The Ukrainian Museum will be closed Wednesday, July 4, in observation of America's Independence Day,
and Friday, August 24, in commemoration of the 21st anniversary of Ukraine's independence.
In this issue
· Annual Meeting report
· Ilona Sochynsky solo exhibition ‒ see the video!
· Kilim exhibition to be featured on THIRTEEN
· Summer in the city
· Gift shop
· Museum supports the Blue Star program
· Now showing …
· Photo gallery: lectures, slideshows, Kinofest NYC, concert …
Scroll down to see more …
Annual Meeting: Recap
The Museum's annual meeting, on June 24, provided members with a comprehensive overview of activities in 2011 ‒ exhibitions, public and educational programs, and many other events ‒ and a look at its operations and financial health, the challenges it faces in the coming years, and the opportunities it hopes to capitalize on in the future. Members who were not able to attend the meeting will receive this information in the 2011 Annual Report, which is being mailed over the summer.
Mykola Darmochwal, president of the Board of Trustees, kicked off the presentations by noting that we "live in interesting times" and that cultural institutions such as the Museum face numerous challenges. He thanked the trustees, director Maria Shust and her staff, and the Museum's many volunteers for consistently rising to these challenges and contributing to the Museum's many successes.
Mr. Darmochwal reported that, over the past year, the Board concentrated on organizational issues, such as reconvening Board committees (and establishing a new Public Relations committee) to serve as supplemental resources for the director and staff. In view of the difficult economic environment, the Board has also focused on ensuring that the scope of the Museum's work is consistent with the resources available, that finances are prudently managed, and that future activities are planned with careful consideration of such factors as the changing demographics of the Ukrainian diaspora and the Museum's position as the premier showcase for Ukrainian culture outside of Ukraine ‒ a role that it will continue to fulfill, in its usual exemplary way, with the continued generous support of its members and friends.
Director Maria Shust presented a sweeping overview of the Museum's work in 2011.
The year began on a festive note with the celebration of the Museum's 35th anniversary in April ‒ an opportunity to look back on all that has been accomplished and to look forward to exciting new opportunities. Among the many achievements of 2011 was the mounting of several superb exhibitions, something the Museum is well known for. Invitation to a Wedding, on view the entire year, was a lavish presentation of folk art, costumes, and traditions. Three exhibitions featured Ukrainian artists, ranging from the little-known Borys Kosarev, to the heralded dissident Opanas Zalyvakha, to the cultural icon Sviatoslav Hordynsky. The Museum also commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster with the moving exhibitions Inside Chornobyl and The Chornobyl Angel Project, both presented in partnership with the Children of Chornobyl Relief and Development Fund
Public programs continued to feature prominently in the Museum's calendar. A day-long conference was organized in October in conjunction with the Wedding exhibition, while an afternoon of lectures in November on the extraordinary output of Sviatoslav Hordynsky further enhanced appreciation of this Renaissance man. The Museum also hosted a number of concerts, book signings, and film screenings, many in partnership with other cultural organizations, as well as the three-day film festival Kinofest NYC.
Educational offerings included the ever-popular folk art courses and workshops, school programs for students from kindergarten through Grade 12, and fun-filled "drop-in" workshops tailored for families with young children.
Ms. Shust concluded her presentation by acknowledging the work of her small staff and thanking everyone who contributes to the Museum's success: its loyal members, dedicated volunteers, private and government granting agencies, and generous donors, singling out the Self Reliance New York Federal Credit Union for its long-time staunch support.
Zoriana Haftkowycz, the Museum's treasurer, then reported briefly on the institution's financial status. The economic downturn, she said, has had a major negative impact on the financial contributions and grants received by the Museum, a situation that is unlikely to improve in the near future. The Museum is taking the steps necessary to operate in these difficult and uncertain economic times, including reducing operating costs and adopting a balanced budget for 2012.
The annual meeting concluded with the re-election of Mr. Darmochwal as president and the election of four new trustees: Theodora Chomiak, Chryzanta Hentisz, Maryanna Marsch-Hoydysh, and Wolodymyr Sulzynsky. The complete slate of Board members now stands as follows:
Mykola Darmochwal, President
Marianna Zajac, Vice-President
Iryna Kurowyckyj, Vice-President
Mark Bach, Vice-President
Zoriana Haftkowycz, Treasurer
Lilya Kalat, Secretary
Roma Shuhan, Secretary
Orest Glut, Member-at-Large
Mykola Haliv, Member-at-Large
Motria Kuzycz, Esq., Member-at-Large
Andrei Harasymiak, Esq.
Professor Renata Holod
The membership also named Roman Sorobay the new Chair of the Audit Committee and elected a new Committee member, Orysia Stryzak.
Roman Sorobay, Chair
The meeting was chaired by Maria Tomorug and recorded by secretary Alexandra Juzeniw.
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The singular vision of Ilona Sochynsky
Contemporary artist's major solo exhibition now on view
A Singular Vision: Ilona Sochynsky, Retrospective of Painting is a comprehensive exhibition of more than 50 paintings, including many large-scale works from all phases of the artist's development. Curated by Jaroslaw Leshko, Professor Emeritus at Smith College, the exhibition opened to the public on May 13 and will be on display through October 7.
