On the Town: Anniversary of the capital of Armenia at center of new library exhibit

Shant Sahakian, Glendale Unified School District Board Member, wife Suzanna and 18-month old son, Raffi, visit "Yerevan 2800" at the Glendale Central Library.
(Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

Dozens of community members showed up to celebrate a birthday party — the 2,800th anniversary of Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

The opening reception of a 10-day art exhibition this past Friday at the Glendale Central Library attracted Yerevanians in Glendale, art lovers and the merely curious.

“Yerevan 2800” features about 50 photos of Yerevan at the end of the 19th century, the beginning of the 20th century and from the Soviet period up to today.

The original photos are kept in the Yerevan History Museum and have been copied especially for this exhibition in the library’s ReflectSpace and PassageWay galleries.

Also part of the exhibit are contemporary art and film.

The exhibit honors Yerevan’s long history as one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and the cultural center of Armenia.

This past Friday, photographer Edmond Keshishyan, one of the seven artists present at the reception, described his “Yerevan Monuments, 2015,” as a series of “archival pigment prints.”

The photographs, all taken at night in Yerevan, show monuments of Armenian writers, poets, a composer and architect.

Keshishyan recently visited Armenia, not having been there for 28 years.

"Yerevan 2800" co-curator Ara Oshagan, left, and state Sen. Anthony Portantino next to her pose with the exhibit's artists, all of which received a State Senate Certificate of Recognition.
(Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

Shant Sahakian, a member of the Glendale Unified school board, wife, Suzanna, and their 18-month old son, Raffi, posed for a quick snap in front of Keshishyan’s photo series.

Exhibit curators Ara and Anahid Oshagan welcomed their visitors and emceed a short program.

State Sen. Anthony Portantino was at the ready with Senate certificates of recognition for all the exhibition artists present.

Besides Keshishyan, they were Sev Black, Sophia Gasparian, Narine Isajanyan, Ashot Khudaverdyan, Karen Mirzoyan and Anahid Yahjian. Missing was Emily Mkrtichian, who is currently in Armenia.

Portantino, an art connoisseur in his own right, said, “Yerevan is a beautiful city that embraces culture and art.”

“Yerevan 2800” is a joint effort between the city of Glendale and the Library, the Arts & Culture Department in collaboration with the Yerevan Municipality Tourism Office.

The exhibit will run through Sunday.

The guys and gals of the Glendale Latino Assn. work hard, and they play hard.

Coming off a successful scholarship awards breakfast during which over $20,000 in scholarships was awarded, members went right back to raising funds for next year’s scholarships.

Amy Navarrete, past president of the Glendale Latino Assn., tempts mixer attendees with opportunity drawing tickets.
(Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

Their “Days of Summer” mixer on June 27 had all the right ingredients — the garden rooftop of Glendale’s Hollywood Production Center on Brand Boulevard provided a venue with a view.

About 50 attendees were the right number to sip, sup and socialize.

The opportunity baskets raffle offered just a little suspense for the night. And the presence of the association’s Man and Woman of the Year lent gravitas to the balmy, summer evening.

Man of the Year Michael Garcia, attorney for the city of Glendale, was paired up for photos with Woman of the Year, City Councilwoman Paula Devine.

Having already attended four events during the day, Devine still looked divine and was ready for more.

Greeting members and guests was Amy Navarrete, past president of the association.

She had double duty, selling the basket raffle tickets. Members were encouraged to bring raffle items and attach business cards for publicity. Business was brisk for the bargain price of three tickets for $10.

Adding in admission fees of $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers, the association had a head start in raising scholarship funds for excelling students.

Totaling to date, the Glendale Latino Assn. has given out $164,000 in scholarships to local students.

The Glendale Latino Assn. Man and Woman of the Year are Michael Garcia, attorney for the city of Glendale, and Paula Devine, Glendale City Councilwoman.
(Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

RUTH SOWBY RANDS may be reached at