I wanted to include an update on our exhibit this April! Natalia Verko and I were so honored to have so many people interested and taking the time to stop by our opening night and the month throughout. Unfortunately, I didn't take as many photos as I wished, but my brother-in-law was generous with his time and efforts and shared some!
It was an absolutely lovely experience working with the Arts Council of the Valley, and we were quite thankful for the sponsor of the opening night, Riner Rentals. Link to Facebook album by Arts Council Our Artist Statement for this exhibit:
This collection between two artists, Natalia Verko and Viktoriya Samoylov, portrays the social and rural culture that encompasses much of Ukraine. The journey starts in the late 1980s and brings us to the present day. Artwork includes paintings based on family photos in the 80s, right as Ukraine was seceding from the Soviet Union. The generation before had suffered much loss, famine, and war. Their children were now part of the new hopeful generation. Though many chose to migrate to the United States after the 90s, they brought their culture and traditions with them, making sure to keep them alive for their own children as they enjoyed their new freedom of religion, financial stability, and opportunities, while still keeping within their social circles of friends and family.
As the children of this new community work through the two different cultures of American and Ukrainian between them, this creates new conflicting situations as they try to find where they belong. Many go back and forth between the two countries, learning and connecting with their home country. The concluding artworks bring us to the present as the former Soviet powers work to strip that short-lived freedom away once again. Showing the devastating destruction of a society that had been rebuilding their lives only to have it all taken away once more.
We invite you to have a glimpse into a more intimate look, not just of the horrors of today, but to appreciate the complexity of the culture that is the Ukrainian people.
And a short video interview here.