By Naomi Kuromiya

Armenian Weekly
January 25, 2010

PROVIDENCE, R.I.-Over one and one half million Armenians perished in
the Armenian Genocide, the first genocide of the 20th century.

Committed by the political party of the Ottoman Empire commonly known
as the Young Turks, the killings and abuse occurred during World War
I from 1915-18 before being renewed once again from 1920-23.

The Turkish government had grown increasingly suspicious of the
minority Armenian population, and they therefore planned a deportation
and extermination program disguised as a resettlement plan. The
deported Armenians suffered massacres, starvation, disease, torture,
and the confiscation of all their possessions. The few that survived
became refugees in neighboring countries.

Today, the horrors of the genocide are commemorated annually on April
24, the date in 1915 when the terrible intentions of the Turkish
government for the Armenians first came to light. This year, to mark
the 95th anniversary of the atrocities, Gallery Z director Berge
Ara Zobian, an Armenian of Providence, will curate a historically
and artistically important show titled "The Armenian Genocide: 95
Years Later, In Remembrance." Carol Scavotto and the extensive staff
of Gallery Z will assist Zobian in coordinating this informative
academic exhibition.

Zobian was invited to produce the show in collaboration with the Urban
Arts and Culture Program of the University of Rhode Island. The show
will be displayed in Campus Gallery at the URI Feinstein Campus, a
prominent location that guarantees a large viewing audience. In the
month that it is displayed, from April 1 through April 30, the show
is expected to have over 30,000 visitors, including many who don't
typically frequent galleries and museums.

Both Zobian and the URI coordinators have wanted time to celebrate
Providence's Armenian Community for some by sharing various aspects
of Armenian culture and history: They are interested in acquiring
artwork, artifacts, posters, objects, and photographs that illustrate
home life, community life, and religious and political life in order
to provide a comprehensive representation of the Armenian Genocide.

Submissions to this show are open to any and all artists, from the
U.S. or abroad, and all mediums-including paintings, sculptures,
drawings, photos, and videos-will be accepted.

To receive submissions forms, artists should email Scavotto at
[email protected] Pieces that reflect the artist's impressions and
understanding of the genocide are important, but the show aims equally
to showcase the survival, achievements, and contributions of the
Armenian culture. The exhibition will commemorate deaths but also
celebrate life.

Unfortunately, a show of this great a scale is expected to be a costly
venture. Due to the enormous production and operation costs, any and
all financial donation and support would be greatly appreciated.

Donations can be sent to Zobian at 17 Amherst St., Providence, RI,
02909 (Memo: Genocide Exhibition).

Following the numerous other genocides of the 20th century,
acknowledging and examining past episodes of violence becomes all the
more crucial. As the first genocide of the 20th century, the Armenian
Genocide is a critical event to affirm, and the surviving culture
is essential to celebrate and spread with as large an audience as
possible. This show promises to accomplish both of these tasks with
your submissions and support.