LOS ANGELES—She Loves Collective, an alliance of women artists exploring the possibility of social change through art, presents “Shelter,” a temporary installation in remembrance of the 44-day Artsakh War of 2020.
As Armenian communities confront an ongoing existential threat, the question of collective survival is once more rendered uncertain. A small but storied nation that is land-locked between competing geopolitical agendas and maneuvered as pawns of a chess game. Genocide and seemingly perpetual warfare are a constant reminder of the fragility of survival. In 2020, as the world was in the throes of a global pandemic, Armenians were once again shaken by an attack that led to the loss of thousands of young soldiers and innocent civilians.
As grief echoes in the moments following the war, crisis lingers with every passing day as more and more young soldiers are killed protecting their native homeland due to ongoing military violence. Armenians across the globe rally for justice and support knowing their survival lies in looking onward. In a time of desensitization and escapism, it is paramount that community members allow themselves to process their traumas in a constructive way.
In creating a safe space for shared experience, planting seeds with the intention that they expand within the community through healing. Los Angeles is home to the largest Armenian-American population; particularly the City of Glendale. Being half a world away, they watched helplessly as the calamity of yet another war befell their people. When the war came to an end on the 44th day, Armenia had lost nearly 4,000 soldiers.
Aiming to regenerate the senses and inspire renewal even in the darkest moments, this installation invites viewers to reflect, remember, and heal.
The “Shelter” installation was created by artists Rouzanna Berberian, Nairi Bandari, Mari Mansourian, Liam Hise, producer Ani Nina Oganyan, Aleen Makarid Khachatourian, and curator Adrineh Baghdassarian. Armen Babaian took part in the project as the lighting and technical director, while Melineh Ebrahimian was the volunteer cordinator.
This multimedia installation is sponsored by the Glendale Arts and Culture Commission through funding from the Urban Art Fund with support from Glendale Library, Arts & Culture. An opening reception took place on December 3, The exhibit will be on display until January 29, located at 250 N. Orange St. Glendale, CA 91203.
Founded in 2017, She Loves Collective is an alliance of women artists exploring the possibility of social change through art. Members of the collective are a confluence of artists and creatives from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, each with their own stories to tell. Past exhibitions include “She Loves” (a sold-out three-day art exhibit), “Her Relic” (showcasing a traditional living space covered in over 500 pounds of Lavash), and most recently “The Dish,” which was on display at Tufenkian Fine Arts, and Museum of Neon Art.
The collective welcomes new members to join and become part of their larger goals of empowering women through art. To stay informed visit the website and follow @shelovescollective on social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).