The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Southern California District Committee (SCDC) will be hosting from September 28 to September 30, 2007an art exhibition called “Nine Contemporary Artists from Armenia” at the AGBU Alex Manoogian Center in Pasadena. With this exhibition, the AGBU seeks to encourage and promote talented Armenian artists living in Armenia in order to introduce their work to an Armenian-American audiences as well as the mainstream of United States art.
The nine artists whose works are being featured in the exhibition are Gagik Ghazanchyan, Mayis Mkhitaryan, Garegin Davtyan, Marine Dilanyan, Lilit Soghomonyan, Ashot Avagyan, Albert Hakobian, Khachik Abrahamyan, and Hermine Demirtshyan. The exhibit organizer is Kevork Zakoyan.
“Many presentations of Armenian artists have taken place throughout the world. But, an exhibition of this caliber, with such a dynamic range of artists, has never been seen before in Los Angeles,” said Art Committee co-chairperson Hermine Janoyan. “This group is of particular importance, because they have matured as artists and they’ve found their own style and voice. They don’t dabble, nor are they capricious.”
Janoyan explained that these artists were largely under the tutelage and mentorship of Henrik Igityan, who founded The National Center of Aesthetics of Armenia (NCA). After the 1988 Earthquake in Armenia, Igityan encouraged these artists to take on their craft and to present their works in Europe, Russia, South America, and the United States.
“They were all incredibly talented, but without a mentor to hone their craft,” said Janoyan. “Henrik Igityan, as an artist and curator, encouraged them to take their work abroad–to look beyond Armenia for support and recognition.”
“The goal is to create awareness of the tremendous talent that exists in Armenia, and to give the opportunity to people here in Southern California to have one or more of these unique, breathtaking pieces adorn their walls or be displayed in their homes,” said SCDC member and Art Committee co-chairman Haig Messerlian, who has been working closely with the artists and the organizer to facilitate their participation in the exhibition. “To have the work of nine artists–several of who will be present at this extraordinary exhibition–is a show of force of Armenian talent.”
The Art Exhibition committee, co-chaired by Hermine Janoyan and Haig Messerlian, comprises of Ani Aivazian, Tomik Alexanyan, Ara Arzoumanian, Sonia Babayan, Ara Babayan, Raffi Elmajian, Sam Ekizian, Aleen Khanjian, Jenny Kiljian, Silva Nazaretian, Aline Krikor Satamian, Harout Yeretzian and Seeroon Yeretzian.
The Nine Artists
Gagik Ghazanchyan was born in 1960 in Yerevan. He is a graduate of the Terlemezyan Fine Arts College, as well as the Fine Arts and Drama Institute in Yerevan. A member of the Armenian Artists’ Union in Yerevan since 1992, Ghazanchyan has participated in exhibitions in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Russia, winning great acclaim.
Mayis Mkhitaryan was born in 1962 in Tbilisi. His works have been exhibited in a number of local and international exhibitions since 1983. Many of his pieces are in private collections in Armenia, Georgia, Russia and the United States. He moved to Armenia with his family in 1996, where he won the coveted Vardan Ajemyan Prize in 1992. He has been a member of the Armenian Artists’ Union since 2000.
Garegin Davtyan was born in 1954 in Yerevan. He graduated in 1978 from the Sculpture department of the Yerevan State Academy of Art. In 1983, he became a member of the Artists’ Union of USSR. Davtian has been teaching at the Yerevan State Academy of Art since 1990. His sculptures have been exhibited at museums, galleries and private collections in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, Russia, Armenia, and the United States.
Marine Dilanyan was born in 1957 in Yerevan and is a 1982 graduate of the State Fine Arts Institute of Armenia, Yerevan. Dilanyan’s works are permanently exhibited in the Modern Art Museum and at the Gevorkyan Gallery in Yerevan. Her artwork has also been exhibited in Europe, the Middle East, and Russia.
Lilit Soghomonyan was born in 1969, in Yerevan. She graduated from the State Fine Arts Institute of Armenia, Yerevan, in 1991, at which time she joined the Artists’ Union of Armenia. Her artwork has been exhibited in Armenia, Europe, Russia, the United States, and the Middle East.
Ashot Avagyan was born in 1958 in Sissian. He graduated from the Terlemezyan Fine Arts College in 1981, at which time he began teaching at the Art School in Sissian. Since 1997, Avagyan has been organizing annual open-air exhibitions and staging ancient rituals at various historic sites of the Neolithic time period throughout Sissian, including the Ughtasar Petroglyphs and Zorats Karer. His work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, the Middle East, Russia and Armenia.
Albert Hakobian was born in 1958 in Echmiadzin. He graduated from the Terlemezyan Fine Arts College in 1981. His works are part of the permanent collections at the Armenian Museum of Modern Art and the Ministry of Culture, as well as various private collections worldwide. He has participated in group exhibitions in Russia, Switzerland, Lebanon, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, the United States, Iran, Georgia and Kuwait.
Khachik Abrahamyan was born in 1960 in Yerevan. He is a graduate of the State Fine Arts Institute of Armenia, Yeravan. Since 1984, he has actively participated in national and international art exhibitions. Abrahamyan’s works are represented in the state collection of the Republic of Armenia, as well as in private collections and museums worldwide. He has been a member of the International Federation of Artists since 1995. Abrahamyan is the president of the Armenian Young Artists Center in Yerevan.
Hermine Demirtshyan was born in Yerevan. She graduated from the Henric Igityan Children’s Art School in Yerevan, and studied under the tutelage of such artists as sculptor Hrach Aracel, painter Aram Macharyan, and painter Samvel Martirosyan. In 1988, she received the title of First Class Miniaturist Painter from the Plastic Arts Institute in Yerevan. She has restored antique Armenian miniatures at the National Archives Museum of Yerevan and painted murals in Stepanavan. Her works have been exhibited in Armenia, Mexico, and Russia. The mother of two children, she has been living and working in Mexico City since 2000.
Kevork Zakoyan is a vice president and regular contributor for the Mediamax News Agency in Yerevan since 2002, where he has covered artistic events and activities. He is a graduate of the State University of Armenia with degrees in Philology and Journalism. He started his career in the government of Armenia in 1969 working in various ministries. In 1985, he became the head of the Cultural Section in the Government Council of Ministers. From 1992 to 1996, he was the president of Armenian Society for Cultural Relations and Cooperation with Foreign Countries (AOKS). Mr. Zakoyan has put this team of talented artists together especially for the AGBU exhibition.