BY NAOMI KUROMIYA
PROVIDENCE—Since its announcement, the historically and artistically important exhibition, “The Armenian Genocide—95 Years Later, In Remembrance,” has steadily been gaining outstanding momentum and support. The show will mark the 95th anniversary of the atrocities of the Armenian Genocide and is being curated by Gallery Z director Bérge Ara Zobian, an Armenian of Providence, RI. Zobian is producing the show in collaboration with The Urban Arts and Culture Program of the University of Rhode Island.
Over the past month, Zobian and coordinator Carol Scavotto have received positive responses from numerous organizations and individuals, all expressing their strong support for the show. They have received some financial support as well as many artistic submissions. As of now, the show will have over forty artists displaying, with more to be confirmed in the next few weeks.
Notably, two major museums have agreed to work with and be part of the exhibition: ALMA (Armenian Library Museum of America) located in Watertown, MA, and the Armenian Genocide Museum and Institute located in Yerevan, Armenia. These museums will lend artifacts, archival materials, historic publications, and various display units to bolster the historical and academic aspects of the show.
The exhibit will be on display from April 1st through April 30th at the URI Feinstein Providence Campus Gallery, a prominent location expected to draw many thousands of visitors. There will be two official events celebrating the exhibition: a Gallery Night opening on Thursday, April 15th from 5-9pm, and the main event on Saturday, April 17 from 3 p.m. to 5pm.
This main event, at the URI Feinstein Providence Campus Gallery, will be a brief but significant function packed with educational presentations. The two hour program will feature, for the first hour and fifteen minutes, an award ceremony of the State of Rhode Island Department of Education, a short lecture on Armenian history, a theatrical production, a performance by a solo singer, and music from a kamancha (Armenian instrument) player. A program book will be provided at the function so that guests will be sure not to miss any parts of the grand event.
A forty-five minute reception will follow this program, providing guests with an opportunity to peruse the show, which will feature the artwork of numerous artists, from Armenian and a variety of other backgrounds, as well as a wall of children’s art. There will also be archival materials, literature, film, and propaganda art on display as part of the show. In addition, the reception will boast music and traditional Armenian food provided by culinary students of Johnson & Wales University.
Zobian and the Gallery Z staff have also been working to establish official media and forms of contact dedicated solely to this exhibition. For basic information and to connect with the staff and other supporters of the show, please visit the exhibit’s new Facebook page: search for “Armeniangenocide Ninetyfiveyears.” The show now has an official email address as well. Please email [email protected] with any comments or questions. The exhibition team is also in the process of launching an official website: it will be accessible in the near future at www.armeniangenocide95years.com.
Naturally, a show of such great scale is expected to incur equally great costs. All the previously mentioned elements of the show will be vital to its ultimate success but will also be costly to execute. Due to these large production and operation costs, any and all financial donation and support would be greatly appreciated and will help this important exhibition truly come to life. Any donations made can be sent to Zobian at 17 Amherst St., Providence, RI, 02909, memo: Genocide Exhibition.
As the first genocide of the 20th century, the Armenian Genocide is a critical event to affirm, and the surviving culture is essential to celebrate and spread. Showcasing these two aspects, the past and present of Armenian culture, is the most important mission of this exhibition. The show is quickly taking shape and coming to fruition through donations, submissions, press and media, and with the public’s continued support, promises to achieve this mission.