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Special Event

Opening Program—Janyak: Armenian Art of Knots and Loops

April 23, 2023 | 2:00PM - 4:30PM



Join us for an afternoon of art and music. Following a tour of Janyak: Armenian Art of Knots and Loops by exhibition curator Gassia Armenian and opening remarks by UCLA’s Narekatsi Chair of Armenian Studies Peter Cowe, enjoy one of Armenia’s leading folk singers, Hasmik Harutyunyan, who will perform with UCLA ethnomusicology candidate Armen Adamian, who will play the duduk, a traditional woodwind instrument. Light refreshments will be served in the courtyard. 

2:30 pm: Opening remarks

3:00 pm: Exhibition walk-through

3:30 pm: Musical performance

This program is co-sponsored by the Armenian Music Program at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

Armen Adamian is a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at UCLA. His research examines the aesthetic dimensions and political implications of folk music in the post-Soviet Republic of Armenia. Alongside his academic work, Adamian is the co-founder and artistic director of the LA-based Armenian folk revival ensemble Lernazang, and instructor of UCLA’s Armenian Music and Dance Ensemble.

Gassia Armenian is the curatorial and research associate at the Fowler Museum at UCLA, where she conducts collections research and facilitates curatorial and scholarly endeavors. She also liaises with domestic and international institutions, private collectors and lenders to the Fowler, and manages various aspects of planning and organizing the museum’s exhibitions and publications. Over the past 25 years, Gassia has helped to mount many exhibitions at the Fowler. Prior to that, she served as a consultant and project coordinator for the U.S. Agency for International Development for Junior Achievement of Armenia, developing and implementing civics education training programs and teaching methodologies.

Peter Cowe is Narekatsi Distinguished Professor of Armenian Studies and director of the UCLA Center for World Languages. His research interests include: Late Antique and medieval Armenian intellectual history, the Armenian kingdom and state formation across the medieval Mediterranean, Muslim-Christian dialogue, and modern Armenian nationalism. The author of five books in the field and editor of 10, he is the past co-editor of the Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies and has served on the executive board of the Society for Armenian Studies and Association Internationale des Études Arméniennes. A recipient of the Garbis Papazian Award for Armenology, he has been inducted into the Accademia Ambrosiana, Milan and awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the Russian-Armenian University of Armenia.

Hasmik Harutyunyan is a renowned singer of Armenian folk music and a Meritorious Artist of the Republic of Armenia. A student of folk revivalist Hayrik Muradyan, Harutyunyan was a member of the Akunq Azgagrakan Ensemble and is a co-founder of the Shoghaken Folk Ensemble. She has recorded several albums for Traditional Crossroads of New York and Face Music of Switzerland. Her record Armenian Lullabies was recognized by the New York Times as one of the best world music recordings in 2004. Hasmik has published a collection of Armenian lullabies titled, Ororner–Lullabies, and a collection of traditional Armenian folk songs for children titled, Arev, Arev, Yek, Yek. Currently, Hasmik is mentoring the LA-based ensemble Lernazang and directing workshops for UCLA’s Armenian Music and Dance Ensemble. 


Vital Matters: Stories of Belief
Vital Matters programs explore objects that arouse devotion, awe, or serenity; mediate relationships between human and spiritual realms; and are of vital importance to the cultural heritage of individuals and communities. This series accompanies the new digital educational initiative Vital Matters: Stories of Belief—a platform for sharing different perspectives on devotional works at the Fowler Museum.

Image credit: Marie Pilibossian, Armenian needle lace, early to mid-20th century; thread and needle used as a knotting tool; Fowler Museum at UCLA, X80.1162; Gift of Marie Pilibossian


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