Soula Mantalvanos: Bridging art and design in Melbourne’s creative landscape

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Soula Mantalvanos is a passionate artist and designer whose journey weaves through the realms of design and the visual arts. Soula’s story unfolds against the backdrop of a diverse career that reflects her love for artistic expression.

Soula’s professional journey can be traced to her role as the creative director of OoI Creative Communications, a design company co-owned with her husband, Theo. This venture not only allowed her to contribute to the design landscape but also provided a platform to showcase her art in various Melbourne galleries.  More recently, she founded My Health Story, a health tech solution for people with chronic illnesses.

2015 the Beginning of a New Life and QG.

Soula’s artistry covers multiple mediums. From quick sketches to works in acrylic and oils, she explores various printmaking forms, and the ancient paint technique of egg tempera – a love introduced by her Cypriot heritage. Her artistic repertoire is a testament to her versatility in exploring diverse artistic methods.

Soula’s artistic themes draw inspiration from the eccentric, whimsical, historic building facades, and quaint streetscapes. These subjects serve as a canvas for expressing her cultural heritage, travel and personal life experience, including the challenges of living with chronic pain (www.pudendalnerve.com.au).

Through her art, Soula invites viewers into a world shaped by her unique perspective and life experiences. A significant chapter in Soula’s artistic journey involves a sea change from Melbourne to the Bellarine Peninsula. Here, Soula and Theo co-direct The Queenscliff Gallery (QG).

Queenscliff Gallery exterior NguyenDang.

QG traces its roots to December 2015 when Soula and Theo Mantalvanos purchased the 1868 Wesleyan church after life circumstances prompted them towards a change.  

“After living in one of Melbourne’s most creative suburbs, Collingwood, we thought we could enhance the region’s artistic culture and elevate Australian art, specifically printmaking,” Soula says.

Soula’s artistic presence extends beyond the gallery walls, applying her fine art and design expertise to curate exhibitions and manage QG’s brand and identity.

Here and There, Soula Mantalvanos exhibition at Queenscliff Gallery.

QG presents a diverse annual calendar featuring carefully curated exhibitions. The artists vary in their levels of recognition and career stages, from nationally and internationally acclaimed figures like Rick Amor (official war artist), Melinda Harper (honoured with a retrospective at Heide Museum of Mofern Art), Katherine Hattam (finalist in prestigious national prizes) and NSW artist Steve Lopes (2018 Gallipoli Prize winner) to some more familiar artists whose illustrative works have been in the hands of Australians for decades via newspapers and children’s books such as Leigh Hobbs, Michael Leunig and Jim Pavlidis.

Artists like Lana Daubermann, Philip Davey, Anita Iacovella, Melissa Smith (TAS) and the QG Director herself, contribute to QG’s rich tapestry, as do the ochre paintings and prints of Tiwi artists’ that reflect the cultural diversity and artistic richness of Australian art that QG proudly aims to showcase.

Here and There exhibition Soula Mantalvanos Jim Pavlidis.

Landscape and still life paintings, sculptures, wood engravings, linocuts, decorative prints, as well as abstract and expressionist pieces, successfully cater to locals and international patrons  visiting QG and also to purchase Australian art online. Soula and Theo’s ambition to create destination Australian gallery, has become reality.

Gallery: www.qgallery.com.au @queenscliffgallery

Art: www.soula.com.au @soulamantalvanos

Advocacy: www.pudendalnerve.com.au

Health: www.myhealthstory.com.au @myhealthstorymhs

Soula is amongst many Greek Australian artists who have taken part in the GAAD (Greek Australian Artist Directory). An initiative by the Greek Australian Cultural League (GACL), the GAAD celebrates Greek Australian visual and performing artists by showcasing their works and contributions to the Australian arts landscape.  By preserving and promoting the artistic legacy of Greek Australian artists, the directory ensures that their talents are duly acknowledged and cherished, cementing their place in Australia’s artistic narrative.

Interested artists can register their profiles by visiting www.gacl.com.au and clicking on the dedicated GAAD section.  For any inquiries related to the GAAD, individuals can either email GACL President Cathy Alexopoulos infogaclm@gmail.com  or  contact GAAD Co-ordinator Vasy Petros on 0412 242 557.

*Written by Vasy Petros. This is a Greek Australian Cultural League Initiative supported by The Greek Herald.

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