life100 committee statement
life100 is an art exhibition honoring the 100 year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, it includes the art of post-Genocide artists of Armenian descent with pieces ranging from the early 20th century through the present time. The goal of life100 is to display the inspiring resilience, strength, and creativity of these artists and celebrate the contributions of these talented individuals who have been influential in re-establishing the Armenian cultural identity and reviving a creative spirit for the future in the face of such atrocities, essentially it is a celebration of survival.
Not only have these artists played an integral role in Armenian art history, in many cases, they have influenced Western and world art history. In addition to the talented artists showcased in life100, we are aware of many fine artists who should be included in the exhibition, but were not due to physical and logistical constraints.
The majority of life100’s featured works from the early 20th century are on loan from Los Angeles based private collections and galleries, with the exception of Garo Antreasian and Paul Sarkisian who significantly contributed to the Los Angeles Contemporary Art scene in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
It should also be noted that we made a conscious and collective effort to feature female artists of Armenian descent as part of life100. Although female artists of Armenian descent did exist in the early 20th century, they were few and their works were not highly visible. In contrast, the contemporary portion of the life100 exhibition features a number of female artists whose pieces represent a wide amalgam of ideology, aesthetic identity and a positive voice of progress.
The committee who presented life100 to the viewing public was comprised of enthusiastic, hardworking, professional, knowledgeable and dedicated individuals who shared the common goal of exhibiting the best of Armenian art to the world as a show of defiance and pride in the face of danger to its existence as a people.
While we all came from various backgrounds and careers, our love for the arts brought us together where we were able to collectively harness our professional experiences and bring this important project to life.
We all believe that art is an essential medium of expression and recognize how powerful of an impact it has on each of us.
This year being the 100-year anniversary of the genocide, it became especially important to do something dramatic and showcase our generations of artists who have persevered and thrived even in the face of being torn from their motherland and dispersed throughout the world.
This wonderful project would not be possible without the collectors who we especially want to thank for entrusting us with their invaluable art. Through their kind gestures of loaning us these pieces, we are able to demonstrate to the public Armenians’ rich art history as one of the primary ways we have helped keep our culture alive. We also want to thank all of the donors for their generous contributions and assistance in making this project a reality.
In closing, we hope you bring to the exhibition your personal views and walk away inspired and enriched by the wealth of creativity presented in life100. It is our hope that scholarship and research in this field expands and art produced by artists of Armenian descent continues with the same rigor, resilience, strength and creativity.
Tamar Sinanian Naaman
Special Events/Program Directors