Shahe Mankerian and Hovsepian School students

CANOGA PARK, Calif. — Under the auspices of Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, with the collaboration of the Tekeyan Cultural Association, Zvartnots Cultural Committee, the Armenian General Benevolent Union and the Armenian International Women’s Association, an evening of remembrance dedicated to the writings, music, and art of Tamar Asadourian was held on Thursday, May 25 at the Agajanian Auditorium of the AGBU Manoogian – Demirdjian School.

Dr. Simon Simonian

The evening was a reflection on I Remember You, My Future, a substantial collection of Tamar’s poems, short prose pieces and artwork assembled posthumously by her loving family and just recently published by the Naregatsi Art Institute of Yerevan.

Sam Ekizian

The program was pulled together masterfully by Sam Ekizian, who introduced Dr. Simon Simonian, chair of the Zvartnots Cultural Committee to present this world of culture to the audience.

Silva Katchiguian

Silva Katchiguian, president of the Armenian International Women’s Association, presented Asadourian through her writings. “Tamar’s observational skills as a poet and artist come alive in the sequence of vibrations that make up a symphony of words in her poetry and prose. She was born with an impressionable soul that responds to her environment, the universe and God,” said Katchiguian.

Vatche Mankerian

Tamar’s music, and in particular a recording of her 1996 performance (at the time she was 16 years young) at Carnegie/Weill Hall, mesmerized the audience, while Dr. Vatche Mankerian, a multifaceted pianist/composer gave a compelling analysis of Tamar’s talent and devotion to music.

Nathan Aivazian

Lilit Keheyan brought out the beauty of Tamar’s soul and essence unfolding in the mysterious world of nature and in her deep reverence for God. “She is a living expression of nature, carrying within her soul the commonality of humankind and the universe,” said Keheyan.

Lilit Keheyan

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Shahe Mankerian, author and principal of the St. Gregory A&M Hovsepian School, created a dialogue and immersed the audience into the world of the muses which inspired the young Tamar to deeply probe and understand nature’s closeness both to humankind and to the mysticism of God.

Asadourian’s drawings and artwork displayed throughout the book and on stage were reviewed by curator Caroline Tufenkian, owner and director of Tufenkian Fine Arts. She impressed upon the audience Tamar’s skills as an artist and her ability to draw from life with enhanced observational skills and imaginative expression. “Detail oriented, yet simple in expression, there is depth and harmony in her drawings which are Tamar’s true perspective of self,” explained Tufenkian.

Archbishop Hovnan Derderian

“Tamar’s short-lived life journey was on a silk road connected by an unbreachable chain to the Creator,” said Archbishop Derderian in his closing remarks. “This uniquely structured evening inspired by Tamar’s works should be encouraged in all schools to motivate other youth to understand, become sensitized to the arts and express in all forms of art (music, drawing, prose of poetry) their connection to their inner spirit and faith.”

Photo of Tamar Asadourian displayed at the event

The entire evening brought about in the audience a thirst for life. The struggles of the life that Tamar lived heroically was shared in such beauty through her gift of the arts and was felt even deeper through the love she encapsulated for all humanity.

While her life was short-lived (1980-2020), her creativity will not be. Tamar Asadourian will continue to be remembered.

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