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SANCTUARY

I have often found refuge in places of worship, In temples and in churches… i have found the space, the stillness, to be profoundly comforting.

I find myself thinking about the occasions that mark time; births, marriage, death.

I think about the prayers of the troubled and the faith of the hopeful.

In modern times, places of worship have become spaces for protection for many, including refugees, runaways, homeless and the hungry.

I find myself transfixed and inspired by the art and decoration that fill every corner. Figures of God and saints painted on stained glass windows and vaulted ceilings. Ornate carvings of columns and crosses, tiled archways, jeweled vessels and illuminated manuscripts in the most decorated cathedrals to the simplest adornments of a zen buddhist altar.

Over the past few years, I have been donating artwork to the group SOAR ( Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief ) and have been so impressed by the work they do, that I began making art for their annual auction, specifically churches and saints, to raise awareness of this incredibly generous and hardworking group. SOAR strives to provide orphaned Armenians throughout the world with resources fundamental to their physical, emotional, and intellectual development. Half of the proceeds from this show will go to this incredible organization.

Finally, I have chosen to concentrate on Armenian churches as testimony to my grandmother, Siranoush Ohanessian, and her relentless commitment to her church and God. Regardless of where she was, she would find her way to church, usually by foot, where she would pray for the souls of her loved ones. I still feel her presence and protection in many spaces, but always the strongest in church.

As I age and my beliefs change, my relationship to these spaces remain the same. Overwhelmed by their beauty, and the ghosts of the faithful looking for hope.
- valerie fanarjian



Click on the image to see larger views of the artwork


RED DOOR 1


Sancurary 2017 mixed media artwork


By Valerie Fanarjian

6" x 9"
Price: $120

ARMENIAN PURPLE CHURCH


Sancurary 2017 mixed media artwork


By Valerie Fanarjian

8" x 10"
Price: $120

GREY CHURCH WITH BLACK TILES


Sancurary 2017 mixed media artwork


By Valerie Fanarjian

9" X 12"
Price: $120

CHURCH WITH LEAVES


Sancurary 2017 mixed media artwork


By Valerie Fanarjian

9" x 12"
Price: $120

RED CHURCH WITH GOLD DOME


Sancurary 2017 mixed media artwork


By Valerie Fanarjian

6" x 9"
Price: $120

CHURCH WITH BLUE TILES


Sancurary 2017 mixed media artwork


By Valerie Fanarjian

6" x 9"
Price: $120

CHURCH WITH PURPLE TILES


Sancurary 2017 mixed media artwork


By Valerie Fanarjian

6" x 9"
Price: $120

TURQUOISE CHURCH


Sancurary 2017 mixed media artwork


By Valerie Fanarjian

6" x 10"
Price: $120

CHURCH WITH BROWN FACADE


Sancurary 2017 mixed media artwork


By Valerie Fanarjian

6" x 9"
Price: $120

CHURCH WITH GOLD CROSS


Sancurary 2017 mixed media artwork


By Valerie Fanarjian

6" x 9"
Price: $120

RED DOOR 2


Sancurary 2017 mixed media artwork


By Valerie Fanarjian

6" x 9"
Price: $120

PURPLE CHURCH 2


Sancurary 2017 mixed media artwork


By Valerie Fanarjian

8" x 10"
Price: $120