"Cities of Peace project is of the ultimate importance nowadays: it's a reflection of our thoughts, feelings and desires. This is not just a canvas for us, it's a place where we not only design a visible picture but we also transfer our inner world, love to all humanity, connecting people all over the world, bringing the understanding of the importance of togetherness, equality and mutual understanding."
Maya Aleksanyan, 21, International Relations, Turkish, Yerevan
"Culture is a way of life for people and it helps to construct the foundation for people's values, believes, and choices in life. Culture makes societies unique. Cities of Peace is the culture of humanity, creativity and friendship. It's a message to the world. I'm happy, that the 10-th piece of Ellen Frank collection is dedicated to Armenia,and its people, it encourages us to be stronger in this complicated world."
Ani Tarjumanyan, 21, graphic designer, Yerevan
"I am deeply inspired by the nature of this project, its peaceful aura and aims. The process of the creation of the Cities of Peace Yerevan painting itself was a peace spreading magical ritual, with our talented artistic director Ellen Frank. I believe that this painting includes in it not only the face of Yerevan, but also the spirit of Armenian culture. Painting's transforming power has a lot to say and show to the world."
Magi Shahbazyan, 20, Communications, Media
"First of all I would like to thank Prof. Armen Darbinyan, and Ms. Dalia Lane for inviting an amazing artist Ellen Frank to Yerevan and initiating this charitable art program creating the 10th painting in the collection „Cities of Peace“ and dedicating it to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. This is a huge contribution to the art and history of our country!"
"I came to Ellen Frank’s studio almost five years ago, the summer after my sophomore year of college. As a student of art and literature and exploring many other disciplines as an undergraduate, I could never have envisioned the kind of marriage among history, architecture, peace studies and visual arts that Ellen has created. It is hard to term the experience an internship, because it is really so much more. Along with the other apprentices at her studio, we worked in a collaborative process under Ellen’s direction. In addition to our incredible learning experience, we cooked together, attended community events and really grew into a tightly-knit family.
After the internship, I returned to school, studied art abroad in Florence, Italy, and won a highest honor for my painting thesis. Upon graduating, I moved to Istanbul to travel and teach English. I am currently working in New York in graphic design and sales and pursuing personal art and design projects. My internship at the Ellen Frank Illumination Arts Atelier, while all too brief, remains one of the lasting experiences of my life and a guiding force in the way I view art and the capacity of this timeless art form to truly leave an imprint on our lives, and a mark of beauty on this earth."
Ani Manana Matevossian, 17, Yerevan
" While creating the painting I realized the importance of art in general and our painting in particular from the global viewpoint and scale. I learned how to read a painting in symbols and how to create it with the help of them. I truly realised what it means to transform suffering into hope. "
Arthur Fältskog, 21, International Relations, Tbilisi, Georgia
Being far away from home, among the new people, you unwillingly start to drift away from your origin, habits, in short: you begins to adapt to the new society. And the things that once you have enjoyed seem to become a part of the past "ME".
Since 7 years I have not been painting, considering this occupation as childish and completely unnecessary for the serious adult life. But being in this project, I realised myself in a new way understanding myself in the past. I revealed that, which was unjustly deprived of my attention. Ellen Frank has really made miracle! She has managed to find the key to my soul. She was able to find, understand and tune the talent that I’ve lost, she pampered it as a gardener pampers the rose bushes . She managed to get to my wavelength and tune the harmony in me, as the master tunes the vintage piano. I am amazed at her understanding of each of us, her understanding of the human nature, peace and humanity. I am struck by her emotions and her energy! By her love for an alien culture. It is beyond words ! I think all of us will miss those sunny moments and that special Art - atmosphere that reigned at the studio during this short time."