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New Exhibit at the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art Focuses on Civic Action.

The Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art (otherwise known as ACCEA or NPAK in Armenian acronym) aims at encouraging and promoting the art of contemporary and avant-garde Armenian artists and exposing their work to an international audience. It also fosters a partnership between Armenians in the Diaspora and those involved in Armenia’s art community. Edward and Sonia Balassanians, originally from Iran, founded ACCEA in 1992.

ACCEA’s current exhibit called “Toy of the Idle Time”opened on November 16 and will remain open until March 2011. Exhibition curator Seda Shekoyan recently became the center’s director of the department of fine arts. This past spring, Seda organized the 12th Annual Alternative Art Festival, "Spying on Armenia” at ACCEA.

“The Center gives a platform to young artists to exhibit and perform experimental art. In Armenia it is hard to find such institutions, which provide opportunity and space to the artists to exhibit their art, free of charge and without restrictions,” said Seda.

During a recent conversation, Seda shared her views about “Toy of the Idle Time,” which focuses on social and civic action, “Initially, it was hoped that we could provide a forum for young artists and activists who could to meet and try to inspire social action through art. The exhibition itself was the artists’ response to recent incidents in Armenia, such as the recent Army suicides. Essentially it shows that it is more important what you do, and how you act than what happens to you. This distinguishes you as an activist.”

ACCEA has an 18-year history and the center remains current in Armenia, in terms of its mission and activities. Yet, as any institution made for the arts, it is always hungry for new ideas, projects, formats and enthusiastic input, as well as financial support, according to Seda.

Prior to the Toy of the Idle Time exhibition, the One Square Meter theater festival was held at ACCEA in early November. Each year ACCEA organizes theater and cinema festivals as well as educational projects, including free classes on cinema, graphics, etc. Plans for next year’s projects include a workshop on art criticism and journalism. Next year, individual exhibitions of foreign artists will be organized in the Center.

Learn more about ACCEA and the Toy of the Idle Time exhibit:

View Toy of the Idle Time exhibit’s Facebook page.

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