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Exhibitions: Current | Upcoming | Past

Exhibitions: Current


Eye of the Beholder

Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes)


Ukrainian Artists Respond to the War

November 10–December 22, 2022



Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes)
Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes) Eye of the Beholder (Don't Close Your Eyes)

In early May, Hanna Melnyczuk contacted the gallery about a project she was beginning to work on. Hanna is an artist and teaches at UMASS Lowell.

In her email she wrote, “I am organizing a show of small works by Ukrainian artists. The images are their reflections on the war…Would this be something that would interest you?” Thus began our journey of coordinating the logistics of bringing their work to the gallery.

Soon after the war began Hanna connected with Halyna Andrusenko, an artist in Lviv who helped to coordinate and ship work to the US. Halyna is a co-curator of the show, and a practicing artist herself. Both she and Hanna will be part of the exhibition.

Even though Halyna is in Lviv, the logistics of collecting and shipping artworks were complicated by a number of factors, but in July, flat packages of work began to arrive. All of the work is unframed, and most of it is small, around 8.5x11 inches. However, we have also received a few larger pieces that will be part of this exhibition. There are 25 artists in the show, and around 120 pieces in all.

Many of the artists were able to provide supporting documentation, including statements about their work. We were also able to locate some information online and have included that wherever appropriate. Additionally, about a dozen artists included a full portfolio of work that is viewable in a PDF format. We have elected to make those available for the duration of the exhibition, through the gallery’s website, via QR codes.

We hope you will have the opportunity to visit the gallery to view this powerful and moving work. All work is for sale. 50% of the sale price will go to the artist, and 50% will go to a humanitarian organization such as: prytula.org and savelife.in.ua.

Kathleen Hancock
Director




Hanna Melnyczuk’s Curatorial Statement



Putin’s invasion of Ukraine changed the trajectory of many lives, including my own. As an American Ukrainian artist, my work has dealt with the theme of my Ukrainian heritage throughout the course of my career. After visiting Ukraine and living there for four months, I felt very close to the people and the world my parents left in 1945. Some of my work represents the influence of this experience.

Most recently my art career had changed course from working on large portraits to picture books for children. Writing and illustrating my own books and beginning to look for representation has become a new journey in my career as an artist. Then on February 24 I heard of the war in Ukraine....with absolute disbelief. I, like most of the world asked, ‘How can this be happening in the 21st century?’ A few days after the war started, the images in my mind changed from being colorful representations of a child’s world to darker images depicting tanks, missiles, refugees, and a mass grave in Bucha. These images continued to appear in my mind.

Soon I began to look for like-minded artists and found many in Ukraine responding to the war with powerful imagery. These images were being shown in Ukraine and in some parts of Europe. I had a vision of bringing them to the US, so I struck up a partnership with Halyna Andrusenko. With her help, we sought artists whose works resonated for us in terms of the images they were making in response to the horrific violence and destruction that the war was bringing to a peaceful country. Many of the artists we chose were producing small drawings, while others were working on larger pieces. We decided to focus on bringing some of these smaller works on paper to the US primarily for practical reasons. We are very eager to share these tragic, powerful, and documentary images that address the Ukrainian war. Of course, they can be addressing other wars and acts of violence as does Picasso’s famous painting Guernica. Some of the works you see here are universal; others are more specific. Each artist brings his or her vision of this tragedy to light.



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