Remembrance service, book launch, and art exhibition on Saturday, December 9
On Saturday, December 9, the first anniversary of the passing of Hrach Lukassian will be marked with a remembrance service at St. Mary’s Armenian Church in Glendale, California, beginning at 11:30 am. The service will be followed by the launch of a newly-published book in honor of Lukassian as well as an exhibition of his photographs and paintings, during a reception that will take place at the adjacent Glendale Youth Center.
Hrach Lukassian was a man of many talents. A naturalist, mountain climber, photographer, and artist, he traveled throughout the globe, climbed some of the world’s highest mountains — including Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp, Ararat, Damavand, and Whitney — and took thousands of breathtaking photographs of the wondrous places he visited. Lukassian’s art encompasses intricate watercolors of Armenian churches, birds, and other animals, as well as museum-quality handicrafts, including nature-inspired sculptures and backgammon sets. A large selection of his creations, comprising nature photographs and various watercolors, will be on view at the December 9 event.
Lukassian was also a beloved humanitarian and community volunteer. A lifelong supporter of the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR), he regularly photographed its events and donated many of his artworks to the organization for raising funds through silent auctions. In recognition of his extraordinary dedication to ABMDR’s life-saving mission, he received the ABMDR Special Pride Award in 2014. Lukassian was likewise a noted supporter of the Glendale Police Department, greatly contributing to its archives with his photography of various public events. In addition to recognizing Lukassian’s work with Certificates of Appreciation during his lifetime, the Glendale Police Department posthumously honored him with a special ceremony and the placement of his name on a remembrance plaque.
This year, Hrach Lukassian’s family published a volume of photographs, artworks, and memories in celebration of his life and multifaceted work. Titled Hrach Lukassian: At Home in the World, the book was released in November.
A large-format, full-color book printed on high-quality stock, Hrach Lukassian: At Home in the World includes a dazzling selection of Lukassian’s photographs, with subjects ranging from the California Sierras and Yellowstone National Park to lakes, creeks, waterfalls, forests, mountains, and natural monuments throughout California, Arizona, and Utah. Other photography chapters feature Lukassian’s loving tributes to trees, flowers, autumn, and winter.
The book includes substantial sections dedicated to Lukassian’s mountain-climbing expeditions, and the many voyages of discovery which he embarked on with his wife and children. Among the highlighted journeys are those to Armenia, Western Armenia, Artsakh, Africa, the Central and Southern Americas, Jordan, Russia, and Alaska.
These sections are complemented by chapters devoted to Lukassian’s paintings and hand-crafted wood creations; his work as a tool-maker, industrial photographer, and trade-show organizer; his involvement in community and humanitarian causes; and his fondly remembered legacy as a devoted husband and father.
As Dr. Vergine Madelian, a member of the ABMDR Board of Directors, has written, “Hrach lived his life as a rich man: rich in interests, rich in talent, and rich in experiences.”
Copies of Hrach Lukassian: At Home in the World will be available for guests attending the December 9 book presentation and art exhibition. Guests will also be welcome to make contributions in memory of Hrach Lukassian. All proceeds will be donated to the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry.
St. Mary’s Armenian Church is located at 500 South Central Avenue, Glendale. The Glendale Youth Center is located at 211 West Chestnut Street, Suite 302, next to St. Mary’s Armenian Church. Parking will be available at the church parking lot.