Female Artists Cyprus

“Be inspired by imaginary works – communicate through art creations.”

Dedicated Agent to the Rescue of Artists July 3, 2010

Filed under: Artists' News — FITA @ 8:24 am
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By Hazel Friedman

(Article appeared in The Start TONIGHT! in Johannesburg on Thursday, January 24, 1991)

The price of recognition, as any usual artist will confirm, is high. Take the cost of putting on a solo exhibition at a reputable commercial gallery, for example.

Firstly, in order to be accepted by a professional gallery, the potential exhibitor has to package the “product” in the most palatable way – often a considerable expense – be it in the form of slides, photographs and a portfolio. Then there is the tortuous process of organising invitations and publicity, paying gallery rental fees, as well as providing opening night refreshments. Not to mention covering the costs of art materials, framing and mounting. That would be a daunting task for the public relations officer of a major company, not to mention a struggling artist.


And all that effort still doesn’t guarantee a place in the art history books, let alone a mention in the morning paper. Moreover, unless the show is a sell-out success, there’s no way the artist can cover costs, let alone make a profit. In short, not-yet-made-it-artists are among the most isolated members of our workforce. And they don’t even have the support of a union.

Of course there are those people who make it their business to help artists market their work, namely art agents and dealers. There are various species of dealers – wheelers, stealers and benevolents, among others.

Maria Etheridge, director of “Creative Heritage” best fits the benevolent category. Etheridge has recently embarked on an innovative scheme to market and exhibit the work of South African artists. She calls it the “Manhattan Method” because it was in that city that she was first introduced to a marketing concept which is widely used in America and Europe.

The first part of the concept involves contacting prospective buyers – both corporate and private – and consulting them on their specific aesthetic preferences. Then, armed with a catalogue comprised of high quality slides and a slide projector (Etheridge is no armchair agent) she visits clients in the comfort of their offices, boardrooms or lounges, and presents an appropriate segment of the Creative Heritage collection.

The next stage involves bringing the actual (chosen) artworks to the environment for which they had been purchased and personally supervising the hanging arrangements.

But it doesn’t end there. Etheridge represents about 30 artists at present, ranging from unschooled illustrators to established painters and sculptors. In addition to marketing their work, she offers them the facility of a gallery attached to her home in the suburb of Jacanlee, Randburg. Artists may use the gallery as a semi-permanent exhibition venue or, if they have a sufficient body of work, as a space in which to hold solo exhibitions.

What differentiates her gallery from most commercial venues, is that Etheridge herself carries most of the exhibition costs. In addition to being an experienced photographer, she is also a picture framer. She photographs all the works for the Creative Heritage catalogue free of charge and frames the artists’ paintings at ‘ridiculously reasonable rates’.

She also offers to organise invitations to exhibitions and covers catering costs for the openings. Artists may use her space free of charge and she deducts a small percentage for sales of works, which varies slightly according to the status of the exhibitor.

Etheridge is confident about the success of her venture. She says: “I don’t claim to be an art expert, and a lot of what I have achieved has been through trial and error. But the response to the “Manhattan Method” has been incredibly positive, as has the response to the exhibitions.”

She emphasises that there are no proscriptions on the kind of art she markets and exhibits. However, when I visited her gallery, there seemed to be a general uniformity in the works on display. Conventional styles and subjects predominate. Did this imply an aversion to more conceptually oriented art? Apparently not! Etheridge emphasises her openness to all types of art, be it mimetic, abstract or avant-garde.


At this point, cynical eyebrows might be raised. Surely this kind of patronage doesn’t come without a hidden price tag? But after visiting Etheridge in her peri-urban gallery, her integrity and enthusiasm seem beyond dispute. She genuinely wants to assist artists. “There is nothing I love more than visiting artists in their studios, seeing how they work, the smell of paints and turpentine … That may sound naïve, romantic even, but I feel inspired by their dedication.”

And judging from the growing response to “Creative Heritage”, artists who place their trust in Maria Etheridge seem equally inspired by the Manhattan Method.


The First Ever Female Artist Expo in Cyprus April 12, 2010

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On 3rd April in Paphos, a select number of female artists displayed their Art at the first ever Female Artist Expo. Interestingly, the participants were residents in Cyprus from Britain, Scotland, Romania, Slovakia, Holland, Germany and Russia, making the Expo not only unique for female artists, but cosmopolitan too. (more…)


Maria Etheridge April 5, 2010

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My name is Maria Etheridge and I paint under my maiden name of VOLSCHENK.

Although mainly self-taught over many years, I spent three years studying with Elli Lestas of Tala Village, an M.A. in Fine Art, who guided me in acquiring skills in drawing as well as the finer points of working with colour.

In 2007 I studied watercolour painting with John Booth, former Drawing Master and Head of Art at Eton College, in Citta di Castello in Tuscany and in 2008 I studied Impressionist oil painting with Jerry Fresia in Lenno on Lake Como in Italy. This I intend doing again in September of this year.

Creative Heritage is the name under which I traded in South Africa when I managed my own art gallery and framing business. It’s a name I am very fond of and reluctant to let go. I felt the need to reclaim that name, in order to launch my creations onto the world-wide web. See my website: www.creativeheritage.net “David’s Boots” in acrylic and “Sunset Dip” in watercolour have been selected by my agents in California for possible use by Sony Ericson in an upcoming advertising campaign.

I settled in Cyprus in 2001 together with my husband and two boxer dogs. We were intent on doing all the things for which there never was time while earning a crust. Together, we probably got to know this island better than its inhabitants, touring incessantly whenever we could find the time.

In 2006, Cyprus established an annual Open Studios event in which I participate enthusiastically. I also belong to an art group who meet once a week at our local club and we paint for the joy of it.

Recently, I have been elected Deputy Chairman for the Paphos Writers’ Group of which I have been a member since 2001. Through mutual support, we have published, as a group and individually, several books, short stories and articles. I partially illustrated the compendium of short stories, poetry and anecdotes published by the Paphos Writers’ Group, fully sponsored by the Leptos Group of Companies and sold in aid of three charities.

In 2007 I self-published a novel entitled Hannah – Woman in Red and can be obtained from Hearns Bookshop in Coral Bay, Amazon or directly by following this link: http://www.lulu.com/content/946253

My philosophy My paramount intent is to create, to enrich my life and those of others. This I do by staying in the moment … in the breath between the breaths.

A lot has been said about staying in the moment, but until you know that this moment is the only guarantee you have, you will fail as your yesterdays and your tomorrows crowd out that which you need to grasp right now … right here.

People feel uncomfortable when you mention “soul” these days. But, when we create, we enrich our very essence – our Higher Self. We become better people who strive to populate a better world for ourselves and for others.

We are the sole custodians of our souls.

Download my PDF portfolio here