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    New exhibition: Opanas Zalyvakha: The Road to Truth

    image The Sounds
    1995, oil on canvas
    Gift of the artist

    On January 23, The Ukrainian Museum unveiled an exhibition of 39 works created between the early 1960s and 1999 by the artist and dissident Opanas Zalyvakha (1925-2007). Both the exhibition and the opening were organized in cooperation with the Plast sororities Pershi Stezhi and Verkhovynky.

    A cultural giant of his time, Zalyvakha is also considered to be a person of conscience, courage, and conviction ‒ a pivotal figure within the Ukrainian dissident movement of the 1960s who personified Ukraine's struggle against brutal totalitarian rule and repression. Through separate expressions of defiance, and despite arrest, persecution, imprisonment in hard-labor camps, and exile, Zalyvakha and his fellow dissidents opposed Soviet rule, raised the banner of national awareness, and fought for human rights in Ukraine.

    The opening of Opanas Zalyvakha: The Road to Truth was hosted by Natalia Sonevytsky, a member of the Museum's Board of Trustees who had become acquainted with Zalyvakha in the 1990s. The event commemorated the Ukrainian dissident movement of the 1960s and paid homage to many of its principals. Zalyvakha's friend and fellow dissident Raisa Moroz, who now resides in Winnipeg, shared her memories of him: his spirit never waned, he fought for justice his entire life, and he was determined to ensure that Ukrainian art took its rightful place on the world stage. In the latter effort, Zalyvakha was helped tremendously by Sophia and Titus Hewryk (a member and a former president, respectively, of the Museum's Board), who over the years sent him numerous exhibition catalogues, albums, and books about the life and work of Western artists. Artist Sofika Zielyk then gave an emotional, heartfelt description of her own friendship and correspondence with Zalyvakha.

    The exhibition opening included the presentation of the book Holos doby (The Voice of an Era), the second volume of the late dissident/poet Ivan Svitlychnyi's memoirs and, in the words of Dr. Larissa Zaleska Onyshkevych, "a painful reflection of the state of Ukrainian society and the fate of the nation." During the presentation, Sofika Zielyk read excerpts from poems by Svitlychnyi and by Vasyl Stus and Vasyl Symonenko.

    Opanas Zalyvakha: The Road to Truth includes nine paintings that the artist generously donated to the Museum. They arrived in New York thanks to the persistent efforts of Sofika Zielyk, who fulfilled Zalyvakha's request that the works, which had been stored in London, become part of the Museum's collection. The nine paintings were restored and framed with the generous support of the Self Reliance (NY) Federal Credit Union through the auspices of the Pershi Stezhi and Verkhovynky sororities.

    Also included in the exhibition are paintings on loan from institutions and private collectors, as well as an extensive selection of supplemental material relating to the period. The exhibition is on view through April 3.

     


     

    About the Museum
    The Ukrainian Museum was founded in 1976 by the Ukrainian National Women's League of America as a showcase for Ukrainian culture. Since its founding, the Museum has amassed extensive collections of folk art, fine art, and archival material. It mounts several exhibitions annually; publishes accompanying bilingual catalogues; organizes courses, workshops, and other educational programs; and hosts a variety of public events. In April 2005 the Museum moved into a new, state-of-the-art facility in New York's East Village, funded entirely by the Ukrainian American community.

     


     

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