Project Started ~ February 1, 2010
Project Completed ~ September 1, 2010
Project location: Artik, Shirak Region, Armenia
Cost: $505,000 USD
Donors: Armenia Fund, U.S. Western Region, Varaz Samuelian (bequest)
Varaz Samuelian was born in Yerevan, Armenia to a family of Genocide survivors. After moving to the United States in 1946 as a displaced person, he went on to become an acclaimed artist and sculptor. Samuelian, a close friend of William Saroyan, is the author of the famous David of Sasoon sculpture that was placed at Fresno's Courthouse Park in 1971. The statue is a prominent historic landmark and a unique symbol of Armenian identity in his hometown of Fresno.
After years of putting money aside from his modest income, Varaz Samuelian dedicated his life savings to the cultural development of his homeland, Armenia. With the opening of the Varaz Samuelian Cultural Center in Artik, the artist's dream of making his life's work a vibrant part of Armenia's culture has become a reality.
Fully furnished and computerized, the two-storied, 6,000 square feet center is designed to function as an arts establishment and a hub for community leisure. The first floor includes an art gallery, an auditorium, and a computer room. The second floor comprises studios for children's fine arts and music classes as well as a recreational room where the elderly can spend time playing chess and other board games. Samuelian's original artworks are being displayed prominently throughout the Center.
Armenia Fund, Inc., is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation established in 1994 to facilitate large-scale humanitarian and infrastructure development assistance to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Armenia Fund, Inc. is the U.S. Western Region affiliate of â€śHayastanâ€ť All-Armenian Fund. Tax ID# 95-4485698