Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"Family Pictures" by Susan Kricorian: A New Exhibition at the Armenian Museum of America, Watertown, Massachusetts

The artist Susan Kricorian and her children pose in front of the Susan's  painting of her father, Eddie Krikorian. The artist's grandmother was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide.
Mari Kricorian, the artist's grandmother, loving.
Mari Kricorian, her daughter -in-law Irene and her two grandchildren, Nancy and Susan (held in her mother's arms)
on Lincoln Street in Watertown, Massachusetts, painted by Nancy Kricorian from a photo taken in the 1950's.
                         Eddie Kricorian (the artist's father) stocking shelves in the family grocery store.

The exhibit "Family Pictures" at the Armenian Museum of America (3rd floor gallery), Watertown Square, opened Sunday at a site not more than a mile from where the photos inspiring these works of art were originally taken. "Family Pictures" has particular meaning for Marash Girl, as the artist and her family pictured in these paintings were a part of Marash Girl's childhood.  Mari Kricorian (the artist's grandmother), Eddie Kricorian (the artist's father), Irene Kricorian (the artist's mother), Nancy Kricorian (the artist's sister, author of the book ZABELLE), and Susan Krikorian, the artist herself, attended the United Armenian Brethren Evangelical Church in Watertown, the church in which Marash Girl's Uncle Vartan preached, the church in which Marash Girl was raised. Conversing with the artist's mother, Marash Girl asked Irene how it was that both her daughters were artists.  The answer:  "I never allowed them to watch television.  I always gave them pencil, paper, and crayons with which they could entertain themselves. . . and they're paternal grandfather was not only the owner of a grocery store, but a cabinet maker and artist in his own right!"  Reminiscing further, Irene Kricorian (the artist's mother) reminded Marash Girl that, at the first book signing for Zabelle (a novel written by Irene's daughter Nancy Kricorian and published in 1998), her daughter Nancy was asked, "Why did you write a novel based on your grandmother's life?" Nancy's reply:  "I wanted to write a book about an ordinary woman."  Marash Girl's father, Peter Bilezikian, rose out of his seat and exclaimed, "Your grandmother was no ordinary woman!"

And, if Peter Bilezikian were here today, he would concur that Grandmother Mari Kricorian's grandchildren are no "ordinary women"!


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