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Welcome to the Cafesjian Center for the Arts!

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Nov. 11th, 2009 | 05:10 pm

The building that is already open as Cafesjian Art Center for many years has been a place of interest in the city of Yerevan. I wonder if the dream of the famous Armenian architect Alexander Tamanyan is now turned into reality?

Tamanyan wished to join the central and Nothern areas of the city, that is to say the historically inhabited and cultural centers. These two areas were planned to be joined by a large territory of waterfalls and gardens and this territory was to rush down from the highest hills of the city. Unfortunately, the architect did not manage to realize his project and only in 1970s the main architect of Yerevan Jim Torosyan gave a new life to this project. However, this again was not to take the construction of the monument to its culmination. It was only in 2002 that Mr. Gerard Cafesjian cooperating with the Municipality of Yerevan and also with the Government of the Republic of Armenia undertook the recently completed construction of Cascade. It took seven years to make a reality out of a miracle, it took seven years to reconstruct Cascade and to turn it into one of the world’s outstanding contemporary art centers. It took seven years to make Armenian people and guests all over the world believe that we have a wonderful monument that could undoubtedly serve as an assembly place for all those who love art, who live in art, who appreciate this remaining value.

During those seven years the monument was basically reconstructed and the main part of it was completely altered and turned into an art center that now bares the name of its main benefactor Gerard Cafesjian. It serves to bring the best of contemporary art to Armenia.

No words will ever do to describe the emotions and the surprise that conveyed the fairy evening of the 7th of November, the day of the opening ceremony of the Cafesjian Center of the Arts that was accompanied by unforgettable fireworks display. On the 8th of November at exactly 10:00 am the public was invited to celebrate the official opening ceremony of the Cafesjian Center of the Arts that was accompanied by the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Inspired by the vision of its founder, Mr. Gerard Cafesjian, the center offers a wide variety of exhibitions, the majority of which are derived from Mr. Cafesjian’s own extensive collection of contemporary art. However, let’s not hurry…

Such internationally recognized figures as Fernando Botero, Lynn Chadwick, Jaume Plensa and Barry Flanagangot mixing their bright imagination with years’ hard work created the Tamanyan Sculpture Park that is located at the base of the Cascade. It presents one of the world’s finest collections of monumental sculpture.

The Visitor Center is located at the ground floor of the Cascade. Here you can buy tickets to many events that are going to be held in the Cafesjian Center for the Arts. Here you will always be welcomed by the friendly staff and all your questions will get quick answers in different languages.

As soon as you enter the building adjacent to the Visitor Center Gallery One is located demonstrating a variety of exhibitions. The part of the exhibited objects pertain to Mr. Cafesjian’s private collection. Here a large-screen media display provides informational videos about Armenian artists and their artworks not only in Armenia but throughout the world.
Museum Store should also be mentioned as far as it includes not only merchandise from all over the world but also demonstrates unique artworks by such well-known artists as Dale Chihuly, Andy Warhol and Isamu Noguchi.
No one can stay indifferent to Khanjyan Hall representing such important events from the Armenian history as the creation of the Armenian Alphabet, the Battle of Vardanank and The Rebirth of Armenia.

In this building one can also admire the masterpieces of the world glass art, the artworks of the Czech glass artists Stanislav Libensky (1921-2002) and Jaroslava Brychtova. The artworks are located in the Sasuntsi Davit Hall and will remain there for a while. The art center also includes Sasuntsi Davit Garden Hall and Eagle Hall and the Special Events Auditorium offering the city’s premier venue for the best in classical, jazz and pop music.

The Eagle Garden Hall represents an exhibition entitled In the Mind of the Collector. The lovers of eclectic art can enjoy the amazing collection of objects, ranging from a 28-foot model of a ship on which Mr. Gerard Cafesjian served in the Pacific during World War II, to a rare 1906 Model N Ford Runabout, and a working model of a Wabash steam locomotive.
In 2007 Swarovski Cristal palace invited 18 international designers and artists to create a new approach of chandeliers. New York architectural studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro reacted creating their scandalous “Light Socks.” This is a completely new and modern approach of chandeliers that have also been brought to Yerevan and are now located in one of the halls of the art center.

The miracle of these two days will stay with me for a long time. This miracle will surely stay with all those who had a chance to be a part of these events.

“I’m extremely happy to be present at the opening ceremony of the museum and once more have a chance to be with you my dear Armenian nation. The idea of the construction of the center is the logical continuation of my great love to art and of the desire to find the best future for my art collections,” was mentioned in Gerard Cafesjian’s speech.

I think the city of Yerevan really deserves to have such wonderful events and the great fete that Mr. Cafesjian and all the organizers presented to the city. Art and culture are values that must be preserved. Such events are more than important to give people opportunities to be close to art.

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