Ukrainian Cultural Center of New England

Don't Close Your Eyes: Ukrainian Artists Respond to the War


Friday, August 18th, 2023 - Saturday, September 16th, 2023    
All Day


University of Massachusetts Lowell
220 Pawtucket St, Lowell, Massachusetts, 01854

Event Type

The University of Massachusetts Lowell Department of Art and Design is honored to present Don’t Close Your Eyes: Ukrainian Artists Respond to the War. The exhibit will be on display in the University Gallery at 870 Broadway St. from Aug. 18 – Sept. 16. All are invited to a welcome back event for the Art & Design Department on Wednesday, Sept. 13 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Hanna Melnyczuk will deliver remarks in the University Gallery at noon. Gallery hours are Monday-Wednesday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday hours from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. will resume after Labor Day.

Jointly curated by Senior Adjunct faculty Hanna Melnyczuk, a Ukrainian-American artist, and Halyna Andrusenko, an artist from Kyiv, the UMass Lowell iteration of this traveling exhibition features the work of 27 artists from various regions of Ukraine, created in response to the war that began Feb. 24, 2022. Works range from drawings, paintings, lithographs, and a 6-minute video, Protected, in which Halyna Andrusenko echoes the wrapping of monuments in Kyiv by wrapping her parents in cloth.

In a moving statement on the effect that the war between Ukraine and Russia has made on her life and artistic practice, Hanna Melnuczuk writes:

The week before the full-scale war in Ukraine began, I had been working on images for a children’s book… As the war unfolded, the images in my mind’s eye shifted from colorful representations of a child’s world to troubling depictions of tanks, missiles, refugees, and mass graves. I began a series of drawings in reaction to the war. I also came across the works of like-minded artists in Ukraine, responding to the war with powerful imagery. These images were being exhibited in Ukraine and parts of Europe. I had a vision of bringing them to the US, so I struck up a partnership with Halyna Andrusenko, an artist from Kyiv. 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.

Don’t Close Your Eyes features a broad spectrum of powerful work in response to the war in Ukraine. This work is a testament to the power of the human spirit, and the abilities of artists to synthesize powerful emotions and responses into works that transcend boundaries of time, geography, and space. Included in this exhibit are:

Halyna Andrusenko (co-curator), Ksenia Datsiuk, Nastya Didenko, Mitya Fenechkin, Alisa Gots, Evgen Klimenko, Natalia Kurnosova, Lena Kurzel, Inga Levi, Ave Libertatemaveamor, Anton Logov, Rostyslav Luzhetskyy, Hanna Melnyczuk (co-curator), Danylo Movchan, Anzhelika Palyvoda, Oleksii Pavlusenko, Oleksii Revika, Vladyslav Riaboshtan, Olesia Rybchenko, Valeriia Rybchenko, Andrij Roik, Zakhar Shevchuk, Olena Shtepura, Karina Synytsia, Nickita Tsoy, Ilya Yarovoy and Olga Zaremba.

Due to the exigencies of shipping work from Ukraine, the works of Mitya Fenechkin and Anton Logov are shown in reproduction only.

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