Nina Festekjian

Nina Festekjian

The opening ceremony of the second annual Armenia Art Fair took place in Yerevan Expo Center on May 31. 35 galleries and curators exhibited contemporary artists from Armenia, Iran, Belarus, Ukraine, Israel, USA, Spain and UK during the four days of the fair. From May 25 to June 2 Art Week was first introduced, a new format which stands for series of discussions on the topics of new art markets, the connection between art and new technologies, art and data.

Regional post met  the founding director of Armenia Art Fair Nina Festekjian during the opening ceremony and asked her some questions.


Interview Margarit Mirzoyan

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Nina Festekjian with Ed Weber, director of Weber-Lutgen Galeria at Armenia Art Fair 2019


According to Ms. Festekjian, they choose the format of an art fair in order to be exposed to the region as in her opinion,  to become known as a nation, Armenia needs something bigger than separate exhibitions of talented artists around the town or even in other continents.They wanted to go big, engage other countries and world class galleries as exhibitions are done all around the world  but Armenia as a nation is very rich with its artists, and it would be a mistake not to expose them both on regional and international levels.They wanted to bring many visitors and artists from abroad and to make Armenia an “art hub” for the region. This was the core idea behind the desire of Nina Festekjian and the co-founding director of the fair Zara  Ouzounian- Halpin, to have an art fair.


“ It would become a commercial platform like Art Basel or Art Dubai, not as big, this is more like an art boutique art fair,”  says Ms. Festekjian.


First year it was hard to bring people from abroad as no one knew what they are doing. Who’s behind the art fair? Who are the sponsors? These were the questions everyone would ask. But this year, everyone knew the calibre of the project so the number of applicants positively changed.


“This year, the number of participants and visitors doubled and now everyone knows who does it and what is it,” indicated Ms. Festekjian


The founder noted that this year’s fair highly exceeded  the previous one but there’s a still need for a lot of work. The fair will be annual  and will continue gathering artists and galleries from all over the world, to introduce Armenia to them and to showcase their works to the Armenian audience.