The Arts Council of Lincoln County has a new exhibit by George Pitskoulis in the gallery at the Lincoln Cultural Center. Born in Greece, Pitskoulis first graduated from chef school before coming to New York in 1970. Pitskoulis entered the New York Academy of Theatrical Arts, studying acting, as well as the fine arts, graduating in 1976. Pitskoulis had planned to be an actor but while taking part in a play, the director, who was an artist as well, invited Pitskoulis to his home.
“I guess I got the bug,” he said. “I met Tom Owen here in Lincolnton and we did a show together in Queen’s College. I also met James Harrill, a native of Lincolnton who lived in Greece for many years and we became very close. He paints Greece the best way of anyone I’ve ever seen.”
Some of Harrill’s paintings hang in the foyer of the Lincoln Cultural Center.
Pitskoulis’s art took him all over the country, which helped to develop his personal style as an artist. He now lives in Denver.
“I love North Carolina,” he said. “I had the pleasure to see quite a few places and I love North Carolina, the place and the people and the work I do here. I paint what I see, what I touch, what I feel so North Carolina perhaps is the main source of my creativity.”
Painting with oil, acrylic, water color and mixed medium, Pitskoulis uses both a brush and a knife to create his work which ranges from photorealistic to architectural, impressionistic to abstract, depending upon the subject matter and mood. He has studied art with James Harrill, Tom Owens, Patricia Viles and Vassilis Lanbrinos.
Painting is a sacrifice, especially as far as time is concerned, Pitskoulis explained.
“When you get into painting, you’ve got to have the time,” he said. “You can’t say, ‘I’ll do this now and stop 10 minutes later,’ You make sacrifices. You don’t go out and get a new car, you keep the old one so you don’t have the payment….