In Los Angeles there is a contest called The Centennial Art Contest which was put out by Council Member Paul Krekorian to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Submissions are being accepted up to the date of February 15. I suggest all Armenians submit a piece of art. The winner will have her/his art on display on local buses for a whole month.
This contest is important to me because I strongly believe that it gives Armenians a chance to engage and share their own culture. For one we get to recognize and reflect on our history while at the same time building and creating elements of our culture through artistic medium. It is opportunities like this that help us to keep our identity alive and shape ourselves ethnically as a people.
For my art piece I used a digital painting program called Corel Painter. This allowed me to be incredibly versatile in the way that I worked my image. It allowed me to make the mistakes I needed to make while still retaining a buffer by which to have time to adjust in order to refine the piece down to minute details.
The painting is called “A Memory of the Armenian Genocide for the Next Generation.” This piece is meant to reflect on the resilience of the Armenians as a people to endure great hardships. Through specific imagery I show how the Armenian culture has survived and grown stronger through adversity.
Two central elements which I drew from were the colors of the Armenian flag and the stylistic imitation of the highly skilled artistry of Armenian rugs. These symbols are meant to provide a sense of historicity behind the art piece. For one Armenian rugs have been a staple of Armenian art for generations and the national flag of Armenia is a symbol of solidarity of a people.
“WE ARE ALIVE!” The art piece proclaims. It makes it’s bold statement from the crimson red sheets of Armenian lettering which make up the center of the image as well as the English translation below. Here the very presence of this art piece is evidence that the Armenian culture is very much alive and thriving. This art piece is meant to be bold and announces its presence to the City of Los Angeles where so many Armenians sought refuge after immigrating from their lost homelands.
I am very fortunate to be considered as an applicant of this generous contest. I feel that I am making my contribution to my community and an addition to the Armenian culture in general. I hope that I can help to inspire many more Armenian artists to keep our culture alive.