By Karen S. Kim
DOWNTOWN GLENDALE (Glendale News-Press)– A longtime dream of artist Zadik Zadikian took flight — wheels–rather — Tuesday morning as three flatbed trucks mounted with giant gilded paintings rolled out on Orange Street to the applause and cheers of bystanders.
The three trucks represent Zadikian’s Caravan Project–a mobile public art exhibition that will tour the Los Angeles area for the next seven days.
"It’s unbelievable," Zadikian said. "This is a great release. I have made art all my life–but I’ve never done anything like this. I’m excited and anxious at the same time."
Zadikian’s paintings–six 12-by 24-foot gilded canvases–are enlarged replicas of ancient miniature man’script illustrations from Armenia. The exhibition is expected to eventually tour the state and possibly the country–Zadikian said.
"I hope that–for people who see these–for a little bit of time their minds will be eased and that they’ll take something with them that they haven’t ever before experienced," Zadikian said.
The project was pushed forward with the strong arms of a number of Zadikian’s supporters. Donating supplies and money and lobbying for gran’s–various businesses–agencies and individuals pitched in.
The city’s Redevelopment Agency rented Zadikian an expansive garage on Orange Street for $1 a year. He used the space to create his paintings.
"As Glendale’s mayor–I’m proud to say that Glendale is the new mecca of art in California–and this is the beginning of it," Mayor Rafi Manoukian said at the Caravan Project kickoff Tuesday. "What a great idea of taking art to the people."
A number of elected officials–city dignitaries and community members were on hand Tuesday to lend Zadikian their support. Valery Mkrtoumian–Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles–also thanked Zadikian for sharing Armenia’s culture with the public.
Over the next seven days–the Caravan Project will travel through Pasadena–downtown Los Angeles–the San Fernando Valley–Hollywood–MacArthur Park–Wilshire District–East Los Angeles and the area’s major freeways.
"The wonderful thing about larger-than-life art is the questions and commen’s it will provoke throughout the region," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Glendale) said at the kickoff.
The Opening Ceremony Program also included Hilda Grigorian–Assembly Member Carol Liu–Armond Agakhani representing Assembly Member Dario Frommer–Pres. of the Armenian Chamber of Commerce–Nick Hagopian and musicians Armen Movsisyan–Hovhannes Shahbazyan and Gagik Badalyan.