Israeli student explores her creative side

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    By Britt Balkcom

    She is a fashion designer, an actress and a singer. But it is this artist”s love of film and her creative talent that has inspired her dream of becoming an independent filmmaker.

    Naira Galoustian, 21, is a junior from Bat-Yam, Israel, majoring in communications with a documentary directing emphasis.

    After a friend told Galoustian of the opportunity to further develop her talents in America, she made plans to attend BYU.

    “I want people to see places they haven”t seen before,” Galoustian said. “I want them to be more open to the world. I want people to be more open to each other.”

    Galoustian, who speaks four languages, has a family heritage that is rich in both performance and visual arts.

    Galoustian is the daughter of a concert pianist, the niece of an accomplished cellist and the granddaughter of an Armenian actor.

    “There is no escape from my desire to express myself through art.” Galoustian said. “It”s my passion.”

    Galoustian has completed more than one hundred portraits, paintings and sketches, several of which have been displayed at BYU”s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. Galoustian said she feels honored to have had an exhibition of her work in such a special place.

    “The Jerusalem Center has a special atmosphere that really inspires me spiritually-even more than any place here,” Galoustian said.

    Other things that inspire this artist include horses, the Mediterranean Sea, the Armenean landscape and the city of Jaffa in Israel.

    “I”d like to work for National Geographic,” Galoustian said. “I have been in some places that other filmmakers here have not been.”

    A Model United Nations delegate, Galoustian has already produced two film documentaries to coincide with her creative coursework.

    Galoustian said she is grateful to the many people who have supported her to leave her homeland and study at a university in America. Galoustian especially credited one woman in particular.

    “My mother has dedicated herself to me and my brother,” Galoustian said. “She has been a perfect example of sacrifice of personal interests for her children.”

    Though Galoustian will be spending much of her time within the motion picture industry, she said the artist inside her will never rest.

    “An artist remains an artist,” Galoustian said. “An artist will find time for her creativity.”

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