UCLA AGSA and ASA bring contemporary Armenian art to campus

MARCH 22, 2004

UCLA Armenian Graduate Students Association
Graduate Students Association
c/o Armenian Graduate Students Association
Kerckhoff Hall Room 316
308 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Contact: Lilit Keshishyan
E-mail: [email protected]

UCLA AGSA and ASA bring contemporary Armenian art to campus

The UCLA Armenian Graduate Students Association in conjunction with the
UCLA Armenian Students Association welcomed the campus community to a week
of contemporary Armenian arts hosted at UCLA’s Kerckhoff Hall Art Gallery.
The week-long series of events included an exhibition of visual arts from
March 8th through March 12th.

The exhibition, entitled “VIIISIONS: An Exhibition of Contemporary Armenian
Arts” featured works by prominent Armenian artists; Vachag, Seeroon
Yeretsian, Martiros Adalyan, Sev, Vahe Berberian, Kaloust Guedel, Alina
Mnatsakanian, and Samvel Saghatelyan as well as poet Lory Bedikian and
vocalist Soseh Keshishyan. Artists Sev, Vahe Berberian, Kaloust Guedel and
Samvel Saghatelyan participated in the Monday afternoon opening of the
exhibit at which they introduced their work and answered questions from
students and faculty members.

“It was rewarding to see the positive responses of both Armenian and
non-Armenian students and faculty at the exhibition,” commented UCLA AGSA
project director for the exhibition, Lilit Keshishyan. “I think the
exhibit, poetry reading and performance provided a rich and fulfilling
experience because it formed a creative and intellectual atmosphere, and
welcomed interaction between the artists and audience.”

On the evening of March 10th, UCLA Alumna Lory Bedikian delivered a poetry
reading at the gallery. Bedikian has read in numerous southern California
venues including California State University – Northridge, the Los Angeles
Poetry Festival, KPFK’s Inspiration House, and The World Stage as well as
for the YWCA of Pasadena. Presenting poems relating to issues of Armenian
identity in the diaspora and childhood experiences, Bedikian later
commented, “Reading at the gallery in the presence of such artwork reminded
me, once again, that the Armenian/Armenian-American artist’s voice is alive
and in significant progressive stages here in Los Angeles.” She also noted
that, “What is even more significant is that UCLA student groups have
recognized the relevance of organizing such events. One can only hope for
larger forums and diverse audiences in the future so that we can share our
rich art forms. As an alumna of UCLA, I was especially honored and excited
to read my poetry at this venue.”

Following the reading, Bedikian discussed her inspiration for writing and
encouraged all interested writers to continue writing and expressing
themselves through literary art. The evening ended with an a cappella
performance of three Armenian songs by Soseh Keshishyan. Keshishyan, who
has been singing at various venues for more than 10 years, is third-year
Ethnomusicology student at UCLA.

Sophomore, Sos Bagramyan, noted that “Samvel Saghatelyan’s pieces were
particularly interesting to me because of their intricate synthesis of
eroticism, dark colors and written text. It was really refreshing to see so
much talent and variety in the Armenian artistic community put on display
at UCLA. Events like this that bring not only the artistic achievements of
minorities like Armenians, but all arts in general into the academic forum
should be more frequent and encouraged by the university.”

All artists were invited back to campus for the closing of the exhibition
which was held on March 12th. There the artists mingled with the students
and members of the community at large in attendance. “Youth and young
energy is always inspirational for the artist and hopefully, in turn, the
artist will be able to inspire the students,” reflected Vahe Berberian.
“The artist-audience relationship is always a symbiotic relationship and it
is always nice to rekindle interests on both sides.”

———- Attachment # 1 of 1: “VIIISIONS” Photographs (3) ———-

– 1 – Photo viewable/download-able at:

– 1 – Caption: Myrna Douzjian (UCLA AGSA, organizing committee) introduces
the artists to the audience at the gallery opening on March 8th.

– 2 – Photo viewable/download-able at:

– 2 – Caption: UCLA Alumna Lory Bedikian reads selections from her poetry
to the students gathered at the Kerckhoff Hall Art Gallery on March 10th.

– 3 – Photo viewable/download-able at:

– 3 – Caption: UCLA students enjoy an evening poetry reading and a
cappella performance.