Arto Tunçboyaciyan

Grammy Award Winning percussionist, vocalist, and composer Arto Tunçboyaciyan was born in August 4, 1957 in Galataria, near Istanbul, the son of a shoemaker of Armenian-Anatolian descent. The greatest musical influence of his life was his brother very famous musician and composer Onno Ohannes Tunçboyaciyan. Onno was not only his brother, but his mentor, friend, supporter and one who encouraged Arto to develop his character.

At the age of 11, he began his career playing and recording traditional Anatolian music with great legendary musicians and his brother,
thus establishing himself as a professional musician throughout Turkey and Europe. In 1981 Arto moved to the United States to find his world, to add his own light to his music and to live the life as free and creative person. Here he performed and recorded with many  great musicians such as Paul Motian, Chet Baker, Joe Zawinul, Arthur Blythe, Wayne Shorter, Dino Saluzzi, Marc Johnson, Al Di Miola, Jim Pepper, Bob Berg, Gerardo Nunez, Mike Stern, Paul Winter, System of a Down, etc.

Later on, Arto started a meaningful cooperation with the Armenian oud player Ara Dinkjian. In 1985 was founded the quartet NIGHT
ARK led by Ara Dinkjian. Arto recorded the duo project with Ara Dinkjian Tears of Dignity (1994) and Onno (1996) homage to his
brother Onno who tragically died in a plane crash in 1996. These compositions were a clear expression of Arto’s memories of his

In 1988, his first solo albums Virginland and Main Root were released.
In 1997 Aile Muhabbeti was released in Turkey and used as a movie soundtrack. Arto composed the songs of this new album with various Armenian and Turkish musicians. In 2000 was brought to life the next album Every Day is a New Life.  Arto devoted his next album Türkce sözlü hafif anadolu müzigi (Light Anatolian music with Turkish words)(with the Armenian Navy Band) to all his Anatolian friends and fans. The album was recorded in the winter of 2001.

In 2003 Armenian Navy Band pianist Vahagn Hayrapetyan and Arto released their first duo project, Love Is Not in Your Mind, a very personal declaration of love – dedicated to his mother. In February of 2005, Arto recorded his new solo-project Artostan – a travel diary through unlimited ways in his world of sounds. In 1998 he founded Armenian Navy Band and created a new expression of our life – the Avant-Garde Folk music (that’s why they call him Mr. Avant Garde Folk), which means without loosing the flavor of your identity you extent your imagination with your experiences.

2007 marked the release of his appropriately named “200 Thoughts 200 Million Meanings Outside Looking In”. The book shares Arto’s experiences and views of life.  Arto has released 2 albums under the group Human Element spring 2011,2018.  The band, comprised of Arto on percussions and vocals, Scott Kinsey on keyboards, Matthew Garrison on electric bass, and Gary Novak on the drums is just the continuation of his musical journey with the same enthusiasm and excitement, saying that, “Curious and imaginative person is excited person.”

Arto’s persistency and dedication to his craft has earned him admirers all over the world. His legend only continues to grow not knowing any borders, color, or religion. 2011 has been a rewarding year for Arto. He recently won a Grammy award for his contributing compositions to Miho: Journey to the Mountain performed by the Paul Winter Consort.

“Music is the time of my life. I don’t give direction to anybody. I let you imagine for yourself, but what I try to give you is Love, Respect, Truth. I believe this is the simplest form of wealth in this world for the path to trust and this is what we need.”

Nina Scholz

Nina Scholz is an architect and founding member of the art/ architect collective Plattformer. Her practice includes architectural interventions and public space ‘repair’ through a participatory approach. Alongside the work with Plattformer she has collected experience working with various architecture practices in London (Lyn Atelier, WWM Architects) as well as while three years co-teaching the diploma unit10 at the Cass of Metropolitan University. Other interests are furniture making, ecological building and sound recording. She’s currently co-presenting a weekly radio show at Radio Kampus FM in Warsaw.
Born in Germany (1975) lives and works in London and Warsaw.

Plattformer Collective’s work is set somewhere between urbanism, public art and social interaction. We often work in areas and places that are in transition.In our projects we strongly believe in enhancing participation, communication and exchange between people of different cultural backgrounds, different ages and abilities. Our current research interest lies in examining and testing what are the parameters for successful hands-on participation and tools for communication and how they can be nurtured at ArtSakh Fest for future collaboration and creative interaction with the local community of Stepanakert city. In collaboration with ArtSakh Fest participants, visitors and local residents of Stepanakert our aim is to explore and challenge how we see and experience our local environment and to discuss possible ways of future interaction that offer alternative everyday experiences.

Agnieszka Dragon

Agnieszka Dragon is a culture practitioner and project coordinator from Poland/UK. Interested in various forms of grassroots activism and narratives, multi-generational and participatory initiatives. Her projects are located on the border between community art, urban gardening and creative work with local communities. She is interested in various ways how to collect stories, create mutual exchanges, how to use mapping, sound recordings and feasting as tool for development and understanding of local identity. She is involved in the movement of opening allotment gardens for local communities. Co-founder of the association of urban activities SAM Rozkwit (Warsaw). Member and project coordinator in Social-Art Association “Nie Po Drodze” (Suwałki). Currently lives and works between London, Warsaw and Suwałki.

Susanna Arakelyan

Susanna Arakelyan creates mixed media artworks, paintings, drawings and media art. By examining the ambiguity and origination via retakes and variations, Susanna seduces the viewer into a world of ongoing equilibrium and the interval that articulates the stream of daily events. Moments are depicted that only exist to punctuate the human drama in order to clarify our existence and to find poetic meaning in everyday life.

