- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 April 18, 2003 

Art of the Season: Women's trade exhibit shows traditions of Easter

The gallery was a canvas of Easter color.The Academy gallery in Yerevan was a feast of Armenian Easter tradition last Tuesday, as more than 20 female artists presented their hand-made works.

Old Armenian artifacts, gata (traditional Armenian cake), puppets, lady bugs, handkerchiefs, "egg" trees, canary chickens, candles and even cabbage, beets and carrots were spread throughout the gallery.

"It is common in Diaspora to organize such events near Easter, where Armenian women present their imagination and skills," says organizer Sonia Tashchyan. "It is the third time we have organized such an event in Armenia and each year the atmosphere becomes more vivid and beautiful."

Tashchyan says the main goal of the exhibit is to encourage cheerful celebrations of Easter. And doing so, she says, doesn't require an art specialist. The works at the gallery were produced by housewives, teachers, puppeteers, young girls and even one bank employee.

"Unlike last years this year's exhibition is also marked by the fact that four charitable organizations, SOS village-orphanage of Abovian, special educational complex of Vardashen, Family Care from Spitak and MSF participated" Tashchyan says. "This blend enriched our celebration much more."

In fact the Family Care club students of Renaissance Art School of Spitak made pieces for the trade exhibit and hope to sell them for money to support their school.

Purchases helped support some needy causes.Family Care volunteer Karin Khachaturyan says such events "help protect and save national culture".

Her students made wooden gata-like ornaments, spoon racks, eggs and other works.

The exhibition is something like a compass for Armenian women thinks resident of Echmiadzin, housewife Srbuhi Shahnazaryan, whose original compositions consisted of baskets, dried flowers, painted eggs and wine made of braches of willow.

"Many visitors come and carefully watch and they learn something new and they are enriched leaving the place," says Shahnazaryan. "And for many of the participants this measure is something like a self-assertion and moving forwards."

Armineh Ghazaryan, who came to Armenia from Iran four years ago, says that Easter for her is the most colorful and bright celebration. Such things as were presented at the exhibit make the season even brighter, she says.

Edna Masih is a master of making Easter cakes and like a good master, doesn't tell her preparation secrets but says it requires desire and patience.

"This work demonstrates coming of the Easter," she assures. "For all of us it is something like the coming of the spring."


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  Photo of the week
  Spring Rites
Click on the photo above to enlarge

Spring Rites

April 13 was "Tsaghkazard", known in other places as Palm Sunday, the week before Easter, marking the day Jesus entered Jerusalem. Here, part of the commemoration includes making wreaths from branches which are worn by young people and then placed in homes. The day is also the seventh Sunday of the Great Fast, as observed among the Armenian Apostolic Church.



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