The IRIS ART CENTRE in Greece:
discover new trails in your art-making practice!
Immerse yourself in an inspiring studio environment in the Greek countryside!
The IRIS ART CENTRE offers you an inspiring studio environment to discover new trails in your art-making practice. Situated in the Greek countryside just outside Athens, Greece, by the foothills of Parnitha National Park, a protected mountainous area filled with wildlife and pine trees, the IRIS ART CENTRE provides an ideal environment for self-reflection and intensive artistic learning and research. The centre is housed in a modern villa, situated in an olive grove on a two-and-a-half acre estate with a swimming pool, a vineyard, a lush garden with a lawn, lots of roses and a vegetable patch; the private home of artist/art educator Annette Luycx, who lives there together with her husband, four dogs and two cats. For reviews of artists who stayed with us please press here.
At the IRIS ART CENTRE, groups are small (2-6 persons), the environment is quiet and peaceful, and all programs are full-board, so that you can work intensively on developing your new projects. The Centre organizes art workshops in the spring-early summer and artist residencies the whole year through. Accommodations consist of four double bedrooms (air-conditioned) with their en suite bathroom. Furthermore, you have access to a cooled, light-infused studio, home cinema with a 8 ft. x 5 ft. (2.5m x 1.5 m) screen, an Art Gallery, Art Library, a cozy private residents-only lounge and multiple verandas ideal for lounging and sketching. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided. Breakfast can be brought to your room, and lunch to the studio if you don't want to stop working. The menu consists of Greek dishes, prepared with organic, home grown and locally sourced ingredients. We only use free-range eggs, and local yogurt and bread. At dinner you are welcome to try a glass of our own wine, Châteauneuf du Paps! Refreshments are available the whole day.
Getting to central Athens and beyond
The IRIS ART CENTRE is situated 5 minutes by car from the local train station that brings you to central Athens, where museums and galleries give plenty of new inspiration for your artistic work. Annette and her husband will gladly drop you off/pick you up from the train station. It takes a 25 minute train ride, departing every 2 hours, to get to the centre of Athens, with the Acropolis, the new Acropolis Museum, the Archeological Museum, the ancient Agora, cosy old Plaka and Monastiraki Flea Market, and the museums of Contemporary Art, Cycladic Art, Benaki, Byzantine Art etc.
For students who like to be more independent and free to travel during evenings and weekends, it is advised to rent a car. Alternatively, you can make use of our partnered taxi driver, Argiris. You may choose to go to the beach near Marathon, (a 30 minute drive to the East from the IRIS ART CENTRE), or take the train north to eat fish at the sea in Halkida or to visit Delphi, Mycenae, Nauplion or Epidaurus for day trips. For a more adventurous weekend trip, you may choose to visit islands such as Aegina, Mykonos, Andros, Hydra or Spetses by taking a fast ferry from Rafina or Piraeus, the ports of Athens.
Talent development through artistic coaching
The IRIS ART CENTRE was founded by artist/art educator Annette Luycx, fuelled by the belief that it is essential for the lasting artistic development of an artist to have opportunities to learn and to work intensively under the guidance of an art mentor. Purpose of the IRIS ART CENTRE is to support artists and art-students of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to gain increased self-awareness and understanding of their individual creative process, and to promote artistic growth and development of their artistic voice. This talent development is accomplished through a unique art coaching program. The 2020 art retreats, workshops and artist residencies are organized and coordinated by Annette Luycx. She has traveled extensively and studied fine arts, theater and ceramics with many international artists and art educators all over the world. Originally from the Netherlands, she lives and works in the IRIS ART CENTRE as an artist and freelance art educator, organizing art courses and art workshops for adults in Greek, English and Dutch. Take a look at this video to get an idea about her teaching: Becoming an Artist.
Your art mentor: Annette Luycx M.Ed.
Annette has been teaching art to people of all ages and abilities for the past 24 years at schools, cultural centers and on a private basis. She has specialized in artistic coaching and artistic talent development. In early 2020 her art workbook From Art to Empowerment: How Women Can Develop Artistic Voice was published in the USA. Annette holds a Master's Degree in Sociology and Women's Studies from the University of Amsterdam, a post-doctorate degree in Cultural Management from Paris Dauphine University and a Master's Degree in Art Education from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, USA. She has participated with collages and ceramics in group exhibitions in Amsterdam, Athens, Boston, Baltimore, Edinburgh, Salzburg, Prague and Paris. Annette speaks fluent Dutch, English, Greek, French and German. Take a look at her work: collageartist.
The IRIS ART CENTRE took its name from the ancient goddess Iris. In Greek mythology Iris is the goddess of divine inspiration: she brings messages from the gods to the humans. She is the goddess of the rainbow. She personifies the free movement and exchange of thought, bearing the gift of divine inspiration, which strikes suddenly like the startling appearance of a rainbow in the sky. Iris travels with the speed of wind from one end of the world to the other, and into the depths of the sea and the underworld. Iris is the goddess of communication, inspiration and new endeavors.
The IRIS ART CENTRE seeks to gather people from all over the world and to be a place of artistic education, exchange, experimentation, and production. A place that is open to inspiration, creativity... and ever new messages from the gods!