Last week I attended the second edition of Armenia Art Fair which for a few days brought contemporary art from around the world to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. 35 galleries from different countries, including Armenia, Iran, UK, USA, Ukraine and Belarus, had the opportunity to showcase their art, as well as exchange expertise and experience.

Besides attending the fair, I also visited some of my favourite art venues in the city. With love and excitement I present to you – my highlights from art around the city of Yerevan:

Lusik Aguletsi House-Museum and Art Cafe:

Views from Lusik Aguletsi House-Museum and Art Cafe

House-Museum of famous Armenian painter and ethnographer, ‘keeper of Armenian culture’ Lusik Aguletsi opened its doors for visitors last April. Located in one of the suburbs of Yerevan not too far from the city centre, it looks like an old Armenian house on the outside. However it’s what’s inside that makes the Aguletsi Museum a must-visit location in Yerevan. Antique decorative objects, ancient pieces of jewellery, a collection of rare books, dresses, carpets and paintings, the warm hospitality of the hosts, most of whom are family of the Armenian legend, are what make the museum unique and unlike anything seen or experienced before.

Sergei Parajanov Museum:

Views from the Sergei Parajanov Museum

Sergei Parajanov was a film director and artist, whose creative influence has made a significant contribution to the development of Soviet cinema and visual art. His house-museum offers an insight into the life and work of the eccentric master.

Dalan Art Gallery and Cafe:

Views from Dalan Art Gallery and Cafe

Dalan Art Gallery and Cafe on 12 Abovyan St is a shared art and food lover’s  dream. With a quirky exhibition space on the second floor, a cafe in the yard and an open-air gallery, where works by 26 contemporary artists are represented, Dalan is an eye candy for anyone who appreciates art or a nicely prepared and presented meal.

Cafesjian Center for the Arts (Cascade Complex):

Exterior view of Cascade Complex

Located in the heart of Yerevan, Cascade Complex is one of the main sights and places for tourists to enjoy the atmosphere of the capital. The building was conceived by Yerevan’s famous architect Alexander Tamanian, however the plan was only carried out with slight changes in 1980 by another architect Jim Torosyan. Cascade is a giant multi-layer stairway adorned with modernist sculptures and fountains. Inside it houses the Cafesjian Center for the Arts, a museum complex founded by Armenian-American philanthropist Gerard Cafesjian.

Modern Art Museum of Yerevan:

Views from the Modern Art Museum of Yerevan

Established in 1972 by Henrik Igityan, MAMY was the first museum to specialise in modern art in the USSR. Today it owns a vast collection of contemporary art, including works by famous Armenian artists from the last century, as well as the younger generation of artists and painters from Armenia and other parts of the world.

Yerevan Vernissage:

Views from Yerevan Vernissage

Vernissage is a large open-air market in the centre of Yerevan that features works by local artists, jewellers, craftsmen, designers, carpet and furniture  makers, etc. There is almost nothing you can’t find there. It is possible to come across the most unusual and authentic things: from vintage Soviet film (like the 30-year-old ‘Svema’ film I bought the other day) to dolls in Armenian traditional costumes. I strongly recommend visiting the market for buying gifts and souvenirs that will surprise with their originality.

Inna Oganesian

About the guest writer Inna Oganesian:
University of the Arts London alumni, currently about to start an MA in Arts and Cultural Management at King’s College London. Art and music enthusiast. My long-term ambition is to work as an international artist/festival manager.

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All images courtesy indicated in captions.