On Wednesday, February 15 2012, the opening ceremony of the exhibition of four Lebanese artists took place at the Lucy Tutunjian Exhibition Hall of Hamazkayin. The event was sponsored by Raymond Awdeh, a great collector of art and one who encourages art events and the cooperation of various communities in Lebanon through art.
At the same time, Raymond Awdeh is also a great friend of Armenians: He has many Armenian friends, among them Lucy and Garbis Tutunjian, the founders of the Exhibition Hall of Hamazkayin.
Carla Tutunjian, member of the Committee of the Lucy Tutunjian Exhibition Hall, welcomed the audience. She highly praised the fact that four Lebanese artists jointly exhibited their paintings in an Armenian exhibition hall and mentioned that presenting an opportunity for non-Armenian Lebanese artists to exhibit their art was one of the focal points of the exhibition hall.
Carla Tutunjian added that Raymond Awdeh’s business as a bank director is well known, and she wanted the audience to know Awdeh’s great passion for art which has driven him to support the creation and activities of various art centers. “Raymond Awdeh is a person close to the Armenian community, and who, as a Lebanese man, appreciates the input of the Armenians in Lebanon, as well.”
Hagop Havatian, the director of the Lucy Tutunjian Exhibition Hall of Hamazkayin, welcomed the guests and highlighted the important role this exhibition hall plays in bringing Armenian and Lebanese artists together and gathering them under one roof. “Art is the best way for mutual understanding and bringing diverse communities and cultures closer to each other,” Havatian said, adding that the exhibition hall has already received positive feedback for this initiative. “Hamazkayin has always played a role of bridging different cultures and aspires to expand its boundaries towards this goal.” Then he invited Raymond Awdeh to receive a Hamazkayin souvenir from Sarkis Armenian, member of the exhibition hall’s committee.
Artist Lucy Tutunjian, the founder of the exhibition hall, had also prepared a surprise for Raymond Awdeh: she painted his portrait, which she presented to Mr. Awdeh to the amazement of the former Minister and the guests. Touched by the act of appreciation expressed by Armenian art lovers toward him, Mr. Awdeh once again emphasized the role Armenians played not only in Lebanese, but also world art and said: “I am happy to be the friend of such a creative people. You can be proud, since you have wonderful individuals, a wonderful art, and a wonderful country, Armenia. This year I will definitely visit your homeland.”
Speaking about the portrait she drew, Lucy Tutunjian said that physical resemblance is not as important to her as is the essence of an individual, his personality and nature. “In this portrait the inner nature is what I have expressed,” Lucy Tutunjian said.
The four Lebanese artists, Faysal Sultan, Theo Mansour, Sharbel Samuel Aoun, and Rissam Baydoun featured a collection of contemporary painting at the Lucy Tutunjian Exhibition Hall, each of which expressed the path crossed by the artist, his environment, as well as the human interrelations they lived.
The exhibition will be open to the public until February 29.