The online AUA Art Auction has closed and the sale of Armen Hovesyan’s “Venice,” successfully raised $1,000 to go toward the Veterans’ scholarship fund for the Honoring Those Who Served: Investing in Our Veterans’ Education campaign.
We are grateful to the winning bidder of the painting, Nyire Melconian, who shared with us some of her thoughts and her motivation to bid on the painting.
What inspired you to participate in the Art Auction at AUA?
I was inspired to participate in the AUA art auction because I am a lifelong admirer and supporter of the arts; and I want to support Armenian artists, who I believe as a group are highly talented.
Why did you choose to bid specifically on “Venice” by Armen Hovesyan, in support of veteran students studying at AUA?
Venice is a magical city which I have visited several times, most recently in December 2019 with my family. There is a strong historical Armenian connection with Venice and the Armenian monastery at San Lazzaro. I was drawn to the painting because it reminded me of all the great experiences I have had there. The artist captured the mood of Venice in a way that moved me with the beautiful moonlight reflecting on the water and the gondolas.
Supporting veterans is extremely important to me because I greatly admire them for their tremendous bravery, courage, and sacrifice.
What is your hope for the future of Armenia and how do you see higher education and AUA playing a role in that?
My hope for Armenia is for the country to have a productive and highly educated society, living in freedom and peace. AUA can play an important role in shaping the country in this direction.
Armen Hovesyan is an artist currently based in Los Angeles. Though he lives his life seeing the world through the practical lense of reality, he chooses to tint it with the universal shade of love and beauty. This way of seeing, which also influences his way of thinking, he hopes to imprint unto others, specifically veterans, as they set out to live their lives anew after having recently witnessed life through the atrocious sights of war.
Hovesyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia in 1978 to a mother and father who were both engineers, but he grew up pursuing the life of an artist, with the full support of his parents. During his adolescence, he participated in many sports activities: gymnastics, swimming, table tennis, boxing; but, above all, it was the practice of drawing that captivated his heart. He recalls attending art school and watching his instructors, much older than him, perfect in their approach, and he desired to be like them. When asked if he ever felt any dissonance growing up in a scientific household, he explains that he was rather influenced by seeing his parents sketch, as they worked on their engineering blueprints and projects, saying, “as much as they were engineers, they were also artists in their own right — they applied their own method of creativity to their pragmatic craft.” It is in this way of applying the concepts of art to everything around him that he hopes to inspire others to constantly evolve and improve themselves. “I still feel like I’m going through that process; I’m still learning,” he humbly says.
Hovesyan built his career with the strong foundation of education. Having received formal training leading to a PhD in fine arts, he went on to teach as a professor for many years. Professionally, his range of work includes portraits; contemporary paintings; sculptures; design; and landscapes and cityscapes. One cityscape in particular, he has decided to donate to AUA, “Venice” — a piece he hopes will benefit scholarships for veteran students. Discussing his various trips to Europe over the years, he mentions this painting being inspired by a sketch he made in 2017 while on a tour of Venice, Italy.
Though he himself did not attend AUA, he recalls visiting the campus when living in Yerevan and often exploring the books in the University’s AGBU Papazian Library. When he learned about the Honoring Those Who Served campaign for AUA’s veteran students, he decided to lend his support, saying, “In the face of what they have done, what we do for them is so miniscule because they have given the ultimate sacrifice, risking their lives for our country.”
Hovesyan hopes that his efforts will play a role in starting the process of healing, something he believes can be done through art, which holds a symbiotic relationship with nature with all the beauty it portrays. “Without the arts — painting, music, theater — there is no better way to imagine life. It is a world void of artistic expression, when love and understanding of the arts do not exist in a society and there is no sense of appreciation for these things, that makes way for other more primitive concepts to dominate the landscape of people’s minds, leading to fighting and destruction.
For Armenia, a country rich with a longstanding history and culture, Hovesyan sees education as the only tool to progress and advance. “Specifically for our country, we need to give priority to education, in whatever field people choose. Our country’s young scholars need to take pride in their pursuits of education, be amazed by the knowledge they begin to gain, and in turn, impress others with the power of their intellect, in lieu of material possessions,” he urges.
Focusing on our veterans and their chosen academic and career paths, Hovesyan wants to see an unburdened future that will ease up for them going forward, considering all the struggles they have endured. His advice for veterans is to spend a lot of time and effort building themselves up and learning as much as they can while they are attending university, in order to build the strong foundation that will continue to propel them forward. He believes that though these young men receive formal education now, the true teachings of life come later on, and the better they build that knowledge base, the more prepared they will be for whatever will follow. “AUA is the launch pad from which they can prepare for the flight of life.”
To learn more or place your bid on the artwork, visit http://aua.cbo.io