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Exhibit to feature Santorini

An exhibit about the beauty and history of the Greek Island Santorini opens Monday, Aug. 13 at the Waupaca Area Public Library Exhibition Room.

It will run through Saturday, Sept. 22 and be open during regular library hours.

The exhibit will feature the photographic work of Michael Patrick, which was done on Santorini in May of 2011, as well as a description of Santorini’s geology, history and recently uncovered ancient Minoan civilization at Akrotiri.

The current geography of Santorini, with its 1,000-foot cliffs plunging into a crater in the Aegean sea, is a result of the largest ever volcanic eruption some 3,500 years ago.

Many believe it is the basis for Plato’s storied “Atlantis” legend.

Patrick, who lives in rural Waupaca with his wife Bev Crane, said he has been doing photography as a “serious amateur” for more than 50 years.

The retired scientist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Medical Genetics said his research was on the effect light had on biological molecules.

His interest in photography is the result of his fascination, scientifically, with light.

“But, it (light) can also be used to create some pretty neat things,” he said.

After retiring in 2005, Patrick decided he wanted a mentor and found one in Dan Anderson, who studied photography under Ansel Adams.

“He runs small workshops out of his studio in Ellison Bay,” Patrick said. “I found out that one of the things he also does is to lead photographic tours to exotic places, especially for their photographic impact.”

Anderson has been to Santorini several times, and Patrick was among the group of approximately seven photographers who went there with him in 2011.

“I was awestruck coming in (to the island),” Patrick said. “They’ve used these layers and layers of volcanic ash to build homes. It’s really amazing. You see layers of houses. One person’s patio is another person’s roof.”

He said it is one of the most beautiful spots on the planet.

“We explored just about the whole island,” Patrick said. “It’s been the most incredible place I’ve ever been to.”

Patrick will give a presentation about Santorini at a special Lunch and Learn program at noon Tuesday, Aug. 21.

To register for the Lunch and Learn program, visit the library’s website at http://www.waupacalibrary.org.

The Minoan Society will also be the topic of an upcoming Winchester Academy program.

Winchester Academy will return for the fall season at 6:30 p.m. Monday Sept. 10, at the library with a presentation by Joseph Janssen on the Minoan civilization.

In “The Minoans: Europe’s First Advanced Civilization 3000-1200 B.C.E.,” he will outline the historical and cultural significance of the ancient Minoan port city found at Akrotiri on the Mediterranean island of Santorini.

The program will provide additional enrichment to Patrick’s display of photographs.

Janssen, chair of the social studies department at Waupaca High School, has taught world history there for the past 12 years. His 25 years of teaching also include two years at Northern Illinois University, where he received his master’s degree.

Janssen’s European educational experience involved six months of study in Ancient Greek History, from Mt. Olympus to the Islands of Crete and Thera.

While there, he studied with one of the world’s great scholars of Greek and Minoan history, Nanno Marinatos, whose father, Spyridon Marinatos, was the founder of the archeological site of Akrotiri.

The ancient Minoans created Europe’s first advanced civilization around 3000 B.C.E. Minoan scholars, artists and mariners developed a vibrant culture with a written language, modern styles of art and advanced technologies in architecture, engineering, and navigation, creating contacts with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

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