|Posted by Hazel Antaramian Hofman on March 17, 2014 at 1:10 AM|
17 March 2014
One week ago, I attended my first meeting at Fig Tree Gallery as their newest member. I am grateful to the artists for welcoming me and allowing me to show work at the gallery. Much thanks to Heather Anderson for sponsoring me and petitioning for my membership to the oldest art collective in the United States. One of its founding members was Varaz Samuelian, an artist with whom I have had many connections. My first encounter was when he taught art classes to young Armenian children in Fresno. My grandfather, Asadour Antaramian, took me to Varaz's studio in Downtown Fresno during the early 1970s; this was when my family had moved to Fresno after spending a few years in Wisconsin during our post-Soviet years. I will always remember the still-life that Varz set up and the encouragement he gave to his young art students. He, like Saroyan, who was a good friend of his, lived in Paris where he worked briefly as an artist. In July 2010, I followed the footsteps of Varaz during his time in Paris. Four months prior to my trip to Paris, I curated an exhibition of his circus-themed watercolors at Fresno City Hall, which was co-sponsored by the Armenian Studies Program at Fresno State. As my research on the repatriation project comes to a close, I plan to put my notes of my journey with Varaz to print. I am excited about the opportunities to show my art at Fig Tree and the full circle that my life has come in the shadow of Varaz.