At STUDIO Z: CENTENNIAL ARMENIAN GENOCIDE exhibit at the Butcher Block Mill, April 2nd-May 2nd, 2015. Opening Reception Thursday, April 16, 2015, 5-9PM.
“Armenia is dying, but it will survive. The little blood that is left is precious blood that will give birth to a heroic generation. A nation that does not want to die, does not die”. Anatole France (French author, 1916; Nobel Prize in Literature, 1921)
In commemoration of this year’s hundredth anniversary of the Turkish massacre of the Armenians, the first genocide* of the twentieth century, an extensive multi media exhibit will be presented at Studio Z, consisting of original and historic art work, archival material and propaganda affiches, posters, prints, books and heirlooms from or pertaining to the era of the Armenian genocide. Historical materials will be supplied by The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Yerevan, Armenia, AHARI** (Armenian Historical Association of Rhode Island) and from private collections.
In addition to the Opening Reception on Thursday, April 16th, 5-9pm, there will be live performances each Thursday evening in April starting Thursdays, April 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th from 6-9 pm, offering theatrical readings, poetry recitations, live music and theatre, historical documentary film screenings, lectures and various presentations. Video footage on a continuous loop will be projected during the course of the entire exhibit.
Specifically, materials on exhibit will be comprised of the following:
-Original Fine Art will be exhibited on one wall. Featured artists: Vladmir Aivazyan, b. 1915 d. 1999, graphic artist, painter; Kevork Mourad, b. 1970, artist/performance artist; Lazar Artazian, b. 1857 d. 1924, painter; John Avakian, NA , printmaker; Anoush Bargamian, b. 1963, mixed media artist; Nora Chavooshian, b. 1953, sculptor; Cynthia Motian McGuirl, b. 1963, printmaker/mixed media artist; Alexander Grigorian, b. 1927 d. 2007, painter; Harutune Hovhanesian, b. 1922, d. 1979, graphic artist; Varki Kaprielian, b. 1951, sculptur / mix media artist and Armenian Patriot; Lucine Kasbarian, b.1965, author, writer, illustrator, cartoonist; Liz Kelley, b.1987, illustrator; Stephen Koharian, b.1982, painter; Vava Khachadourian, b. 1895 d. 1984, painter; Marsha Nouritza Odabashian, b. 1954, painter/installation artist; Julian Penrose, b. 1961, assemblage/collage artist; Jason Roberts, b.1978, painter; Lidya Tchakerian, b. 1959, painter; Simon Samsonian, b. 1915 d. 2003, painter; Carol Scavotto, b. 1951, multi medium artist; Lawrence Sykes, b.1931, photographer; Apo Torosyan, b. 1942, mixed media artist; Sirarpi Heghinian-Walzer, b.1958 painter/printmaker and Berge Ara Zobian, b. 1957, photographer and Gallery Director.
-Thirty turn-of-the-century enlargements of Armenian Genocide: Front Page Coverage in the World Press. Provided by The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, Yerevan, Armenia, will be on display on a second wall.
-Fifty years of political posters, affiches and propaganda art will be exhibited on the third wall.
-Historical posters of the Near East Relief Fund (NERF) along with archival artifacts and heirlooms provided by AHARI will be shown on a fourth wall. The US-based NERF fed starving survivors and saved the lives of thousands.
**AHARI (Armenian Historical Association of Rhode Island) is the primary sponsor of this exhibit, in addition to a few private anonymous sponsors. All donations and 10% of art work sales will go to (SOAR) Society For Orphaned Armenian Relief. A Non-profit International Organization, http://www.soar-us.org/.The Genealogy Subgroup of Armenian Historical Association of Rhode Island (AHARI) will be present on Thursdays in the month of April at Studio Z Gallery during its Centennial Armenian Genocide Exhibit.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND SYNOPSIS:
*Genocide is the systematic premeditated extermination of an entire national, racial, religious or ethnic group and is now a punishable crime under international law.
The Armenian Genocide, the first of the twentieth century, was the culmination of a process of the deliberate slaughter of the Armenian people and demolition of their villages begun in the late nineteenth century by the Sultans, subsequent rulers and Turkish Army commanders of the Ottoman Empire.
During WWI, the government of the Young Turks’, who had overthrown the Sultan in 1908, adopted an official policy in 1911 to Turkify the non-Turkish peoples within the vast but weakened Ottoman empire. The Armenians presented a particular obstacle; secret orders were issued for local authorities “to take prior necessary measures for exterminating the Armenians” (The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, Yerevan, Armenia). Ultimately, systematic massacres, expulsions, deportations, forced death marches of women, children and the elderly into the Syrian deserts, mass starvation and forced conversions ensued.
Out of over two million Armenians inhabiting the Ottoman Empire at the onset of WWI, one and a half million Armenians were annihilated between 1915 and 1923. Another half million were deported or became refugees abroad.
As April 24, 1915, marked the beginning of the intended destruction of the Armenian people with the rounding up, imprisonment and execution of hundreds of Armenian community leaders and intellectuals, mainly from the capital of Ottoman Empire (Constantinople, now Istanbul), this date is designated by Armenians worldwide to commemorate all the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
“All these atrocities have been committed toward Armenians even though they have not done anything to invite them”. Arnold Toynbee (British historian, 1915)
The Armenian Genocide remains unacknowledged officially by the present-day Republic of Turkey. "Genocide kills twice, the second time by silence." Elie Wiesel (writer and Holocaust survivor)