I use fire (laser cutting) to create rather than destroy as it was during the Armenian genocide and times of war. The materials I use are connected to the “Old Country” and to America. Process and material are essential to capturing and expressing my work. Process and material have a history, just like humans.  I believe this history enriches an understanding of the present, which is necessary to progress toward a just society. -JS

Blue Smoke, Transparent Blue Acrylic, 78” wide x 84” tall x 4” deep. 2014.

Mardiros Boyajian, a genocide survivor, would lay on down and smoke for hours until 

there was a blue haze covering the apartment. 

“I would come home from school and I wouldn’t be able to see anything but blueish smoke from the waist up.”-Mary Boyajian

Chakatagir, Laser cut leather(skin), thread, wood, acrylic paint, 70”x 68”x 2”, 2014.

The dinner scene is informed by a photo (Armenian Museum of America) of Turkish soldiers with these two men’s 

heads displayed on a platter. The piece also identifies physical parts lost by family 


Passage. Laser cut leather, sewn, wood, acrylic paint, 50” x 32” x 1”, 2014.

There is not much shared about the story of how family made it to America other than the rug trade and a connection

to a shipyard in France. The passport reveals a travel route through Syria to Marseille, France.

“Run to the Forest!” 

Laser and hand cut leather, sewn with silk thread, acrylic paint, 80”

40”x 2”, 2014.

These were the last words Rose Boyajian's mother said to her.

What Became of the Chair. Installation with cut rocking chair and hand cut rug, 2013.

Cyclical nature. Hand cut paper and acrylic. 24"x34", 2013.

Denial, watercolor and ink on cut paper, 2013.