AGBU Applauds 10th Anniversary of Gyumri Branch of Yerevan Fine Arts

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The Gyumri branch of Yerevan Fine Arts Academy celebrated its 10th
anniversary on December 21, 2007 at the Hoktember movie theater in
Gyumri, Armenia. Republic of Armenia Education and Science Minister
Levon Mkrtchian, Rector of Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts Aram
Isabekian, AGBU Armenian Representation Director Ashot Ghazarian, other
officials, local authorities, and representatives of higher educational
institutions were present at the festive celebration.

Coinciding with the celebration was the opening of an exhibition of
various works, including fine arts, graphics, sculptures, ornaments, and
textile designs, by academy students in the halls of the institute. Also
on exhibit in the nearby Aslamazian Sisters Hall were art works by
academy professors.

“This building was renovated by the funds provided by ‘Hayastan’
All-Armenian Fund, AGBU and the money raised by the people during the
pilgrimage of composer Loris Tjeknavorian to Gyumri in 1991.” This
sentence is inscribed on the plaque at the entrance of the building
unofficially called the Academy of Fine Arts, which houses the Gyumri
branches of three state art institutions of Yerevan: the Yerevan Fine
Arts Academy, the Yerevan Conservatory and the Yerevan Institute of
Movie and Theater. This educational center, which started with less than
10 students a decade ago, today has 192 specialists in six departments.

“I’m very glad that the building, which resembled a pile of stones back
in 1994, breathes today and creates art. It reflects the soul of the
people of Gyumri – fine arts, music and theater. These are things that
have always been strongly characteristic of the people of Gyumri and
have fed our culture. I remember the days when this building was
half-ruined and a sign on it said, ‘An arts academy will be built here.’
People used to bring their children here even before it was fully built.
And I remember once I heard a woman saying, ‘My child will study here.’
Thank God, AGBU had the opportunity of investing here and establishing
this cultural center,” said Ghazarian.

“We are so happy,” said Isabekian. “The establishment of this
department, as well as the other two, was of vital importance back in
the 1990’s. The atmosphere in Gyumri after the disastrous earthquake was
very depressing, people felt abandoned. And even though there were a lot
of other unsolved issues then, time proved that the establishment of
such a cultural center was a very right decision. It brought enthusiasm
to the city, to the youth. And today we have a beautiful 10-year-old
cultural center. I want to mention with admiration about our lecturers
working in Gyumri, amazing painters, wonderful people, who organized all
this work, who overcame all the difficulties. And certainly, I would
like to underscore the great contribution of the Armenian General
Benevolent Union in all this.”

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