About the artist's career and work, Professor Leshko has written, "Ilona Sochynsky's painting career, entering its fourth decade, presents an oeuvre of visual beauty, intelligence, intensity, and complexity. At its core, it is a profoundly personal journey of discovery. Her earliest paintings explore the imagery of Pop Art (she was especially drawn to the works of James Rosenquist) and Photorealism, a movement prominent in the 1970s. She responded to the latter's hyperrealism and its subject matter of cars, motorcycles, and street scenes, which she reinterpreted in her work to extraordinary effect.
Ilona Sochynsky (bottom left in red top) with members of UNWLA Branch 113, on the steps beneath her painting Construction in Space with Red.
"By the 1980s, her focus shifted to a more personal iconography of revealing self-portraits, images of her husband, her sister, and other psychologically compelling imagery that carry within them the universal code of contemporary existence. It is during this probing period that she briefly experimented with a more painterly, expressionist style in order to explore its impact on the content of her work and partly in response to the neoexpressionist movement that dominated the 1980s.
"In recent decades, Sochynsky has set aside the subjects of her earlier paintings and made formal concerns the focus of her art. Thus, a series of small paintings done over a period of five years (2006-2011) is titled Fragment. These and other recent works encompass both abstract forms and recognizable natural forms. They are often rendered in interactive fragments and, in a series like Capriccios (2006), break out of the rectilinear boundary into irregularly shaped canvases. These works are at once exuberant and complex in their formal presentation and in their content. They are, as well, among the artist's most compelling images. To engage them is to discover the richness of the creative process."
Solo exhibitions of Sochynsky's work have been presented by The Noyes Museum of Art and the Ukrainian Institute of America. Her artworks are found among the collections of the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, The Ukrainian Museum, The Noyes Museum of Art, and the Morris Propp Foundation, as well as in private collections. Paintings for A Singular Vision were drawn from private collections, including the artist's own holdings, as well as from The Ukrainian Museum's permanent collection of fine art.
The exhibition's sponsors are Orest and Lidia Bilous, Professor Jaroslaw and Alla Leshko, Oleh and Christina Samilenko, Peter Shyprykevich, Olga Zarycky, and Branch 75 and Branch 113 of the Ukrainian National Women's League of America.
A Singular Vision: Ilona Sochynsky, Retrospective of Painting is accompanied by a bilingual (English and Ukrainian) catalogue with an essay by Professor Leshko. Illustrated with beautiful color prints and priced at just $14.95 ($13.46 for members), the 56-page catalogue is a perfect addition to any art library. Purchase it online today, or at the gift shop during Museum opening hours (Wednesday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
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Kilim exhibition on THIRTEEN
Thursday, July 12, 8 p.m. ‒ donít miss it!
NYC-ARTS, the weekly roundup of arts and culture in the New York City area, will include a Curator's Choice segment on the exhibition Ukrainian Kilims: Journey of a Heritage in the episode airing Thursday, July 12, at 8 p.m.
NYC-ARTS cohost Paula Zahn was given a tour of the exhibition A Singular Vision by the Museum's director, Maria Shust.
Hosted by Philippe de Montebello, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and well-known anchor Paula Zahn, NYC-ARTS provides a unique overview of New York's cultural offerings ‒ music, dance, the theater, museums, and galleries ‒ from the classic to the contemporary. In New York, the show airs on Channel 13 every Thursday at 8 p.m., with an encore presentation at noon on Sunday. NYC-ARTS is also shown on Long Island's WLIW Fridays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m., and on New Jersey's NJTV Sundays at 8:30 p.m. New episodes are available on NYC-ARTS.org every Thursday evening at 8:30. Be sure to catch one of these air dates to see the segment on Ukrainian Kilims: Journey of a Heritage.
NYC-ARTS also recently filmed the Museum's Ilona Sochynsky exhibition for a future episode, taped several segments with Paula Zahn using the Kilim exhibition as a backdrop, and are planning to report on the efforts of the Ukrainian community to preserve its heritage. The Museum will therefore be included in a number of original NYC-ARTS episodes over the summer. Check this calendar or sign up for The Ukrainian Museum's e-news to receive notifications about upcoming programs.
All Thursday-evening premieres on Channel 13 will have encore presentations on Channel 13, WLIW, and NJTV as noted above. Don't miss them!
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Summer in the city
Escape the heat … visit the "cool" Ukrainian Museum!
Click to print the flyer.
Visiting New York this summer? Take the opportunity to visit the Museum, too. Taking a summer class or joining a summer camp group? You can discover Ukrainian art and culture though guided gallery explorations and hands-on workshops led by our Museum Educator. Among the workshops offered this summer:
Ukrainian Kilims: Journey of a Heritage
Learn about Ukrainian kilims ‒ how they were created; their uses, patterns, and symbols ‒ and create your own patterned miniature kilim.
