April 22 2015

By Frank Mathie
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 04:45PM

It happened almost exactly 100 years ago - the systematic extermination
of 1.5 million Armenians by the Turkish rulers of the Ottoman
Empire. Now, a Chicago artist is remembering that terrible time in
a very big way.

In an old Pilsen warehouse now occupied by Mana Art Center, artist
Jackie Kazarian is showing us her latest creation, and it's a big one.

It's part of her family's story about very dark times in Armenian

"It's a large monumental painting called 'Armenia' and it's marked,
created to mark the 100th year anniversary of the Armenian genocide
when one and a half million Armenian, Assyrians and Greeks were
killed," Kazarian said.

It was April 24, 1915, near the beginning of World War I. The Christian
Armenians were considered a threat to the new young Turkish leaders
of the Ottoman Empire. And in a preview of what would happen in World
War II, the genocide began.

"The government of the Ottoman Empire took it upon themselves to rid
their country of Armenians, and especially those in Eastern Armenia,"
Kazarian said.

A million and a half men, women and children were killed. Kazarian
doesn't show that in her painting; she takes a much more subtle
approach using just names.

"The names are the villages and cities involved in the genocide,"
Kazarian said.

At 12 feet high and 26 feet wide, this is a huge painting. And you're
probably wondering, how did she do it?

First of all, it was hard work. It took five and a half months to
complete. And then she invented something she calls the boardwalk.

"The boardwalk was a large plank on wheels that would roll over the
canvases while they were on the ground, so I could reach every surface
of the painting," Kazarian said.

She said she did it to honor her grandparents who survived the
genocide. Now she will travel the world with her painting so everyone

From: Baghdasarian