Armenian Paintings: From the Beginning to the Present

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Mayda Saris, Turkish-Armenian Author Will Tour US and Canada

WATERTOWN, Mass. - Mayda Saris, art director of the bilingual Armenian-Turkish language weekly Agos newspaper of Turkey, will tour seven cities in the US and Canada to promote her latest art book, Armenian Paintings: From the Beginning to the Present.

The tour is organized by the Tekeyan Cultural Association.

Saris was born in Istanbul and still resides there. This illustrated book originally was published in Turkish. The book was wildly popular there, and now it has been translated into English, published by Agos. (Recently, the Turkish court sentenced Agos' editor, Hrant Dink, to a suspended six-months sentence for stressing his Armenian heritage, as distinct from his Turkish citizenship. He was charged with insulting Turkish identity.)

The groundbreaking book with more than 100 illustrations explores Armenian art from the ancient to modern times. The author gives a comprehensive overview of the origin of the Armenian people, their folklore, lifestyle, culture, art and faith, which has been source of inspiration for the Armenian artists and architects throughout centuries.

Art critic Kaya Ozsezgin, a member of faculty at the Academy of Fine Arts of Turkey wrote about Saris' book, "Mayda Saris's book helps us to become better acquainted with the generations of Armenian artists, and in the meantime fills a void in the art libraries. Indexes of the names and the bibliography at the end of the book give this work an even more serious dimension."

Hakan Celik, a columnist of Posta daily newspaper wrote, "Did you know that Armenian painters who were born and raised in Turkey, but hardly known in Turkey, have greatly contributed to the development of the Ottoman painting art? I learned that from Mayda Saris's book."

Saris had previously translated two books from French into Turkish, "L'Apatrie," a novel by Jean Kehaian, and "Les Armeniens Dans l'Empire Ottoman," a scholarly volume by Raymond H. Kevorkian and Paul B. Paboudjian.

Saris' tour starts in Los Angeles on November 4 and continues to Detroit, Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Montreal.

California Courier Online, November 3, 2005

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