By Heghineh Gevorgyan
Armenian American painter and community activist Daniel Varoujan Hejinian has been awarded with the Medal of Gratitude by the President of the Republic of Armenia and the Gold Medal from the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia.
In September of this year (2016), digital billboards with congratulatory messages dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Independence of the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh appeared in different cities in the State of Massachusetts.
The author of the digital displays was Armenian American painter and community activist Daniel Varoujan Hejinian, who at the same time, in September, was in Armenia to participate in the celebrations dedicated to the Republic of Armenia’s Independence Day.
These electronic billboards portray the Cascade Complex of Yerevan, with the symbol of Armenia’s renaissance, Tsitsernakaberd, the Armenian Genocide Memorial, Mount Ararat and the triumphant eagle with its’ wings in the color of the national flag of Artsakh, by which the artist portrays the liberation of Artsakh, which is the most significant achievement of the Armenian nation.
“On behalf of myself and the “Peace of Art” organization, I am offering my congratulations for the 25th anniversary of the Independence of Armenia and Artsakh by displaying six electronic billboards on the busiest highways of the State of Massachusetts, with the desire to engage Diaspora Armenians and many people of different cultural backgrounds in the celebrations dedicated to the Independence of the twin republics of Armenia and Artsakh and thereby strengthen the bond between Armenia and the Diaspora,” stated the founding president of the benevolent organization, “Peace of Art”, Daniel Varoujan Hejinian.
“Peace of Art” (www.peaceofart.org) Is a non-profit organization. Founded in 2003, by the artist Daniel Varoujan Hejinian, which uses art as an educational tool to bring awareness to the universal human condition and promote peaceful solutions to conflict, accepting as pivotal the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide and also the increase of Armenia’s reputation abroad. By frequently displaying such billboards, the organization promotes the strengthening of the Armenia-Diaspora relations, such as the billboard to welcome the President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan’s on his visit to Boston, as well as the billboard dedicated to the Four-Day War in Artsakh, entitled “Support the Peaceful Solutions of the Conflict in Artsakh”.
In 2015, Peace of Art, Inc. launched its Centennial genocide awareness billboard campaign, “100 Billboards for 100 Years of Genocide,” in the U.S. and Canada to commemorate not only the victims of the Armenian Genocide but also the victims of all genocides.
On September 20th, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Armenia, Daniel Varoujan Hejinian was awarded the Medal of Gratitude by President Sarkisian, for his contributions to the strengthening of Armenia-Diaspora relations and preservation of the Armenian identity and his outstanding achievements in the spheres of culture and the arts. He was also awarded a Gold Medal by the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia for his services rendered to the Armenian homeland, granted to him by the Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan on October 11th.
It is important to mention that in 2015, on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Armenia, Daniel Varoujan Hejinian was awarded by the President of the Republic of Armenia with the Movses Khorenatsi Medal for his Armenian patriotic works. And in 2014, he was honored with the Arshile Gorky Medal by Armenia’s Ministry of the Diaspora at the occasion of his personal exhibition, organized by the Ministry of Diaspora in the National Gallery of Armenia.