Nare Hovsepyan (BAEC ’26), Davit Poghosyan (BAB ’27), Meghrie Yaacoubian (BAEC ’26)
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Arshile Gorky Competition Made Possible by Vahé & Lucie Foundation

3 min read

YEREVAN, Armenia In January 2021, Anna Andreasyan (BAEC ’23) and Sona Gevorgyan (BAEC ’23) launched an online magazine for students at AUA, The Highlander. The student-led magazine is a virtual space for students to share their articles, creative works, illustrations, and photo series. 

Anna Andreasyan (BAEC ’23) and Sona Gevorgyan (BAEC ’23)

Anna Andreasyan (BAEC ’23) and Sona Gevorgyan (BAEC ’23)

On February 2, 2024, Highlander Magazine announced a competition in the fields of writing, graphic design, and photography: the Arshile Gorky Competition. This initiative was made possible through the generous support of the Vahé & Lucie Foundation. The theme of the Competition revolved around “memory, identity, and home/homeland” for all three categories: Best Writer, Best Graphic Designer/Illustrator, and Best Photographer. The competition aimed to encourage self-expression through art and showcase the talents of AUA students. The winners of each category received a $2,500 scholarship award directed to partially cover their tuition for the 2024-25 academic year.

AUA students are encouraged to explore arts-related fields through extracurricular activities and elective courses offered by the University. Most of the courses in the subject area are provided within the Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications program. The Arshile Gorky Competition provided the unique opportunity for students to explore their creative passions outside the classroom. 

Nare Hovsepyan (BAEC ’26), Davit Poghosyan (BAB ’27), Meghrie Yaacoubian (BAEC ’26)

Nare Hovsepyan (BAEC ’26), Davit Poghosyan (BAB ’27), Meghrie Yaacoubian (BAEC ’26)

The selection committee of the Arshile Gorky Competition identified three winners: Nare Hovsepyan (BAEC ’26) for Best Photographer, Davit Poghosyan (BAB ’27) for Best Writer, and Meghrie Yaacoubian (BAEC ’26) for Best Graphic Designer/Illustrator.

Nare Hovsepyan (BAEC ’26)

Best Photographer:  

Nare Hovsepyan (BAEC ’26)

Nare Hovsepyan hails from Yerevan. She is a rising junior studying in the Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications program at AUA. Her journey at AUA began with her love for storytelling. As a University student, Hovsepyan takes every opportunity to learn about different mediums of storytelling, including creative writing, filmmaking, and photography. “Photography is my passion, which I discovered after taking the photography class at AUA last semester. I enjoy capturing genuine moments, which are reflected in my winning piece. My goal is to pursue a career in this direction,” Hovsepyan said.

Hovsepyan’s winning piece was a photo series depicting the life of elderly citizens in the villages of Armenia. Aiming to find the core of Armenian culture, patriotism, and sense of identity in the rural areas of the country, Hovsepyan was surprised to find a completely different picture. Her photography portrays the everyday routine of people who look forward to a better future. 

Photos from Nare Hovsepyan’s entry

Link to the photo series

Davit Poghosyan (BAB ’27)

Best Writer: 

Davit Poghosyan (BAB ’27)

Davit Poghosyan is a rising sophomore studying in the Bachelor of Arts in Business program at AUA. With a dream to become a financial analyst, Poghosyan applied to AUA. He believes that AUA provides the highest quality education in Armenia and aims to seize every opportunity the University has to offer. “My father encouraged me to participate in the Arshile Gorky Competition,” Poghosyan recounted. “I am very grateful to the Vahé & Lucie Foundation for this opportunity. Creative competitions are important for self-expression. I had to reflect on my past experiences and explore my memories to write this piece, which was quite interesting.” 

Poghosyan’s writing reflects on his perception of homeland at various stages of his life. He transports the reader to his past, recollecting his time in the army, where his obligation to serve was suddenly overcome with a sense of purpose. Below is an excerpt from his entry:

In my peers, I see the potential for change and progress. Each of us has a role to play in creating the future of our country, and it is up to us to take up that duty with determination and passion. Despite the challenges waiting for us, I am full of purpose and hope. I know that by working together, we can create a better tomorrow for ourselves and future generations.

Link to the writing piece

Best Graphic Designer/Illustrator:

Meghrie Yaacoubian (BAEC ’26)

Meghrie Yaacoubian is from Lebanon, and she moved to Armenia to pursue her education at AUA. As a rising junior in the Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications program, she enjoys courses in English literature, journalism, and filmmaking. In addition to her studies, she is also a member of the Highlander Magazine, working on illustrations and graphic design.

“There aren’t any art-related majors at AUA, so this competition was a great chance to showcase our talent. I am grateful for the opportunity to become a beneficiary of the Vahé & Lucie Foundation’s support as a result,” shared Yaacoubian.

Yaacoubian’s illustration:

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values. AUA’s Office of Development stewards the University’s philanthropic efforts exclusively for educational purposes.