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Exhibit in Sewickley Aims To Support Ukraine Through Traditional Art

Alex Hodowanec

As Ukraine continues to fight off an invasion by Russia that moves into its fourth month, Sweetwater Center for the Arts in Sewickley is hosting an event to support Ukrainians through these treacherous times.

“Stand With Ukraine” is an exhibition highlighting Ukrainian culture and art and will run from June 13 through July 22. The money made from the art sales will be donated to the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee Inc (UUARC). Along with these proceeds, guests can make donations directly to the organization. UUARC raises money to provide humanitarian aid such as medical supplies, food and shelter to Ukrainian war victims.

The exhibition is organized by George Honchar, the president of the Ukrainian Technological Society whose grandparents immigrated here from Ukraine 125 years ago. It will showcase needleworks, paintings, photography, pysanky eggs and other media arts by artists of Ukrainian descent from the Pittsburgh region and beyond. They include Olena Abakumova, Helen Bunting-Hart, Katya Greco, Michael Haritan, Alex Hodowanec, Iryna Kurylas, Brenda Zelinsky Musta, Tracey Sally, Debra Tobin and Natalie Turicik.

Sweetwater Center for the Arts, a nonprofit, sent out a call for Ukrainian artists in April to submit their work for this exhibition. Not only will the event support Ukraine war victims, but it will also promote Ukrainian artists and their hard work.

Pysanky eggs are a staple of Ukrainian art. They are similar to colored Easter eggs but are more ornate, with the use of a wax-resist method to create traditional folk designs.

The opening reception on June 18 is free and open to the public. Those planning on attending should RSVP through the website. This reception will offer Ukrainian dishes and pastries, including Ukrainian cheesecake baked by Svitlana Honchar, George’s wife and a Ukrainian immigrant.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Clarion Quartet will kick off the reception at 6 p.m. with a special performance. Sweetwater Center for the Arts believes art has the power to express emotions that are hard to articulate through words alone. Thus, this art exhibition can help people process these intense emotions surrounding the inhumane attacks occurring in Ukraine.

Sweetwater Center for the Arts offers a variety of classes, workshops and lectures to enrich lives through cultural programming and arts education.

Published on May 20, 2022
Written by Sarah Demchak
Published by Pittsburgh Magazine
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