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Global Register Feature Article: Maria Karametou, Associate Professor in Mason’s School of Art

Posted 17 Apr 2013

Karametou Icon

           “Icon” mixed media relief

By Steven Harris-Scott

Maria Karametou, an Associate Professor in Mason’s School of Art in the Division of Painting and Drawing, is a mixed media artist whose exhibition record includes the D.C. area, Greece, Germany, Turkey, Russia, Bulgaria and others around the United States and the world. Professor Karametou’s art incorporates a variety of non-conventional mixed media materials. Thematically it often relates to the concept of identity and the impact of time and place upon it.

In 2010, Professor Karametou was the recipient of a Senior Fulbright Research Award from the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars for work in Istanbul, Turkey. Her project involved the study and documentation of embroidery and textile designs from the Ottoman Empire to the present. It also investigated (from a practicing artist’s point of view) the contemporary art scene to examine if and how these designs and traditions still manifest themselves in the creative expression of artists in Turkey, especially under the impact of globalization.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Professor Karametou gave a number of lectures at several universities and had a solo exhibition of work she produced during her stay in the country. She also subsequently originated and co-organized the international project “Converging Parallels” in collaboration with professor Biret Tavman of Marmara University. This project was presented in Istanbul in 2012, and will be exhibited at Mason next year.

One of Professor Karametou’s current research interests is to examine the common threads that have interlaced the creative expressions in textile design between her native Greece and Turkey. This interest stems from her own personal history as her maternal grandparents were Greeks who lived in Turkey under Ottoman rule and who immigrated to Greece as refugees in the 1920s.

Karametou’s work is in permanent collections worldwide such as the Vorres Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, Greece and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Her art was also included in the collection of the U.S. Ambassador to Greece during his tenure. Other professional activities involve the International multi-site project “Penelopeia” and being a visiting artist at the international symposium “Earth” at the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts in Skopelos Island, Greece. Professor Karametou has also served on the Board of Directors of the Arlington Arts Center from 2004-2012.

Reviews of Karametou’s work have appeared in The Washington Post; the Baltimore Sun; the New Art Examiner; Washington City Paper; Baltimore City Paper; The Evening Sun; Epikera magazine; the Voice of America; The Alternative; Washington Review; Eikastika Magazine; National Herald; Hellenic News; and VOGUE magazine (Greek Edition).

Karametou studied Painting and Drawing in her native Greece before immigrating to the U.S. She holds a BA from the University of Maryland and MFA from the Maryland Institute of Art, Hoffberger School of Painting, in Baltimore, Maryland where she studied with renowned painter Grace Hartigan.

Karametou is one of the first cohorts of Mason faculty to upload her international experience and expertise onto Mason’s new interactive global database, the Global Register. To see Professor Karametou’s entry – and those of many other globally-active faculty at Mason – visit the Global Register.