New Illuminations: The Exhibit

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Collective Exhibit by HAYP Pop Up Gallery
November 18-28, 2016

About the works on view:

In New Illuminations we examine the book as medium: as an art form (creative process), as an objet d’art (one of a kind sculptural piece), and as a vehicle for story sharing and making. The exhibition title, “New Illuminations” is a play on words that refers to the golden ornament of traditional illuminated manuscripts, while also shedding light on narratives by women artists. The works exhibited contain very different storylines, but each explores manuscripts and cultural preservation from a unique perspective.

At the gallery entrance, quotes by late 19th century Armenian women novelists Srpuhi Dyussap and Zabel Yesayan, illustrate a history of struggle for women to make their voices heard and valued. A struggle which is echoed in the interviews artist Suzi Banks Baum conducted with over twenty five women artists in Gyumri in March and November of 2016. The books on display are the result of a four-day workshop that Suzi led with fifteen women artists in order to revive a dying tradition, and explore new tools for creative practice.

In the last two gallery rooms, works by artists Dana Walrath (US), Marsha Nouritza Odabashian (US) and Nairi Khatchadourian (FR) aim to provide a global context for the exhibit, while also showing the diversity of the book arts. Dana’s collage series incorporates manuscript motifs, drawings, and bits of a Soviet era atlas to comment on Armenian identity and the fetishization of borders. Marsha’s work distorts the flora and fauna of manuscript ornament to create fantastical surrealist landscapes. In Nairi’s lullaby series, the artist takes inspiration from Armenian prayer scrolls (Hmayils) and Japanese Kakemono scrolls, to explore visual representations of poetry. Her use of delicate materials underlines the mutable and sometimes fleeting nature of song, and what that implies for the histories it transmits.

Anna K. Gargarian
Curator, HAYP Pop Up Gallery

Learn more about the project in this five minute video:


Friday, November 18 – Monday, November 28. Open every day from 11am to 9pm. FREE ENTRANCE.


Friday, November 18, 7pm: Opening night!

  • What: Come for wine and live music – folk/blues improv by Bet Williams
  • Where: At HAYP Pop Up Gallery, on the corner of Shahumyan and Rustaveli Street, Gyumri (see map below)

Saturday, November 19, 4pm: “Meet Mr. Frunzik before his birth”.

  • What: Novelist Viken Berberian talks about the fictional hero in a collaborative work-in-progress titled, The Structure is Rotten, Comrade. This is a visual and humor-laced story with illustrations by Yann Kebbi spanning architecture, revolution and conservation. Follow the singular Frunzik on Twitter!
  • Where: At HAYP Pop Up Gallery, on the corner of Shahumyan and Rustaveli Street, Gyumri (see map below)

Saturday, November 19, 7pm: Dance performance by Marianna Poghosyan

  • What: dance performance by the amazing classically trained dancer Marianna Poghosyan
  • Where: At Nareg Charitable Foundation, 83 Ghorghanyan Street, Gyumri.