The work of two artists combines with ArtHop in Downtown Fresno for a look at intersecting points of views on violence from past and present perspectives in the exhibition “The Business of Regret: Perspectives on War, Chaos and the Rejection of Violence exhibition.”  

A selection of artwork by Fresno’s Varaz Samuelian will be exhibited alongside contemporary Armenian artist Henrik Abedian.  The exhibition is a vital cross departmental and college collaboration between the Center for Creativity and the Arts, Art & Design, the Armenian Studies Program, and M Street Graduate Studios. The exhibition and artist talk is part of the Center for Creativity and the Arts (CCA) 2018-2019 theme “Crossroads.”  The “Business of Regrets” examines the intersections of past and present artists’ views on war.

The opening ArtHop reception is on Oct. 4 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the M Street Graduate Studios, 1419 M Street in Downtown Fresno. The exhibition will continue through Oct. 28th.  Gallery hours are Friday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Gallery viewing appointments can be made by calling 559.278.2516.

“As a society, we are at a crossroads or juncture, if you will, on how we choose to address violence and war in particular.  On a global scale, we are witnessing the impact that war is having on the world. Families and societies are being torn apart,” said Dr. Cindy Urrutia, CCA Director. “As citizens of the world, it is important to not only be aware of the impact of war but to have conversations on it so that we can strive for a more just world.  War is not some imaginary place. It is real.”

A discussion with panelists Abedian, Urrutia and Fresno State Armenian Studies Program Coordinator Barlow Der Mugrdechian will be held at the A. Peters Auditorium in the University Business Center at Fresno State from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 3.

“The exhibit ‘The Business of Regret: War, Chaos, and the Rejection of Violence’ is important to Fresno State because it brings the perspectives of two artists to the question of violence and how we address it,” said Der Mugrdechian. “Their works stress the rejection of violence, and because they are from two different generations, they each bring their unique view to the question. They have different experiences, but their art brings them to similar conclusions. That they are both Armenian is also interesting, as Armenians have faced Genocide and war in the 20th century from a unique vantage point.

Sponsors include Center for Creativity and the Arts, Art & Design Department, the Armenian Studies Program, M Street Graduate Studios, and Connect Contemporary Fine Art Gallery.

About the Artists

Henrik Abedian

Born into a multi-generational family of photographers, Abedian integrates several styles of image design. He apprenticed under his father and subsequently earned a master’s degree in photography from the prestigious Hamburg Academy of Photography. Abedian absorbed a myriad of influences and refined his attention to form, light, and especially color. His images reflect a focus on the intersection of technology and media in modern life.

His world travels further enhance Abedian’s work. He is fluent in several languages and continually immerses himself in a variety of cultures. Originally from Armenia, he has also resided in Iran, Germany, and now Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. His influences for art, photography, and digital media derive from his multicultural background, his travels, and persistent desire to study and produce contemporary art.

Varaz Samuelian

Born in Yerevan, Armenia, in 1917, he was the child of 1915 massacre survivors.  He came to the United States after World War II as a displaced person, sponsored by his older brother, Dickran Samuelian, in 1946.

After arriving in the United States, he lived in the Bay Area where he established his sign painting business and married his wife Ann. Samuelian and Ann moved to Fresno to be near her family in 1957.  There he continued his work in painting, began writing in earnest, and developed a large number of sculptures. He died on Nov. 7, 1995, at the age of 78.

Samuelian was a prolific artist with a large body of work that is administered by the Fresno State Armenian Studies Program.  He had strong views on war and created art that addressed it.  The exhibition will display a selection of his lithographs on war and painting on life and peace.