Sarah M. Pritchett
Concord University
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312,

After 4 p.m.
Office: 304-384-5211
Cell: 304-320-6405


ATHENS, W.Va. – A special source of inspiration for actors and their audiences now graces the entrance of the main theatre in Concord University’s Fine Arts Center.

Paintings of the Greek Muses of Comedy (Thaleia) and Tragedy (Melpomene) hang near the doors leading into the theatre. These delightful pieces of art are a gift to Concord’s Theatre Department from the family of Paul and Alexandra Chryssikos.

“These two paintings are given to Concord University’s Drama Department in memory of our beloved parents, the late Paul Chryssikos, student and professor, Concord College (1956-1976) and Alexandra Chryssikos (class of 1953),” Virginia Chryssikos stated on behalf of the family.

She said the gift is made “with gratitude and in appreciation of our wonderful parents and the College that meant so much to them.”

The paintings were commissioned and completed in 1993 by artist, Father Anthony (Wayne) Salzman, a lay person at the time, and student of art and iconography in Greece, where Paul and Alexandra met him while visiting their daughter.

“The Theatre Department is honored to receive the gift of these paintings,” stated Theatre Director and Instructor Karen Vuranch.

“Instead of the traditional Comedy/Tragedy masks, the paintings depict the actual Greek Muses,” she said. “It is a wonderful way to delve deeper into the history of theatre and open the minds of audience members who will attend productions in our theatre.”

The paintings were originally presented as a gift to the Summit Players in 1993. They hung in Summit Theater at the Bluefield Arts Center until a little over two years ago when the Summit Players were no longer performing there.

The family deemed it quite fitting that this art work has found a final home at Concord where Paul so enjoyed his teaching years and collegial relationships. Paul was indeed a lover of the arts, as demonstrated in remarks he made when presenting these paintings to the Summit Players. Excerpts of that presentation include:

“Art is an indispensable need of mankind; it gives the distinct character and rhythm to civilization; it is the mirror of the total life of a nation, of a people.

Art and life go hand in hand, but life is temporal, it passes, while art is indestructible, it is eternal.

Art is the sustaining essence of history; without art, history would starve.

Art provides mankind with intangible comforts that transcend the trivial and the ephemera; it lifts man’s spirit to spheres of inspiration and brings him closer to his Great Creator.”

Concord Theatre Director and Instructor Karen Vuranch, left, and Virginia Chryssikos display the paintings that have been donated to the University by the family of Paul and Alexandra Chryssikos. 

Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086, if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.

Paintings of the Greek muses Thaleia and