“The Artist in His Garden,” by Ann Hablanian, oil on canvas, 23 by 20”

By Ann (Gina) Hablanian

WATERTOWN – Recently I was informed that my painting titled “The Artist in His Garden” of Sam Barber, a known Cape Cod American Impressionist, was accepted by the newly renovated Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts for a members’ exhibition from November 17 through January 28, 2022.

Before the pandemic, I had sought out Sam Barber in my desire to re-enter the art world and explore the Cape Cod art scene. I had heard much about him from my former neighbor, painter Eleanor Ferri Jones. While accompanying her to art events, she also introduced me to the Cape Cod Fine Arts Museum in Dennis, a gem of a museum. Two of my paintings have since been shown there. About a year ago I accidentally encountered a third one exhibited among the museum’s favorite portraits.

When I wrote to Sam he graciously accepted to see me and to introduce me in a few short lessons to the basics of Impressionist painting. I shall always be grateful for his encouragement. He showed me also his garden, which he and his wife Janie tend with such loving care. My first Impressionist-style painting above of the artist in his garden is the result.

Suddenly it occurred to me that there is a three-way connection here — a common trauma that links most refugees to each other. For the majority of Armenians, the main reason, directly or indirectly, that any of us are in the United States has a basis in the Armenian Genocide of 1915. For me the following tragedy of Stalin’s purges and World War II upheavals is the more recent overlaying one.

For Sam, who is part Armenian, perhaps his new-to-be published art book will clarify his pathway. The Mosesian Center, where this painting is to be exhibited, was funded by an Armenian Genocide survivor and his daughters, Elaine Mosesian and Charleen Onanian. Charles Mosesian established the Euphrates Bakery in Watertown, which for many years was one of a kind. The art center was his and his daughters’ way to give back to the town that had contributed to their survival and prosperity. It struck me how interconnected all our life pathways are.

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