AGBU Vatche & Tamar Manoukian High School

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First Semester Finals, Tuesday-Thursday, December 17-19

Armenia through an ODAR’s Perspective

Mr. Perez welcomed us with the words “Bar-ev, inch-pes eq.” At the exhibition hall, we were able to explore the photographs presented throughout the gallery and discover the beautiful cultural landscape of Armenia and Artsakh. We also had the opportunity to speak to the photographer Jason Perez, about his various projects. He also told us his experiences after six visits to Armenia.
 
Mr. Perez displayed his many drones and cameras that his team used to capture the images seen in the gallery and explained the production process. We were given an exciting surprise when we were able to try on virtual reality goggles that gave a 3-D tour of the Geghard monastery. In his vivid photographs, I could see the ancient faces of our land and smell and taste its rich and enduring heritage. In two instances, the colors of both Lake Sevan and Noravank were so unusual; I was convinced that the country is surreal. After all, I understood that, Mr. Perez is no ODAR. He captured the character of Armenia’s ancient landscape and people very well, one shot at a time, from the Soviet era architectural relics to the ancient “oorts” (thyme) fields in the southern province of Syuniq. He truly captured the spirit of our land.
 
After a group photo session, Mr. Perez signed two copies of “ODAR” for us. It is a beautifully printed album of most of his Black and White photographs.
 
The L.A. Discovery Club is led by its advisor Mr. Norayr Daduryan. We visit various artistic and historical sites around Los Angeles. The focus is to educate students through visual arts and architecture. Our next trip is to the cultural landmarks of Los Angeles, including Broad Museum, MOCA, and the Last Bookstore, not to forget the historic Grand Central market for a delicious snack.
 
Natalie Benneian