Whittier College News Release

Whittier College
Office of Public Relations
13406 Philadelphia St.
P.O. Box 634
Whittier, CA  90608-0634

Gabriela Baez or Caye
Brundage Riley at (562) 907-4974                     

September 18, 2003

Reference: 03/04: 13                                      

            A Long Way from Jerusalem Ceramic Work by Ohan Balian 


WHAT:                        An exhibit of ceramic work by Ohan Balian, former visiting professor of economics at Whittier College.

WHEN:                        Gallery hours, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday-Friday thru October 25

                             (The artist is frequently in the gallery and available to answer

                             Reception with the artist, Thursday, Sept. 25, 68 p.m.  

WHERE:                 Wardman Gym Art Gallery
                            Whittier College

ADD:                      As an economist, Balian specializes in the economics of art and the art of economics.  He is interested in the relationship between the arts and the sciences, such as mathematical model building in economics and model building with clay.  As a ceramic artist, his work represents the centuries-old tradition of Armenian pottery, which is characterized by Armenian floral designs, Christian, Jewish and Islamic motifs.  His work is also influenced by mosaic designs, including 7th century Ummayad mosaics from Jericho.

          His family has been working in this tradition of ceramic art for more than four centuries.  In 1915, the Balians and two other families went from their home in Kutahya, Turkey, to Jerusalem to restore the Dome of the Rock.  The Armenian Massacre prevented them from returning home after completing this project.  The Balians started the Armenian Pottery of Jerusalem in 1922, a pottery workshop that continues to produce handmade wares in Jerusalem today.  In 1994, work from the Armenian Pottery of Jerusalem was featured in an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution. 

INFORMATION:         Contact Ohan Balian at (562) 301-3135 or visit  

DIRECTIONS:          Take the 605 Freeway to Whittier Blvd.  Travel east on Whittier to Painter Ave. and turn north (left).  Take Painter to Earlham Drive and turn right.  Parking is available in the Stauffer Science lot (north side of Earlham).  Wardman Gym is in the interior of the campus, just northeast of the science building.

Whittier College Office of Communications
13406 Philadelphia P.O. Box 634 Whittier, CA 90608-0634
Tel: (562) 907-4213 Fax: (562) 907-4927