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Harry Pisoyan Takuhi Akopyan
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I sat down with Takuhi Akopyan recently to talk about her upcoming art exhibit and how she was inspired 20 years ago to create these one of a kind, unique works of art. She proceeded to tell a story from her childhood in an enthusiastic and her ever present theatrical voice and manner. “As a child all I wanted to do was paint in bright and vivid colors” she said, “but this was during WWII in Greece” needless to say times were tough in Europe at the time and her parents had more important things to worry about, she explained. Takuhi was able to get her hands on some paper and a pencil and drew every chance she got. Later she would close her eyes and envision all the colors she wanted to in those black and white, shaded drawing.
Takuhi was in her late teens when the family moved to Armenia and she still wanted to study art, but her talent on stage took her on a different path and she ended up in acting school where she went on to succeed in her theatrical career. Even then she always had a sketch pad and drew portraits of her fellow actors and actresses. Takuhi has always seen those colors from her childhood, throughout her life and in her dreams. Bright and vivid colors swirling in every direction in her head as if always trying to get her attention.

Some 20 years ago as she was flipping through the pages of a magazine, she noticed the beautiful colors once again, in all the pictures throughout the pages. “It came to me just like that!” she says as she snaps her fingers to indicate the quickness of her thought, “I thought why let these great colors go to waste, why not use them to create something even greater.” She started working on a little collage project as a gift for a friend, cutting small pieces of the colored papers and pasting them on a picture to create flowers, then mountains and then a river. Slowly the picture she had started with was covered with tiny cutouts of colors and had transformed into an entirely different image. This was the birth of her new passion. For a person with such diverse talents, from singing and acting to writing poetry and now this, a new layer of her creativity was exposed and she once again found her muse and a process through which she could play with colors. “I could see all the images in my mind and all the colors that have danced in my imagination for years come together as I created this collage” she expressed. “I couldn’t work fast enough to pour all that was inside of me out onto paper and create these colorful images” she continued as her eyes widened and sparkled from excitement. She had found a new love in her life, recycling colors.

Fast forward 20 years and at 82 Takuhi finds herself surrounded with countless frames adorning her walls with images she has created over the past years. Her works ranging from beautiful faces, to interesting and expressive characters, magical places and colorful flowers, so much color and all created by her through her imagination, memories, experiences and emotions. It took her countless hours, many a sleepless nights, cutting, pasting and always improving the process through trial and error. Every piece is created solely from recycled materials, each image starts out as nothing more than a cardboard, through her vision, patience and thousands of pieces of colorful papers, through months of pasting these pieces in just the right places, and a unique work of art is born. Full of color, depth, light and texture. One must get up close to realize that this is no ordinary painting of oil, or acrylic or watercolors, but simply paper, given new life to become something greater.

“I want to show children and adults as well that there is a way to express themselves with their artistic abilities and talent without buying expensive canvases, paints and brushes” she said so passionately and "all that is needed are sheets of torn pages with color on them, some glue, imagination and an eager artistic mind."
-- Mari Mansourian

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