“Suns of Gusana”: Children Discover the Magic Power of Art!

The village of Gusanagyugh is located in the Shirak region of Armenia. The name comes from the bard Sargis, who once lived there. The word “gusan” means bard or player in Armenian. (In ancient times and the Middle Ages, players were musicians who composed and performed their own music; later they were replaced by bards. Players are similar to the troubadours.)
Based on archaeological remains that were discovered in the village, it is believed that it dates back to the first century. The small fortress in the village is proof of the fact that a king once resided here.
Two fortresses from the Urartian period are also preserved in Gusanagyugh. One of them is known as Akayablur. There are numerous ancient graves, traces of buildings made of cyclopean stones, the St. Astvatsatsin church from the 11th century and other monuments.
Hakob Hovhannisyan‘s “Suns of Gusana” art school is located in this village. H. Hovhannisyan is an artist from Gyumri, who lived and worked for many years in St. Petersburg. In 2008 he returned to Armenia and set up his art studio in Gusanagyugh, a place famous for its particular light and unique energy. The “Hunter of the Last Light” works in nature, surrounded by children who consider him a man who makes magic. The fruitful cooperation between the children and the artist led to the creation of an art class in the village school, thanks to the initiative of Gallery 25 and the school’s director.
Along with the art class there is an exhibition of works by the well-known Gusana artist Ayvaz Avoyan set up in the school. His works have already been exhibited in several well-known galleries and museums worldwide.
Children in this school have the possibility to create and expand their own world, as they can visit art galleries, museums and other cultural centers from time to time. Through films and stories they come into contact with the lives and works of famous artists. Great attention is paid to the development and maintenance of the children’s creativity during art lessons. They are free to be creative and to paint as they like. Master classes and meetings with outstanding personalities, as well as long walks and excursions in Gusanagyugh and other interesting places are also available. The art classes also take place outdoors in a natural environment, which supports the development of a sense of harmony with nature and ecological awareness.
The art works created at “Suns of Gusana” have been exhibited in Gusanagyugh and Gyumri as well as in Japan, Austria and Germany.
At the moment, “Suns of Gusana” represent the brightest spot in the village, with a tendency toward expansion and new opportunities for development. The art class already has numerous friends and supporters, among them the Mirak-Weissbach Foundation, which donated funds for art materials and excursions in 2016 and 2017. For more information about the project, see www.facebook.com/gusanayiarevner.

Suns of Gusana

In November 2016, the pupils at “Suns of Gusana” had the opportunity to participate in a project called ARTerial Road on European Values. As part of this project financed by the European Union, artist Jirka Pfahl from Leipzig travelled to Gyumri and Gusanagyugh, where he worked with the pupils. In addition to giving lectures and master classes, he accompanied them on field trips in the village, where the children collected objects that they later wrapped up and put on show. This was their introduction to the art of Christo Yavashev.
<span style="font:14px Times, Georgia, Courier, serif; ">Jirka Pfahl with pupils on field trip</span> <span style="font:14px Times, Georgia, Courier, serif; ">Gathering objects to be wrapped up</span> <span style="font:14px Times, Georgia, Courier, serif; ">At school with wrapping materials</span> <span style="font:14px Times, Georgia, Courier, serif; ">Objects wrapped up and on display</span> <span style="font:14px Times, Georgia, Courier, serif; ">Jirka Pfahl and pupils in exhibition hall</span> <span style="font:14px Times, Georgia, Courier, serif; ">Christmas time</span> <span style="font:14px Times, Georgia, Courier, serif; ">In the classroom</span> <span style="font:14px Times, Georgia, Courier, serif; ">In the classroom</span>