Armenian Orthodox Church in Georgia- February 2015
The personal exhibition of honored artist Giovanni Vepkhvadze’s oil paintings entitled “My Tbilisi” was opened on February 6. Calouste Gulbenkian Hall at the “Hayartun” Center of the Diocese lacked sufficient space to admit all the visitors of that interesting and nostalgic exhibition.
30 paintings of changing and almost disappearing old Tbilisi, illustrating Avlabari, Meidani, Sheitan-bazar, sulfur baths, old entrances, Italian yards, kintos and feasting residents of Tbilisi. Art enthusiasts, Tbilisi residents of different nationalities were observing the paintings wistfully and warmly recalling old Tbilisi.
The head of the “Hayartun” Center, Levon Chidilyan, has opened the exhibition and proudly noted the fact of opening famous artist Giovanni Vepkhvadze’s first personal exhibition in the “Hayartun” Center.
The president of the Union of Armenian Painters in Georgia, miniaturist Meruzhan Shahumyan, proclaimed Vepkhvadze an “essayist of painting”, whose works, created by all shades of colors and skillful movements of artist’s brush, are full of sense. Famous arts critic, Alexander Piradov highlighted two main themes of Giovanni Vepkhvadze’s paintings: old Tbilisi views and realistic still life pieces of art. Great icon-painter, Mikheil Mchedlishvili named Giovanni Vepkhvadze’s paintings “Life in Art”, because of their realistic nature.
The editor of “Vrastan” (“Georgia”) newspaper Van Baiburtyan, poet and translator Anahit Bostanjyan, actor Robert Hovhannisyan, historian Enok Tadevosyan, musician Artem Kirakozov and many others named him true resident of Tbilisi, defender of Armenian-Georgian friendship, a man devoted to his city, great and talented artist, a master of declamation, an author of artworks, which are translated in different languages.
Giovanni Vepkhvadze mentioned that Tbilisi theme inspired him, he painted different periods of time, on various occasions, sometimes in order to reproduce the beauty, sometimes to preserve the parting trace of daily routine, and that was the expression of his love for his city. He expressed his gratitude to the Armenian Diocese in Georgia and to the Union of Armenian Painters in Georgia for appreciating his works and for organizing the personal exhibition.
At the end the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, expressed his appreciation and said that Giovanni Vepkhvadze is a kind and faithful man, whose art is inspired by love. His Grace referred to one and a half million victims who were killed as martyrs by Ottoman Empire, and Georgia was one of the first counties who hosted the survivors. They and their next generations made efforts and contributed with love to the development and beatification of this city. His Grace encouraged everyone to pay homage to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in April.
Giovanni Vepkhvadze’s “My Tbilisi” Exhibition will continue until February 14.