Before all, Dionne Haroutunian is an artist. An active member of the Seattle arts community, Dionne works out of her BallardWorks studio in Seattle. You can often meet her and discuss her artwork and travels during the monthly Ballard ARTwalk. She discovered printmaking at the Pratt Fine Art Center in Seattle where she started taking classes in 1989. “I completely fell in love and my passion for this medium has remained unchanged through the years. I work much like a painter, combining many print techniques – silkscreen, etching, monotype, woodblock, collagraph and others to create one-of-a-kind prints (monoprints).
Dionne’s motorcycle forays are one of the sources of inspiration behind her artwork and writing. Riding a motorcycle is a remarkable mode of travel because it removes the separation between environment and self and increases the probability for chance meetings and unexpected discoveries.
In the past few years, Dionne has grown increasingly tired of helplessly watching the world’s most powerful people seem unable or unwilling to foster peace in the world. One day she decided that the only way it’s going to get better is if all of us – the “little people” as Frau Pöltzlbauer would say -- confront our fears and start talking to each other. That is the vision behind 4Art&Adventure: World Peace One Friendship At A Time. “I want my life to make a difference and I want to do it as who I am right now” – an artist, a motorcyclist, a community builder, a Buddhist, someone who loves to laugh and often marvels at the Magic of Life; someone who is also profoundly moved by the suffering of humanity”.
Devoted to her mission of growing a “human blanket,” Dionne travels the world by motorcycle to meet people, experience their culture, share hers, and form lasting friendships. She strongly believes that personal relationships are the key to a better world. Through her artwork, writing, lectures and evolving website, she strives to highlight our similarities, no matter our citizenship, our creed and our origins.
To be congruent with her mission, she included Turkey in the first leg of her World Peace travels in 2016. “As the daughter and niece of Armenian Genocide survivors, I have lived with a visceral fear of Turkish people all my life. I cannot say that I will be friends with ANYone in the world EXCEPT for Turks! I will face my fears and go meet the people of Turkey.”
In 2016 she rode her motorcycle from her native Switzerland through Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia i Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and Italy.
In 2017 she had the extreme good fortune to be invited to join a group of twelve women riders and travel to Pakistan with the aim to meet Pakistani women, visit schools for girls and for pre-med/pre-engineer women and learn about the culture.
The next leg of her journey, starting in the fall of 2018, will take her to Morocco and beyond. She has no itinerary as of yet and, knowing her, she may very well never have one!
Dionne is extremely fortunate to be able to travel with her own very talented photographer, Mike Cooks, whose mission in life is to find the next adventure while concurrently documenting Dionne’s growing human blanket.