FALL RIVER, MASS. (WHDH) - As President Volodymyr Zelenskyy places a wreath in Kyiv memorial of Ukrainians killed in the ongoing war with Russia, Ukrainian artists are partnering with galleries in Massachusetts to recognize the conflict with an exhibition of Ukrainian work.
“Eye of the Beholder” is an installation newly on display in Fall River’s Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery, continuing to showcase different depictions of the war after the original project, “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” opened in Newton earlier this year. The curation was a partnership between a UMass Lowell teacher and two artists related to Ukraine,
“How do you paint war?” asks Halyna Andrusenko, a co-curator of the project as well as a featured artist.
Andrusenko lives in Kyiv, and said the impact of the war has made her life very difficult.
“I can work only during day, when sun is shining on my room.”
The exhibit features part of a series of art by her, called ‘Protected.’ She said she sees her work as an important way to spread awareness and support her country.
It’s about sculptures in Lyiv, and Kyiv and some different cities in Ukraine with protected materials ? saved.
Hanna Melnyczuk teaches at UMass Lowell, and as a Ukrainian-American artist, she chose to reach out to Andrusenko to co-curate the exhibit together. She said the idea for it came from a conversation with her cousin in Ukraine, who told her: “don’t forget us.”
“These artists are still making the work, while people are dying all around them,” Melnyczuk said. “The idea became ‘don’t close your eyes,’ be open.”
“See what’s happening, not only around you, in the world,” she said.
With paintings of destroyed landscapes and drawings depicting families torn apart by violence, the gallery features 25 artists and around 120 pieces, each providing a unique perspective into the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The response to the range of pieces has been emotional, according to Melnyczuk.
“Some is pretty hard to look at,” she said. “A lot of times people are very moved by it. They want to turn their eyes away. And other times they study it very carefully.”
According to Melnyczuk and the gallery website, Half of the proceeds from sold pieces will go to the artists, and half will go to the humanitarian organization of the artists choice.
The Fall River exhibit is open until Dec. 22, and those interested in reading the curatorial statement or finding the gallery’s hours can find information on the exhibit page. Work is still on view at the original gallery in Newton, which will remain open until November 26th.
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