Armenian Museum of Fresno marks independence of Nagorno-Karabakh

The Armenian Museum of Fresno celebrates the 25th anniversary of the independence of Artsakh, the eastern province of historical Armenia referred to in modern terms as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Donal Munro writes in the Fresno Bee.

Two exhibitions mark the historic event: “Spirit of Artsakh,” which through a series of panels offers 2,500 years of history, faith, culture and the struggle for self-determination of Artsakh-Armenians; and “Armenia: From BC to Christianity,” a collection of 31 history paintings by Clovis artist Rubik Kocharian.

The special guest of the event is Robert Avetisyan, who represents Nagorno-Karabakh in Washington, D.C., as the republic’s official “permanent representative” to the United States. He will be on hand for the opening reception. He will speak about current conditions in his country. Avetisyan returned from a visit just a few weeks ago.

A major reason for the show is to acknowledge the “strong expression of the deep-rooted commitment of the Armenian Diaspora’s link to our ancestral homeland Artsakh,” says Varoujan Der Simonian, curator along with Ani Grigoryan (who was born in Artsakh) of both exhibitions. But it can also be an opportunity for people who don’t know much about the region to get a grounding in a region that has received a lot of media attention over the decades.

“Spirit of Artsakh” was conceived, Der Simonian says, as a way to familiarize people with the historical and cultural situation in the region, which has experienced armed conflict and political upheaval. Such topics as history, literature, clothing and landscapes are covered in text and images.

Kocharian paints in a realistic style. In his series of oil paintings on canvas, he takes significant moments in Armenian history and interprets them. In his “Baking Lavash Bread,” for example, he pays tribute to the unusual technique for producing it and the role lavash plays in the community. Kocharian will be on hand at the opening reception.

The two exhibitions continue through Dec. 16.


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