The spotlight is onPhoto credit: Norayr Kasper, "I Will Talk to You About Time." Fotoistanbul 2015.
Hovhannes Tumanian Perhaps no author has captivated the hearts and minds of Armenians—young and old alike—as intensely as Hovhannes Tumanian. Often mislabeled as a children’s writer, Tumanian’s “simple” style represented literature that was of, and for, the masses—meant to be consumed by all—regardless of age, class, gender, or education level. No wonder, then, he is considered the national poet of Armenia.
Sona Tatoyan Multiplatform artist Sona Tatoyan wears many hats, from starring in award-winning plays and writing scripts for feature films, to penning op-eds about turning pain to art. Yet it is in her last role, as co-founder of a socially-conscious film/TV production company, where she finds most of her inspiration these days. Through this last endeavor, Tatoyan hopes to bring to light stories of survival, resilience, and truth, uplifting the narrative of human suffering and injustice through a holistic, non-violent approach
Ruben Malayan We’ve all been told that our handwriting reveals a lot about us and what our culture—to excuse the pun— stresses and accents. It is also no secret that the art of penmanship is sorely in need of a revival, especially in Armenian orthography. This is the philosophy that drives artist Ruben Malayan. Through his quill and ink, the foremost Armenian calligrapher of our time is single-handedly resurrecting an entire art form from near-extinction. His efforts vary in approach—from creating visual art to writing books to teaching seminars—but no matter the medium, he is undoubtedly igniting a fire in the hearts of the inheritors of this beautiful, yet oft neglected, tradition
Arshile Gorky Few artists have been able to transcend ethnocultural borders and earn worldwide name recognition: Arshile Gorky is among them. A key founder of abstract expressionist art, Gorky (born Vosdanig Manoug Adoyan) was a prolific painter whose tragic personal life influenced and elevated his art to uncharted heights. A survivor of the Armenian Genocide, he sought safety and peace in the United States, achieving the former but not the latter, tragically taking his own life at the height of his prowess. As contemporary British art critic William Feaver stated, Gorky’s death left the field open for his now more-famous rival, Jackson Pollock. Despite his early departure, Gorky’s artistic legacy lives on today, with many of his paintings and drawings hanging in the world’s most prestigious museums and galleries
Eric Nazarian He may have gotten his start depicting angels in the blues, but Eric Nazarian’s cinematic journey has unfurled along what our elders would call a կանաչ ճանապարհ (“a green path,” meaning blessed with good fortune). A passionate storyteller by way of film, screenwriting, and photojournalism, Nazarian depicts the voices and stories of those who have been silenced, forgotten, or ignored and, in doing so, hopes to bring to light the truth and awaken the imagination in all of us.