vibrant and emblematic neighborhoods in Athens. In 2020 with the support of the Greek Ministry of Culture, CHEAPART digitized its 25-year archive and provided public access to valuable material through its website.