GLENDALE—Roslin Art Gallery, the Gay and Lesbian Armenian Society (GALAS) and Abril Bookstore have joined forces in organizing a first of its kind art exhibition titled, THE MANY FACES OF ARMENIANS: A Celebration of Queer-Armenian Art, which will open on June 8 at 6 p.m. at Roslin Art Gallery – 415 E. Broadway, Glendale, CA 91205 – and will remain open until June 28. Gallery hours are from Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The exhibit, held during LGBT Pride Month, will also host a series of Queer-Armenian related events including films, a performance, a panel discussion, and a talk.
THE MANY FACES OF ARMENIANS is an exhibit of art that brings to light and celebrates notions of “queer” and “other” as they pertain to the Armenian and LGBTQ communities. These are labels and experiences that have been shared by both communities throughout history, serving as sources of oppression, exclusion and pain. While Armenians now have a homeland, the LGBTQ community is constantly navigating within their surrounding cultures. During the last decade, especially in diverse cities such as Los Angeles, the LGBTQ community has been embraced by the larger society.
The exhibit features local as well as artists from abroad who have likewise embraced queerness and otherness in their featured work such as Kamee Abrahamian, Tarek Apelian, Mariam Arzuyan, Lisa Baroutgian, Rouzanna Berberian, Kristine Anahit Cass, Vatche Demirdjian, Sophia Gasparyan, Anna Kostanian, Ani (Alik) Lusparyan, Levon Mardikyan, Mari Mansourian, Salpy Semerdjian, Gagik Vardanyan, and Seeroon Yeretzian.
Throughout the month of June, a variety of other GALAS sponsored LGBTQ/Armenian related events will take place at Roslin Art Gallery in celebration of LGBT Pride Month. On Friday, June 1st, the Armenian Film Society will host a screening of, “LISTEN TO ME: Untold Stories About Hatred” followed by a discussion with Mamikon Hovsepyan of PINK Armenia.
On Friday, June 15, there will be a film preview and fundraiser for the in-progress cut of the science-fiction short film “TRANSMISSION” , followed by a discussion with filmmakers Anahid Yahjian, Emily Mkrtichian, Kamee Abrahamian, and lee williams boudakian.
On Tuesday, June 19, there will be a panel discussion titled, “Self-Expression in the Armenian LGBTQ Community” featuring author/performer Nancy Agabian, author Christopher Atamian, and GALAS president Haig Boyadjian, moderated by Rosie Vartyter Aroush, Ph.D. On Thursday, June 21st, Equality Armenia will sponsor an evening with New York based author Christopher Atamian, presenting his recently published book, A Poet in Washington Heights.
On Saturday, June 23, author/performer from New York, Nancy Agabian will present a solo performance about domestic violence exploring the power dynamics among genders titled, “Family Returning Blows.” The exhibit will close on Thursday, June 28th, along with a talk by Rosie Vartyter Aroush, Ph.D. titled, “A Life of Otherness: The intersection of Queerness and Armenianness within familial and communal networks.”
What does “embracing queerness” means??