An alumina of National Center of the Aesthetics in graphic design and
illustration, she holds a BA in Industrial design from Yerevan State University. In 2000 -2003 she has attended an MFA at Rijksademie van Beeldendale Kunatsten in Amsterdam (NL). Her works are shown in private and gallery collections worldwide. Arakelyan‘s mixed media artworks don‘t reference recognisable form. The results are deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and possible interpretation becomes multifaceted.

By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday
aesthetic of middle class values, she creates intense personal moments
masterfully created by means of rules and omissions, acceptance and refusal, luring the viewer round and round in circles. Her works appear as dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, well-known tropes merge, meanings shift, past and present fuse. Time and memory always play a key role.

Rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination. Her works are based on formal associations which open a unique poetic vein. Multilayered images arise in which the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned.

By applying a poetic and often metaphorical language, she wants to amplify
the astonishment of the spectator by creating compositions or settings that
generate tranquil poetic images that leave traces and balances on the edge of recognition and alienation. Her works never shows the complete structure. This results in the fact that the artist can easily imagine an own interpretation without being hindered by the historical reality. By emphasising aesthetics, she tries to increase the dynamic between audience and author by objectifying emotions and investigating the duality
that develops through different interpretations.

Her works sometimes radiate a cold and latent violence. At times, disconcerting beauty emerges. The inherent visual seductiveness,
along with the conciseness of the exhibitions, further complicates the
reception of their manifold layers of meaning. By applying abstraction, she absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation.

Olivia Hegetschweiler

In Olivia Hegetschweiler‘s artistic works the visitors / spectators become the players. In the created, not common situations, they become part of the scenography. Olivia has a playful approach to the themes like atmosphere, identity, attire and cuisine. Unusual combinations are being formed in her spatial statements. These are always site specific, installative and mostly performative and multisensory. She likes to develop her projects in collaboration with other artists, amongst others with Lea Fröhlicher. Olivia Hegetschweiler made her apprenticeship as a shop- window dresser in an agency for three-dimensional communication in Zürich (Switzerland). Then she was working as a visual merchandiser for an international fashion brand for four years. What she was missing, was to develop her own ideas, therefore she has made the Bachelor of Arts in Scenography at the Zurich University of the
Arts. There she learned to put a given space as an aesthetic medium in scene, to analyse this space and to communicate through sketches, maps, plans and models.

Hasmik Tangyan

Hasmik Tangyan is an art historian, performer, choreographer, dance therapist. She graduated and also got her Master Degree at National Academy of Fine Arts and studied at Institute for Contemporary
Art (ICA Yerevan). She works at ‘My Way’ Educational and Rehabilitation Centre and at Save the Children organization as a dance therapist specialized on children and adults with disabilities (autism, CP, ADHD). Also in 2012 she co founded Art Therapy Centre in Yerevan. In 2012 she founded BA-AR-DI-A Dance Movement Laboratory in the art school after Avet Terteryan and started her experiments in choreography. The laboratory is inclusive, without age limit and specialized for children and adults with disabilities in all groups. With the teenagers and nonprofessional dancers of this laboratory Hasmik produced dance performances and video installations (Vacuum (2012), Schools (2014), Perfume (2014), The Thirst and The Drops (2015), On the Roof (2015), Voteris (2016), I am on you, you are on me (2016), Srban (2016), Pool Party (2016), There is something in
me (2017), The Rocking chair (2017).

Her last performance “Girl is a girl is a girl is a girl” (2017) with performers Mery Bayatyan and Karabina was about the attempts of two girls to digest the accumulated emotions through workouts and famous pop songs.
She collaborated with Roberta Miskowska (Poland), with Duygu Bostanci (Ankara), with Valeria Khripach and Olga Rabetskaya (Minsk), Olia Sosnovskaya (Minsk) and also with local composers and sound artists Vardan Harutyunyan, Arash Azadi and LSD Sound Out Union.

Marcel Mayer

The Swiss artist and printmaker Marcel Mayer was born in Basel (Switzerland) in 1965.  After his apprenticeship (industrial mechanic), he studied at the Basel School of Design (Schule für Gestaltung Basel, Fachklasse für Originaldruckgrafik, 1991–94). Since 1994, Marcel Mayer is the head of the professional printing studio “druckwerk“ in Basel (letterpress, woodcut, intaglio and lithography). Since 2006, he organizes workshops and in its own artistic practice he focuses on printmaking, book making and poster design. Works by Marcel Mayer have been showcased in solo and group exhibitions in Switzerland, Germany, and Canada since 1990. His works can be found in private and public collections in Switzerland, Germany, Canada and Japan.

Lilit Antonyan

Լիլիթ Անտոնյանը անկախ համադրող է, կրթությամբ իրավաբան։ «Ավետիք Ալավերդյան. Գույնը իբրև կիրք» անհատական ցուցահանդեսը եղել է նրա ԺԱԻ ավարտական աշխատանքը։ Համադրած վերջին նախագիծը Ամերիկացի արվեստագետ Քենդի Չանի «Խոստովանություններ» հանրային ինտերակտիվ ինստալացիան է։ Արվեստային հետաքրքրությունների թիրախում վերացական արվեստի ժամանակակից խնդիրներն են։


Joseph Zakarian

Joseph Zakarian started performing and mixing at the age of 14. Though born and raised in Jordan, it was a seven-year stint in his native Armenia where he refined his skill for mixing. Years of club hopping ’til dawn, mixing to different crowds in Yerevan culminated in one of the biggest highlights of his career so far: performing at the pan Armenian games before hundreds of thousands from all over the world. Joseph also performed at events in Manchester, Beirut, Los Angeles and Miami.