Peace Of Art Exhibit in Yerevan

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In 2014 the National Gallery of Armenia in Yerevan hosted Peace of Art exhibit by artist Daniel Varoujan Hejinian, organized by the Armenian Ministry of the Diaspora. The first Peace of Art exhibit outside of the United States, commemorating the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.

We live in a world without peace, under constant threat of terrorism, biological and chemical warfare. The communion of art and peace establish a bridge leading to a better society, by promoting understanding and collaboration. It has been Daniel Varoujan Hejinian's dream to create a global traveling art exhibit to promote peace. At the local level, Varoujan has used his art to support many charitable organizations which provide vital services, such as Community Servings, Race for the Cure for Breast Cancer, Young at Arts Wang Center, Jocelyn Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Red Cross and many others.

PEACE of ART series speak eloquently, as an inescapable mirror where we see ourselves and our society. The art work addresses sensitive issues around the globe. Blotches of hunger and homelessness, weapons of mass destruction, sickness, despair, repressed voices that have been silenced, others blinded and deafen trying to survive. Amidst it all, a mother protects a child holding a dove of peace, a battered woman breaks her silence, two people find solace in each other and the strength to make a difference. In Peace of Heart, he's in constant fear of losing his loved one, his hand shows the mark of cruxification as a permanent reminder of the September 11th terrorist attack, one side of his face leans toward the woman he hugs, the other is looking out in fear. In a split second we can loose a loved one. There is a white dove flying elsewhere...

The "Red Bull" has fallen bringing the Cold War to an end, but the threat became so much more eminent. We no longer identify the enemy but the enemy can identify us. Sometimes the most eloquent of statements remain in the words left unspoken. The art work expresses all that is left unsaid.

"The Crime of the Century"

Triptych dedicated to the Centennial observance, along with other pices from the "Peace of Art" collection, commemorating the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.

The center piece is a dramatic composition depicting the battle in the name of peace. Hands are extended. Horse and man bite each other. Humanity is cruel and intolerant for its racial, ethnic, and religious differences. Men have been chased by their own shadows and beaten by their own dreams.

In the middle of the painting to the left is a group of people shaped as a mushroom cloud. Deported, their land has been taken and their families killed. Their terrified eyes are open yet blinded by the terror they've seen; their hands cover their mouths, speechless in describing the crime they've witnessed. The painting to the right reminds us how fragile peace is, like a paper dove in a child's hands. Safe and loved in his mother's arms, he releases his toy and lets it float in the wind.

There are a group of people above them in a different stage of life; there's pain, suffering, and insecurity. They extend their hands waiting for the return of the dove. "They are waiting for recognition and justice," Varoujan explained.

The exhibition took place from Sept. 18 to Oct. 20, in Yerevan, attracting everyone from casual towns folk and students to high-ranking officials and dignitaries both near and afar.

Peace of Art" is a non-profit organization founded by Hejinian in 2003 that uses art as an educational tool to bring awareness to the universal human condition while promoting peaceful solutions to conflict.

The artist dedicates his efforts to the peace keepers and peace achievers around the world, and those who had the courage to place themselves on the line for the betterment of humanity.