Shelter: New installation in Glendale commemorates 2020 Artsakh War

“Shelter,” a new installation by She Loves Collective, features 3,906 ribbons with the names of Armenian soldiers who lost their lives in the 2020 Artsakh War, Hyperallergic reports.

“Over the course of 21 days, groups of volunteers in Glendale’s Armenian-American community gathered day and night to stamp names onto lengths of crisp, white ribbon. Hand-stamping each name letter by letter, they repeated the process over and over until nearly 4,000 ribbons were inscribed. These ribbons now hang in neat rows from the ceiling of a former bank in Glendale, forming the centerpiece of “Shelter,” a multimedia installation commemorating the 44-day Artsakh War,” Matt Stromberg writes.

“Shelter,” on view at 250 North Orange Street through January 29, was created by the She Loves Collective, a group of woman artists who work at the intersection of activism, art, and community. (About three-quarters of its members have Armenian roots.) Last Spring, their public installation “My Relic” reflected different aspects of Armenian life, tradition, and family, especially as experienced by those living in the diaspora. “Shelter” focuses more directly on the war itself, moving from trauma and mourning to healing and rebirth. 

After receiving a recent grant from the Glendale Arts and Culture Commission through funding from the Urban Art Fund with support from Glendale Librarys Arts and Culture Department, the members of the collective set to work planning the installation. They sent a letter signed by Glendale Mayor Ardy Kassakhian to the Armenian Ministry of Defense requesting the full list of soldiers killed during the war. 

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