The Panos Terlemezyan State College of Fine Arts, the first educational institution of fine arts in Armenia that educated the several generations of Armenian outstanding men of arts, became one of the strongholds of Armenian fine arts. The history of the Terlemezyan State College of Fine Arts (former “Geghard” Industrial Technical School of Fine Arts) started in 1921. On the strength of the special Decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of Armenia, the school of painting was created in 1921 at the time of office of People’s Commissar for Education Ashot Hovhannisyan. This school of painting became one of the first cultural institutions established by Soviet government alongside with Yerevan State University and State Theater. The first director of the School of Painting became Hovhannes Tadevosyan who headed educational work and teaching staff. The painters, who had been educated at the best centers of their time in Vienna, Paris, Munich, and Moscow, and enjoying immense prestige, such as Martiros Saryan, Vrtanes Akhikyan, Stepan Aghajanyan, Sedrak Arakelyan, Vahram Gayfetchyan, Gabriel Gyurjyan, Hakob Kojoyan, Ara Sargsyan and other famous masters, participated in the origination of our college, and owing to them our college is named the originator, bearer and educator of Armenian cultural traditions. In 1927 the school had the first graduates, Mher Abeghyan, Sedrak Rashmajyan, Babken Kolozyan, and Armen Chilingaryan among them. In 1941 “Geghard” Industrial Technical School of Fine Arts had been renamed after Armenian great master Panos Terlemezyan and became one of the best secondary educational institutions of fine arts. Preserving the traditions formed in the course of years in the Terlemezyan School and carrying on the deeds of the previous generations of the teaching staff the Terlemezyan College instructors and students continue to enrich Armenian fine arts with new names.
The new period in the history of the college started in 2007, when it moved in the new educational building, where by the efforts of painter and Director of the College Narek Arushanyan all necessary conditions were created for the creative activity of the students.
Today the State College of Fine Arts has the Departments of Painting, Sculpture and Design that prepare highly qualified experts for the creative work and teaching activity. In accordance with the curriculum of the P. Terlemezyan State College of Fine Arts the key position in the general professional education is given to Theoretical Department. Owing to the initiative of Narek Arushanyan who became the Director of the College in 2008 and the personal assistance of Financial Advisor of VEGA CC Diter Hartvich (Luxemburg) the photo and film laboratory was established that makes it possible for the students to practice the theoretical materials, get aquainted with the high quality photographic materials representing the world arts history and with the help
The opening of “Terlemezyan” exhibition hall in 2007 was a long-awaited cultural event in the college life. The “Terlemezyan” exhibition hall, though having a short biography yet, makes the first serious steps, implementing pan-Armenian cultural festivals. The traditional students’ and instructors’ annual exhibitions, and "Terlemezyanakanner" (students and graduates of the college) cultural event became a new tradition of the college. The doors of the college are always open for fine art admirers, and the demonstration of students’ works exhibition increases, as well as the number of visitors of the exhibition hall grow.
Recently under the state patronage we started the construction of the second building of our college for the gym and commodious and convenient sculpture studios adjacent to it.
Panos Terlemezyan is one of the best representatives of the 19-20th c.c. Armenian realistic painting. His contribution in Armenian fine arts, especially in the development of realism, is immense. Today he is considered a classical painter.
Panos Terlemezyan's life was rich in historic events, creative happenings, and full of social sense. When a student he entered a youth group fighting against sultant government, because of it he had been subjected to the persecution all life long. Terlemezyan singled out for his social and revolutionary activity. His role in liberation movement that had been carried in Western Armenia is also important. It is proved by the fact that in 1915 he had been elected a so-called “member of temporary military government”, having direct participation in Van battles for self-defence.
P. Terlemezyan passed many years in emigration. Living in France, Italym Spain, USA, creating his works in the environment, where various new trends in painting were originating, he remained true to the traditions of realistic paiting that he had chosen once.
At the same time, though the great master in fine art was formed as a realist painter, there are several works of P. Terlemezyan that carry the influence of impressionism.
P. Terlemezyan is a multy-genre painter. Such genres as portrait, still life, genre scene (petit genre) occupy very important place in his work. But the works of landscape painting dominate in his artistic heritage.
The element of Panos Terlemezyan is nature. He told about it: “It is necessary that artist loves nature passionately. If so the beauties of nature enter through his eyes in his soul and excite it that produces the principal character of his work”.
Together with a group of celebrated artists performed his contribution in the creation of the Union of Armenian Artists. Panos Terlemezyan, Vardges Surenyants, Martiros Saryan, Vrtanes Akhikyan, Yegishe Tadevosyan, Garegin Levonyan and others became the direct initiators of the creation and setting up of the Union.
In 1928, after the Sovetization of Armenia, Panos Terlemezyan took up permanent residence in Armenia. The new period in his work started, when the great master created numerous significant and highly artistic paitings. On coming to Armenia Terlemezyan created several remarkable examples of industrial landscape painting, becoming one of the founders of this genre.
The contribution of Panos Terlemezyan in Armenian fine arts is invaluable.
Rating highly and appreciating the art works of Panos Terlemezyan, the arts school established in Yerevan, was named after him.