ENGLEWOOD, NJ; WATERTOWN — The Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA) of the United States and Canada invited literary and art critic Yervand Ter-Khachatryan to come from Armenia to the United States to present the memoirs of painter and Van political activist Panos Terlemezian, which were newly published with TCA sponsorship.
Ter-Khachatryan spoke at events in New Jersey and Watertown. Despite the fact that summer time means many are away, both events had good attendance. A third presentation, organized by the TCA chapter of Los Angeles, will take place on the evening of August 16 at St. Gregory Armenian Catholic Church in Glendale.
On the evening of August 4, the Tekeyan Cultural Association of Greater New York held its literary evening at its Englewood Cliffs center. Secretary of the TCA Central Board Hagop Vartivarian introduced Ter-Khachatryan, providing information about his life and works. Ter-Khachatryan, who wrote the forward and annotations to the memoirs, spoke in detail about its contents. He described the value of Terlemezian’s literary language, which uses the Van dialect, and his firsthand descriptions of daily life as well as of the Armenagan political movement in Van. He depicted Terlemezian’s advancement in the world of painting, including studies in Paris and St. Petersburg.
Terlemezian became familiar with prominent Armenians like Mgrdich Portukalian, Khrimian Hayrig, Mgrdich Avedisian (Terlemezian) and Gomidas, and wrote about them in his memoirs. The memoirs were written late in his life, during the period of Stalin’s repressions. Out of caution, they remained safely hidden away in manuscript form in the State Art Museum until they were published this year.
Five original paintings by Terlemezian were exhibited during this evening. Four were loaned by TCA executive member Carmen Gulbenkian, and one by art specialist Krikor Markarian. Furthermore, four members of the new generation of the Terlemezian family from New York came to listen to the lecture. Afterwards, Ter-Khachatryan signed copies of the newly published volume and spoke with many of the guests.
Three days later, on Sunday, August 6, Ter-Khachatryan spoke at St. James Armenian Church in Watertown, which cosponsored his local book presentation. Fr. Arakel Aljalian welcomed the guests, and then invited TCA Executive Director Aram Arkun to introduce the speaker. Ter-Khachatryan provided a concise introduction to Terlemezian’s life and works, and inspired many present to obtain copies of the memoirs.