crafted by photobiz


ART WALK 2014, Nyack, NY : June 13th, 14th, 15th

Sona Viola's photography will be featured at "P.Ross" 89 Main Street, Nyack.   


ART WALK 2014: "A Celebration of Life and Death"

ART WALK creates an enjoyable atmosphere where stores are turned into mini art galleries with the artists in residence.  Stroll up and down the streets of Nyack, view and/or purchase the works by these wonderfully talented artisits.  Shop in stores, eat, drink and enjoy the beauty and richness that is the Village of Nyack.   

This years theme is "A Celebration of Life...and Death" and marks the 9th year of the event in the Village.  Whatever our beliefs and experiences, we are all on an amazing journey from birth to death and should celebrate this time in its entirety.  We should live life to its fullest, looking at age as experience with wisdom to share, and embrace the final rite of passage with the best quality of life possible.  

The poster this year is entitled "The 3 Gold Buttons" by artistic photographer Sona Viola.  A piece that stands on its own, the work has an incredible (and personal) back story.  "Its a celebration of those who in death brought forth life." explains Viola.  

In April of 1915, the Young Turk leaders of the Ottoman Empire began the systematic deportation and extermination of its Armenian population from their ancestral homeland.The men were forced into labor or executed.  The women and children were forced out of their homes with no money, food or shelter and led through the mountains to the Syrian desert on foot to embark on what they called “death marches”.  They were tortured, raped, starved and brutally murdered in masses.  My family was part of the deported.

My grandfather was separated from his family and forced into labor for the Turkish army.  His youngest brother, my great uncle, was about 7 years old when he and his mother were sent on these marches. Before they left their home, his mother took gold coins, covered them in fabric to disguise them as buttons and sewed them on her coat. Along they way his mother fell ill and died from dehydration and starvation. The night after she died, he snuck back to where he last remembered her to be.  He found her body amongst the mass graves with the 3 gold buttons still on her coat.  He took them off of her and continued on.

He used those coins to find food, shelter and safety.  After many years hiding and escaping danger, the family found each other again. As they started their new life, they created a lucrative jewelry business that continues to exist today.  Little by little, they each found their way to America and grew their families. This photograph is a symbol to honor their plight.  For me, their story is one of hope and courage, and a celebration of those who in death brought forth life.