WEST HOLLYWOOD—Over 300 guests attended an exclusive event hosted by world renowned artist Michael Aram on November 11 at his newly opened West Hollywood flagship store to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the American University of Armenia. Proceeds from the shopping event will benefit scholarship funds supporting students with financial need. Aram graciously signed purchased pieces while meeting with guests. Event sponsors included Karas Wines, Anoush Catering, and Cado Mart.
An active member of the Armenian-American community, Aram frequently draws upon his heritage when creating his collections. For almost three decades, he has honed his skills to create his signature, sculpted designs in metal, which capture the beauty, significance, and unpredictability of nature. His work combines the imperfections inherent in the handmade process with the perfectly imperfect beauty of nature to create objects that reflect humanity.
The American University of Armenia (AUA), affiliated with the University of California, was founded in 1991. AUA’s graduate and undergraduate education programs have significantly impacted civic engagement and democracy-building processes in Armenia. The University is committed to fostering scholarship in a setting that values and develops academic excellence, integrity, leadership, and service to society.
“I would like to congratulate the university on its 25th anniversary and highlight how critical it is that Armenia has an American university offering future generations a top notch higher education. It is a pleasure to support the university and host this event at our West Hollywood flagship store” Aram says.
The event was a precursor to AUA’s sold-out 25th Anniversary Gala being held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on November 19. The special evening will pay tribute to AUA founders – Mihran & Elizabeth Agbabian, Armen & Nelly Der Kiureghian, Stepan (in memoriam) & Seta Karamardian, as well as the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), the Government of the Republic of Armenia, and the University of California (UC).
Longtime AUA supporters and board members Zaven P. Akian and Sinan Sinanian are co-chairing the event being attended by 650 guests. Highlights will include a keynote address by philanthropist Ruben Vardanyan, a performance by world-renowned soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, an appearance by former U.S. ambassador to Armenia John M. Evans, as well as a special presentation by Eric Esrailian, producer for Kirk Kerkorian’s production company, Survival Pictures, who will take the stage to present guests with a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s first film, The Promise.
About Michael Aram
Michael Aram creates beautiful and distinctive objects for the home. After taking what would later be a life-altering trip to India in 1989 where he discovered rich metalworking traditions, Aram turned his artistic vision towards craft based design, setting up a home and workshop in New Delhi. Although he is most recognized for his signature metal gift and tabletop offerings, he also designs large-scale sculptures, furniture, lighting, home fragrance, textiles, porcelain and fine jewelry. He has created two works of public art that celebrate his Armenian heritage: Migrations and Noah’s Ark. Migrations, a sculpture in remembrance of centennial of the Armenian Genocide, was constructed in 2015 and his displayed at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral located in New York City. Earlier this year, the Armenian government invited Aram to create a sculpture for Pope Francis on behalf of the Armenian people. Aram chose to create Noah’s Ark because of its significance to the people of Armenia, and the sculpture will be permanently installed at the Vatican. Aram splits his time between his workshop in India and his New York City studio. Aram’s work is sold in his Los Angeles and New York City retail stores. The brand is also available in over 60 countries through a network of specialty retailers and department stores such as Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s. For more information, please visit michaelaram.com.
About the American University of Armenia
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides US-style education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values. For more information, please visit aua.am.