- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 October 31, 2003 

Young at Art: Center presents the world through the eyes of children

Henrik Igityan, founder and director of the Aesthetic Center believes that all children are talented.

For 30 years, the Armenian National Aesthetic Center has offered children a chance to turn their imaginings into art.

It was founded on the base of the Children's Art Gallery in 1970, at that time the only one in the world dedicated to exhibiting only children's art. Today this gallery has branches in six cities of Armenia, where 3,500 children make their first steps in the world of art, acquiring a rich knowledge of art history, literature, Biblical themes, and national art.

Colorful works of art created by children down the years decorate numerous exhibition halls of the gallery. Next to the works of Armenian children there are also paintings, graphical and sculpture works of children from 150 countries.

Henrik Igityan, founder and director of the Armenian National Aesthetic Center, assures that the republic will have a bright future if there are centers where children can get acquainted with mighty force and spirit of art.

The country appreciated the value of its work by including the building of the Children's Art Gallery in the Lincy Fund's multi-million dollar renovation program for cultural centers.

Paintings of nine-year-old Hayk Hovsepyan add bright colours to the museum's exhibiton.

The once grey and semi-dilapidated building, which was illuminated only with the warm colors of children's paintings, today has a magnificent new look. Moldy storerooms, where works of art created by the pioneering Seventies generation are kept, have been reconstructed and now correspond to all international standards.

The picture gallery has been completely renovated with a new marble floor and window displays corresponding to European standards. New lighting makes an altogether more welcoming and presentable atmosphere for visitors to works of art.

Nine-year-old Hayk Hovsepyan has been attending the center since he was five and is already an award winner of several competitions. His paintings distinguished by bright coloration, as well as being displayed prominently in the museum, also helped to illustrate a Bible for Children published by the center two years ago.

Published in two languages, the Bible is illustrated with thematic pictures created solely by children.

The remodeled gallery has a magnficent new look enlightened with the children's paintings.

"During her visit to Moscow a few weeks ago, the First Lady Bella Kocharyan presented this book as a gift to the First Ladies of Russia and the USA, Liudmila Putina and Laura Bush. They were astonished and delighted by the unique color sense of Armenian children and the individual approach to Biblical themes," says director of the center's art studio Samvel Baghdasaryan.

Children have also illustrated a number of other books, such as Armenian Fairy Tales, Hovhannes Tumanyan's Fairy Tales and Let There Be Light. These have been published in seven European languages. A version of the Armenian epic David of Sasoun is also being prepared, again with publication in multiple languages.

The Fine Arts College of the Aesthetic Center has eight studios, where children aged from 4 to 18 learn oil, pastel, water color painting, sculpture, and different crafts such as carpet work, metal-work, ceramic, woodwork, and needlework.

Anyone can enter As Igityan says: "All children are talented, their talents must just be found out."

According to Agnes
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  Photos of the week
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This week Armenia was commemorating the fourth anniversary of October 27 terroristic act in Armenian parliament and paying tribute to its victims. Among others Stepan Demirchyan visited the cemetery and laid flowers on the grave of his father, late speaker of National Assembly Karen Demirchyan.



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