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10 Women Ruling Armenia's Art Scene
The voices at the forefront of all things art in Armenia.
Art Girls Jungle 21 May 2019

Armenia is about to launch its second Art Fair (1-3 June 2019), during which it will also be holding its first art week too (25 May – 3 June). And, while the country may not be the first place you think of as an arts hot spot, in 2015 it won the prestigious Golden Lion during the Venice Biennale.
As the status of arts within the country grows, a number of leading women curators and artists are helping to promote and develop an emerging art scene. Here we’ve have picked 10 of them that you should definitely get to know…
 
Tina Chakarian, Interdisciplinary Artist and Creative Director
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The development director of Armenia’s pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale, Tina Chakarian is also an installation artist and development specialist. She was previously the Development Director of the Armenian Museum of America, and has worked as a professor at design schools across the US. Her installations have been exhibited in the US, Lebanon and Armenia. Tina is a philanthropy specialist too, combining her skills in visual art with fundraising to help support organisations and initiatives close to her heart.
 
Victoria Aleksanyan, Director, Writer and Producer
Victoria Aleksanyan
Based between New York and Yerevan, Victoria Aleksanyan has written, directed and produced many films. She is a key player in the movement to reform Armenia’s film industry, advocating for transparency, effective film laws and establishment of cultural industries as a co-founder of IFCA Independent Filmmakers Community of Armenia. She is also the 2019 AGBU artistic fellow.
 
Anna Gargarian, Curator and Cultural Project Manager
Photo by Lori Kassabian
Photo by Lori Kassabian
Anna Gargarian began her curatorial career in Florence and has consulted as a curator across the globe with collaborators including Otto luogo dell’arte (Italy), INVIVIA design studio (USA), and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia. In 2014 she founded HAYP Pop Up Gallery, a nomadic gallery that supports contemporary art in Armenia and encourages experimental ways of exhibiting. In 2015 she curated Armenia’s pavilion at the 6th Beijing Biennale and in 2017 HAYP participated at the Venice Biennale representing contemporary Armenian artists alongside artists like Yoko Ono and Jeff Koons. Her most recent initiative – IN SITU art agency – aims to contextualise the Armenian art scene within global discourse.
 
Vanane Borian, Artist
Vanane
Based between Armenia and Israel, Vanane Borian’s art focuses on issues of identity and stereotypes of women, discussing political problems, ethnic traditions, patriarchy and religion as a dictator of morality. She is also in the middle of a PhD on Post-USSR feminism art. Her work has been exhibited in Yerevan, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Venice and New York.
 
Nazik Armenakian, Photojournalist and Co-Founder, 4Plus
Nazik_Armenakyan
Nazik Armenakyan is a photojournalist and winner of several international awards. She has exhibited in Armenia, USA, China, Hong Kong, India and Russia. In 2011 she received a fellowship from the Magnum Foundation and Documentary Photography Production Grant from Open Society Foundations. Nazik’s photographs have been published in The New York Times Lens blog, Der Spiegel, Politiken, Eurasianet and other local and international publications. She is also author of two photography books and one of the co-founders of the 4Plus, a women’s photography collective.
 
Eva Khachatryan, Curator
eva
Eva Khachatryan is an independent curator, Vice-President of AICA Armenia (International Association of Art Critics) and member of CIMAM (International Committee of ICOM for Museums and Collections of Modern and Contemporary Art). She has worked at the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art (ACCEA) and runs the suburb.am platform. Her curatorial work has been on women’s issues and new media in contemporary art. Eva’s projects have taken place in Armenia, Austria, Poland, Russia and Switzerland, and she is also a curator and content manager of Armenia International Art Fair.
 
Sarko Meené, Artist
image1
Sarko Meené has lived her own life and many lives within it, switching careers and countries until finally settling in her beloved Armenia. Having worked in professional sports, she then indulged in education and, after dipping into medicine, philosophy and psychology; she finally surrendered to the healing power of arts. Now, as she remains and creates in Armenia, her artworks travel around the world. We asked her for a bio, but she kindly refused, stating that her biography is just an unneeded noise and incomparable to what her colours can modestly tell us about her.
 
Anna Kamay, Curator
Anna
Anna Kamay is an independent curator and cultural manager. She organises community based art projects with the goal of using public space and art to meet local needs, and she also manages Nest Artist Residency and Community Center at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Yerevan. Major exhibitions include projects related to the influx of Syrian refugees in Armenia and community engagement projects in Nagorno Karabakh, where she curated the debut Artsakh Fest. She is also working on a project that highlights the place of mothers in the arts within the post-Soviet space.
 
Gohar Martirosyan, Artist
Gohar
Artist Gohar Martirosyan’s research is in the conflict between personal and public fields, in which the opposite parts of everyone’s life clash and merge. Her work has been exhibited in Austria, Georgia, Germany, Slovakia and Turkey.
 
Ella Kanegarian, Writer and Curator
ella
photo taken from personal archive by Gagik Petrosyan
Ella Kanegarian describes herself as a “multidisciplinary person.” Having worked as both a writer and a curator, she has written for magazines (including The Wire), created short films and curated exhibitions that are often political in nature, and also supportive of emerging artists. She mainly addresses communication with the past, nostalgia and memory within her work.
 
Words by Lizzy Vartanian

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