In 1995, the printmaker Hambis Tsangaris established the Hambis School of Printmaking in the Cypriot countryside. Since its inception, he has taught free printmaking classes in homage to his own teacher, the renowned Greek printmaker A. Tassos. These classes serve as a gateway for individuals of all ages and educational backgrounds to immerse themselves in the vibrant world of Cypriot folk culture, its captivating myths and cherished traditions. In addition, Hambis Tsangaris has also created illustrated publications of Cypriot folktales. He has studied, recorded and illustrated the Cypriot legends and traditions about the kalikangiari (Cypriot goblins) in a series of books.
Through the art of printmaking, Hambis Tsangaris and the community of printmakers he has created have effectively safeguarded this invaluable part of Cyprus’ intangible heritage.
The impact of Hambis Tsangaris’ teachings extends far beyond the classroom. Countless teachers and educators have learned from him and, in turn, imparted this knowledge within the Cypriot education system. In 2008, he further expanded the reach of this heritage by establishing the Hambis Museum of Printmaking in the countryside. In 2019, the Hambis Municipal Museum of Printmaking in Nicosia was inaugurated. These milestones represent Hambis’ relentless pursuit to broaden the horizons of his students and introduce them to diverse cultures through the expressive medium of printmaking, thus fostering intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity.
At the root of his activities is the belief that culture, heritage and art should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their background. To this end, Hambis Tsangaris travelled throughout Cyprus, visiting numerous villages, in every region, to provide free printmaking lessons and share folk traditions in parallel. In this way, he demonstrates that art is a remarkable resource for highlighting and preserving Europe’s shared culture.
Hambis Tsangaris has also played an important role in promoting intercommunal peace and coexistence in Cyprus. At the museum, he has organised joint exhibitions, forging connections between Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot artists. He has also facilitated exchange visits to Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot workshops, to further build understanding and the peaceful coexistence of these two communities. An open invitation to Turkish-Cypriot artists to participate in the events of the Printmaking School and the Hambis Printmaking Museum remains extended.
“Hambis Tsangaris is remarkable for his achievements in fostering connections and understanding among communities in Cyprus through his work with heritage. With a passionate and inclusive approach, he has dedicated himself to the transmission of knowledge both locally and internationally, integrating traditional Cypriot storytelling into his efforts. He has reached an impressive number of people, including schoolchildren. His innovative ideas and commitment to art as a medium for delivering meaningful messages is an inspiration to other European citizens”, the Awards’ Jury stated.
“Tsangaris’ international travels and engagement with remote villages reflect his dedication to fostering intercultural relationships in Cyprus and further afield. Through his work, he exemplifies the power of art and education in revitalising diverse aspects of and ensuring continuity with our collective past”, the Jury concluded.
Contact: Yiorgos Tsangaris | email@example.com | www.yiorgos-tsangaris.com