The late Carol Boyajian

CHICAGO — The Myron and Carol Boyajian Fine Arts Scholarship committee will award two $1,000 scholarships in 2024 to two students of Armenian heritage, having at least one Armenian parent or grandparent.

Previous awardees are Alex Koceyan, now a student at the Detroit School of Fine Arts in Detroit, and Tatevik Kocharyan, who is in a Master’s Degree program at the Longy School of Music, in Cambridge, Mass.

The scholarship was created by Myron Boyajian in honor of his wife, Carol, who passed away in March 2021 after a valiant 9-year fight against GIST cancer. The idea, according to him, is to “pay it forward.”

Carol herself began her college career with a scholarship to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) with academics at the University of Chicago (UoC). Graduating from high school as an awarded student artist, Carol was unable to afford college, and considered joining the Army or Navy to gain an education later on the GI Bill. Her high school art teacher told her to register at the Art Institute and that “things would be taken care of.” Carol never learned the name of her benefactor, but rewarded that confidence by hard work in the arts and her academics. She was granted a full four-year scholarship to SAIC and the UoC after one semester of school. After Carol graduated (with high faculty honors.

Carol occasionally produced abstract works, but her favorite style was representational art. Boyajian’s work can be found in many private and corporate collections. Several pieces of her equine art were selected for the corporate offices of the National Jockey Club, while the Western States Blast Furnace & Coke Oven Association commissioned eight portraits of outgoing presidents and officers, and her commissioned portrait of the Esposito brothers is in the collection of the Hockey Hall of Fame. She was commissioned to provide portraits of the present and former pastors of the Resurrection Lutheran Church of Oak Forest, Ill.

Carol Boyajian had produced many other commissioned works of original art, especially equine and western art, and animal and botanical subjects, as well as portraits. Notably, an animal painting was commissioned for the cover of the prestigious, peer-reviewed, internationally published journal, Biochimica et Biophysics Acta-Biomembranes, August 2009. Boyajian’s painting depicted various organic molecular structures surrounding an amphibian used in medical research. The original painting is now in a collection at the Department of Biochemical Science of the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.

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Carol enjoyed sports and trained vigorously to become an elite, competitive bicycle racer from her mid-30s. Often competing against younger women in some bicycle races, Carol became a multi-time Illinois state champion (both road and track) and in 1984, the Veteran Women’s U.S. National Criterium Champion), Carol brought that same competitive fire and zeal into her work and relished challenges in virtually all media and subjects.

Boyajian was a Certified Illinois art teacher (K-12) and fine artist who loved teaching. She was an Adult Education instructor for Chicago Vocational High School, Homewood-Flossmoor High School, the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District, Rich Township Senior Services, and the Tall Grass Arts Association Art School.

The merit-based scholarships will be awarded to students who have achieved high honors in their area of graphic arts, music, and the written word. Consideration will be given to the student’s artistic accomplishments, artistic talents and community involvement.

Submit applications to: Father Tavit Boyajian (no relation) Saints Joachim and Anne Armenian Apostolic Church, 12600 South Ridgeland Ave., Palos Heights, IL 60463 or at Candidates will be selected by a committee of Church and Diocese clergymen.


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