By Ann Kim
Having one’s work shown abroad is an honor few receive, but Karine Armen of Glendale will not only have her photographs exhibited in Armenia, but also hopes to promote world peace through her artwork.
Armen entered two photographs in the International Art Festival after hearing about the sponsoring organization, Lantern of East Los Angeles. The festival features works by artists from around the globe.
The chance to present photographs in her homeland of Armenia with international artists was appealing, she said. But after hearing that several organizers and participating artists came from as far as Spain, Korea, Russia and the Netherlands, Armen was thrilled to present her photos to LELA.
“I was excited to submit my work to Armenia,” Armen said. “And I was excited to be involved with an international group of artists where the president is Japanese.”
After traveling for the past several years, Armen decided to submit a photo she took in Italy and a picture of the Eiffel Tower, framed by the Wall for Peace in Paris, which was modeled after the Wailing Wall of Jerusalem, she said. advertisement “I didn’t want to send pictures of Armenia to Armenia,” Armen said. “And the peace wall totally touches my heart. [The wall] has ‘peace’ [written] in different languages and it itself is a message of peace.”
The International Art Festival does not have a theme, but the founding principles of LELA involve blending boundaries between cultures and promoting the universal language of art while promoting harmony, said Angela Barseghian, LELA organizing committee member.
“As far as LELA is concerned, we should all support any and all organizations that have such noble ideas as bringing cultures together, giving to each other and caring for each other,” Barseghian said. “It’s such a wonderful, wonderful idea to bring the world together through art, humility and beauty instead of war.”
Armen’s philosophy regarding her photography embodies the goals of LELA and the art festival, she added.
“Karine is an international artist and she really epitomizes an artist who has tremendous love for all nationalities and ethnic groups,” Barseghian said. “I see her constantly traveling and taking note with her camera of all the things she sees in the world, both good and bad and she brings that home for others to see. It’s tremendous.”
Armen documents a part of history and there is so much to be said for that, she said.
“They are participating in writing down history and actual stories of people and in that regard, I think that she’s living a beautiful life,” she said.
The photographs submitted by Armen are published in the International Arts Festival catalog, designed by Lee Jordan, LELA board member.
Armen and the numerous other international artists featured in the catalog are part of spreading the idea of art as a language and getting to know other cultures, Jordan said.
“People get to meet people in different countries as opposed to what you can read about them in the paper or see on television, all while spreading peace and doing that through art,” he said.
The artwork submitted to the festival does not have to fit a theme of peace but because LELA ties together international artists, it is already fulfilling that aspect, he said.
“We are not telling people to make new art to fit a theme but to meet new artists and foster a sense of community and build bridges across countries,” Jordan said.
“Karine’s piece is from Italy and when you look through the catalog, you will also see some things that are political but mostly it’s people’s work and what they do.”
Armen’s photographs of people from different cultural backgrounds promotes ideas of peaceful human contact, which is what the International Arts Festival is about, Barseghian said.
“Karine has been an artist for many years and she’s a professional photographer who speaks the language of human interaction, peace, art and goodwill,” she said.
Armen’s involvement with LELA grew after Barseghian led her to her initial discovery of the organization.
After getting involved, Armen has been hooked and excited about the entire process, she said.
“I got involved in committee meetings and writing press releases and LELA saw my involvement and made me a board member,” Armen said.
“Basically the whole idea is to bring world peace and come together as artists. It’s not about money or the rich getting richer or anything like that. It’s really very exciting.”