The 117-year-old Hadra Bathhouse in Turkey's southern Mersin province has become the classroom for a sculpture course where women engrave and paint depictions of the city's old houses on stones that are then displayed at the historical site.
The Hadra Bathhouse, which was in service from 1903 until the 2000s in the Kiremithane neighborhood of the Akdeniz district, was restored by the Governor's Office and the Akdeniz Municipality. It was then converted into the Hadra Bathhouse Culture and Art House to be used for cultural and artistic events. The free sculpture course that opened at the historic bathhouse has attracted the attention of homemakers in particular.
Students in the course engrave and paint depictions of Mersin’s old stone-masonry houses with tile roofs on stones. These works of art are then exhibited at the bathhouse.
Akdeniz Mayor Mustafa Gültak told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the students draw inspiration from the old Mersin houses surrounding the Hadra Bathhouse.
Women, in particular, have taken great interest in the course, Gültak noted. He said that women have the opportunity to both socialize and create beautiful works of art there, adding: “Our trainees like working in the historical bathhouse which has a nostalgic environment. Here, of course, people are more motivated in a historical setting. They can feel better and produce better art in a historical place.”
“As a municipality that has always been on the side of the arts and sports and cares about the old houses and history of Mersin, we do such things. Our women are excited, and hopefully, they will continue their art activities and do beautiful things. I am happy as long as they are happy,” he said.
Doğan Bilyeli, the coordinator of the Hadra Bathhouse Culture and Art House, said the women who participate in the course have a good time together and produce quality artwork. The bathhouse also hosts various exhibitions and events, he added.
Dilek Karataş, a homemaker and course attendee, said the course inside the bathhouse is "a therapeutical place for us."
"This is a beautiful place for us to stand on our own feet and gain our economic freedom," she said. "It is a great feeling to deal with art in a historical building. It is very nice to be able to produce something.”
Ulviye Varoğlu, another course attendee, said she is happy working on the engravings. “I like this place and have gotten used to it. One finds her own level here. It is great to do and accomplish something. The feeling it has given cannot be described but only experienced," she said.
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