Sunday, March 30, 2014

Armenians in Watertown: The Artwork of Philip Hagopian

Randomly, Marash Girl left Joe’s and wandered into the newly-named Armenian Museum of America — and there was Gary Lind-Sinanian at the front desk, encouraging Marash Girl to head upstairs to the third floor gallery.  “The artist is up there now hanging paintings for his exhibit . . . you may like the paintings!”  And sure enough, Philip Hagopian was there mounting his often multi-dimensional (especially the ones inspired by his stay in Hayasdan) and neo-impressionistic (especially the paintings of Vermont) paintings.  Busy about his work, Marash Girl did not want to interrupt, but felt honored to be able to see the canvases before the crowds arrived on opening day (the very next day).  Heading back to the restaurant where she was to meet Marash Boy, she carried the image of one of those paintings with her and there, sitting at a table in Watertown Square's Not Your Average Joe’s, was the female subject painted in the Hagopian paintings Marash Girl had just viewed in AMA's third floor gallery.  Marash Girl approached her:  "Didn’t I just see you in the paintings hung on the museum walls upstairs?”

Philip Hagopian introduces his multi-dimensional paintings at the Armenian Museum of America.

Naira Hagopian photographs the audience, as they listen intently to her husband,
Philip Hagopian, talking about his paintings.

Old friends from Springfield, Massachusetts meet, and new friends greet. . .

"Our home in Vermont."

Naira Hagopian, modeling beneath the painting for which she was the model.

"You're so lucky to be living surrounded by Armenians.  We live in Vermont surrounded by mountains.  Not only are there no Armenians in Morrisville, Vermont, but when folks ask me where I'm from and I tell them Armenia, they answer, "Oh, yes, I know.  My grandfather was from Romania, too!"  (Marash Girl replied, "Better than saying, 'Oh, yes, I know; Turkish, right?'")

N.B.  Philip Hagopian was born in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts; his wife, Naira, was born in Armenia.


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