Cyprus College of Art

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Coordinates: 44°38′58.02″N 63°34′26.23″W / 44.6494500°N 63.5739528°W / 44.6494500; -63.5739528

Cyprus College of Art
Motto A Creative Community with a Cause
Established 1969 as the Cyprus Summer School. 1978 became Cyprus College of Art and Cyprus Summer School. 1991 renamed Cyprus College of Art. 2008 became Stass Paraskos Cyprus College of Art Ltd, but operated still as Cyprus College of Art. 2014 divested of Cornaro Institute, became Cyprus College of Art Ltd, operating solely in Paphos.
Academic staff 2 (regular staff)
Students 0
Location Paphos, Cyprus
Campus Urban and Rural

The Cyprus College of Art (CyCA) was a tertiary education art institution and professional artist studio complex located in the Mediterranean island of, Cyprus. In 2014 it ceased to be a educational institution and began concentrating solely on offering student and professional artists studio space in which to undertake their own art practice.


Until 2014 the Cyprus College of Art offered beginner courses in art, university-entrance programmes in art and design, bachelor degree equivalent programmes in Fine Art (AFA), and Master of Fine Art degrees at graduate level. The latter were awarded in association with the University of Northampton. Following disagreements with the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture, which had agreed to fund a development of the College campus in Lempa and then failed to deliver after almost a decade, CyCA decided to cease to operate as an educational institution and instead concentrate solely on its additional activity as a provider of studio space for artists from Cyprus and overseas.


The Cyprus College of Art at the Cornaro Institute Building in the centre of Larnaca.

The Cyprus College of Art was founded in 1969 by the Cypriot painter Stass Paraskos, and is the oldest art college on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. At its height it had two campuses, one in Lempa near Paphos and the other Larnaca. The Larnaca campus separated from CyCA in 2014, and began operating independently as the Cornaro Institute, while the Lempa (Paphos) campus continues as the Cyprus College of Art.

The college was originally based in the town of Famagusta but, after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, it was forced to move to the town of Kato Paphos. It remained there until 1985, when the Cyprus Ministry of Education granted it use of a former school building in the village of Lempa, four kilometres north of Paphos. The first programme offered by the college was the Cyprus Summer School, now renamed the Cyprus Summer Studio, which gave mainly British and Irish art students an opportunity to spend a period of time making art in Cyprus. In the early 1970s the college intended to launch a postgraduate fine art programme, but this was delayed by the Turkish invasion in 1974, and did not start until 1978.[1]

In 2002, the College gained additional premises in Limassol and it used this as an opportunity to launch several undergraduate fine art programmes. This included foundation, adult education and degree courses in painting, sculpture, photography and printmaking. Almost all of the programmes taught at the College follow a British art education model, and several are validated in the United Kingdom by the British validation agency Ascentis. In 2007 the College's Limassol site was closed and teaching transferred to a new building in Larnaca. The site at Lempa concentrated on postgraduate programmes and Larnaca on foundation and undergraduate programmes. Both sites were also used to house visiting artists from around the world.

In 2010, the College formed the Cornaro Institute, named after the last Venetian Queen of Cyprus Caterina Cornaro, to take over activities in Larnaca.[2]

Foundation and Ethos[edit]

The foundation of the College in 1969 was highly unusual. It began as a discussion in a pub in the English city of Leeds, where the artist Stass Paraskos was a tutor at the Leeds College of Art. In this discussion it was suggested Paraskos organise a summer trip for the art students and tutors to Cyprus. Agreeing to do this, Paraskos started an annual event, which attracted students from other British art schools, and eventually grew into the Cyprus College of Art.[3] This informal start led by artists remains a central part of the ethos of CyCA today, with artists rather than administrators still playing a central role in the institution, and stressing the freedom of the artist to be creative rather than academic bureaucracy.[4]

Controversy with Manifesta[edit]

In 2005, the International Manifesta Organisation, based in the Netherlands announced that the art festival Manifesta 6 would be held in Cyprus in 2006. The Cyprus College of Art was initially enthusiastic about the prospect of an international art fair in Cyprus, publishing a supporting article in the College newsletter, ArtCyprus about Manifesta.[5]

However a perceived unwillingness by the Manifesta organisers to engage with the College and the Cypriot art world resulted in the College becoming one of Manifesta 6's fiercest critics. This was compounded by the Manifesta team claiming there was no functioning art school in Cyprus, a charge that resulted in CyCA dedicating an entire issue of ArtCyprus to attacking Manifesta, accusing the Dutch organisation of cultural insensitivity bordering on racism.[6] This is widely seen as tipping the balance against Manifesta in Cyprus government circles at the time.

Future Development[edit]

In 2007, the College was included by the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture in a plan to transform the village of Lempa (Paphos) into a regional cultural centre. Although there has been no progress in this to date, the plan is still official government policy in Cyprus. The failure of the government to deliver on the planned development led the Cyprus College of Art to decide in 2014 to cease operating as an educational institution and instead concentrate on providing studio space for local and overseas visiting artists.[7]

Published histories[edit]

  • David Haste et al. Stass Paraskos (London: Orage Press, 2010) ISBN 978-0-9544523-5-3
  • John Cornall 'Earth Wisdom – Cypriot Connections in British Art' in London Magazine 1996

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ David Haste, et al, Stass Paraskos (London: Orage Press, 2010)
  2. ^ The Cornaro Institute, The Cornaro Institute: An Introduction (Mitcham: Orage Press, 2011)
  3. ^ Michael Paraskos, 'Stass's College of Art', in David Haste, et al. in Stass Paraskos (London: Orage Press, 2010)
  4. ^ See Ludmila Fidlerová, Lucie Bartoňková, Barbora Svátková, 'Teaching is organic' in Veřejnost a kouzlo vizuality / Sympozium České sekce INSEA. 1. (Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2008). ISBN 978-80-210-4722-8
  5. ^ Helene Black, Planning for the Future, or what our village needs now, in ArtCyprus, no. 1, Spring 2006, 2.
  6. ^ Michael Paraskos, 'In Darkest Cyprus' Cyprus Weekly, (newspaper) 20 January 2006 [1]
  7. ^ Bejay Browne, 'Historic art college turns to crowd funding site to survive', in The Cyprus Mail (Cyprus newspaper), 12 January 2014