A Singular Vision: Ilona Sochynsky Retrospective of Painting
Explore the paintings and styles of a contemporary artist and create your own unique work of art.
Introduction to Ukrainian Folk Art
Look at items from the Museum's permanent collection and weave, embroider, sculpt, and paint your own folk art object.
Learn about traditional Ukrainian costumes and design your own hat or wreath.
Pysanka (Ukrainian Easter Egg)
Discover the symbols and techniques used to make a pysanka and create your own magical egg.
Compare Ukrainian folk art to Mexican, Native American, and Indonesian traditional art and make a unique artifact that blends two traditions.
Our Museum Educator will work with teachers or counselors to adapt a program to the needs, interests, and backgrounds of each group. Please call 212.228.0110 or email edu(a)ukrainianmuseum.org for fees and reservations, or if you have questions about the programs.
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Wedding plans? Don't forget the korovai!
It's not a Ukrainian wedding if it doesn't have a korovai ‒ the elaborately decorated traditional Ukrainian wedding bread, a must-have at every wedding. If you've ever wondered how a korovai is made, how it came into being over the centuries, and what the various motifs and symbols used in its decoration represent, the DVD "The Art of Baking and Decorating a Korovai" will answer all your questions. It features our own Lubow Wolynetz, curator of the Museum's folk art collection, and master baker Larysa Zielyk as they lead a workshop that tells the story of the Ukrainian wedding ‒ the rituals, customs, and traditions ‒ at the same time that it instructs participants in the creation of the korovai. The DVD may be purchased online anytime or at the gift shop during Museum opening hours (Wednesday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
The DVD makes a great gift for the bride or the mother-of-the-bride!
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Museum supports Blue Star program
The Ukrainian Museum is taking part in the Blue Star Museums program, which provides free museum admission to active-duty, National Guard, and reserve military members and their families from Memorial Day though Labor Day. The program is a partnership among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families (a non-profit organization of military families), and hundreds of museums across the U.S.
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Now showing …
A Singular Vision: Ilona Sochynsky, Retrospective of Painting
Through October 7
This comprehensive exhibition of more than 50 paintings includes many large-scale works from all phases of the artist's career ‒ now in its fourth decade, and marked by a profoundly personal journey of discovery. Pop Art, Photorealism, Expressionism, and more formal concerns are all represented.
Ukrainian Kilims: Journey of a Heritage
Through October 21
More than 35 kilims from the Museum's permanent collection, some dating back to the 18th century, are on view in this exhibition. Many of the tapestry-like rugs were spirited out of Ukraine and transported across numerous borders by Ukrainian refugees fleeing war and the destructive Soviet occupation of Ukraine. Cherished and preserved for years after their arduous journey, the kilims were eventually entrusted to the Museum's care.
Featured in the January 27 issue of The New York Times ("Antiques on Camera and Behind Every Door / Ukrainian Weavings," page C31).
The Ukrainian Museum: 35 Years in Print
Through October 21
Since 1976, the Museum has been mounting exhibitions that educate and enthrall visitors while introducing them to the broad spectrum of Ukrainian art and culture. Drop by this exhibit to marvel at the range of subjects covered over the past 35 years, as seen through the exhibition catalogues, posters, and other documents that accompanied the Museum's exhibitions.
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The past months, in pictures
Dr. Tetiana Pavlova, Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Arts, presented a lecture on "Borys Kosarev and Ukrainian Photography" and a short film on early 20th century photography in conjunction with the exhibition Borys Kosarev: Modernist Kharkiv, 1915-1931.
Twenty-two shorts and four feature films thrilled audiences attending the third annual Kinofest NYC, an independent film festival sponsored by The Ukrainian Museum.
Filmmakers from Ukraine (including a Cannes Film Festival winner), Germany, and Brooklyn appeared at the Museum's opening night event.
Screening sessions took place at the Museum and the Anthology Film Archives.
Click the image to view the Kinofest NYC 2012 slideshow.
Visitors at the opening of the exhibition A Singular Vision: Ilona Sochynsky, Retrospective of Painting
The Museum had a high profile at the annual St. George Festival, with volunteers manning several tables and a photobooth where visitors could dress up as Ukrainian villagers and have their photos taken in front of a khatka (village house).
Bandura Downtown concert showcasing artistic director Julian Kytasty's latest solo work and celebrating six full seasons of Bandura Downtown performances at The Ukrainian Museum.
Joining Julian on stage for "A Night in Banduristan" were (l-r) musicians Roman Turovsky, Michael Alpert, and Alex Maksymiw.
Lecture by Dr. Florica Zaharia on "The Carpet Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Preservation and Display," presented in conjunction with the exhibition Ukrainian Kilims: Journey of a Heritage. Dr. Zaharia is the Met's Conservator in Charge of Textile Conservation.
Header image: Ilona Sochynsky, Paradox, 1998, oil on canvas (detail)
Unless otherwise indicated, all photos © The Ukrainian Museum
The Ukrainian Museum's film series and traditional arts programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.
The Ukrainian Museum's traditional arts and education programs are funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.