IMAGES FROM PAST EVENTS
PYSANKA (Ukrainian Easter Egg) and CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITION
at THE UKRAINIAN MUSEUM
March 21, 1999 - through June 6, 1999
The Ukrainian Museum's exhibition of pysanky, Ukrainian Easter
eggs, was this year presented in the work of two outstanding Ukrainian artists.
The exhibition featured the traditional decorated eggs created by Tania
Osadca, and the multifaceted contemporary works of art by Aka Pereyma.
The exhibition, entitled "PYSANKA, UKRAINE'S CULTURAL ICON:
Preserved in the Traditional Form by Tania Osadca and in the Contemporary
Art of Aka Pereyma" opened on March 21, 1999 and was shown
through June 6, 1999.
The Ukrainian pysanky had their origins in antiquity. The eggs
themselves have always been a source of wonder and magic to the primitive
people. Seen as the embodiment of the renewal of life, the eggs played
an important role in spring festivals. They were decorated with specific
designs and colors that held symbolic meaning, and were used in prescribed
rites and rituals. When Christianity came to Ukraine in the 10th century,
pysanky were incorporated into the Easter observances and to this
day they are a viable part of this holiday tradition.
The four hundred pysanky on display in this exhibition are rich in the
variety of symbolic decorations and colors. Regional differences in designs
and color schemes are prominent and almost all regions of Ukraine are represented
in this collection. The designs on the pysanky were decorated in
the traditional manner, using the wax resist technique. Most of the designs
are very old, according to artisan Tania Osadca, who researches them in
rare and antiquated publications and in collections held by museums in
Ukraine. She keeps this age-old tradition alive by replicating the designs
on the eggs, thus renewing the existence of the pysanky in the modern
Tania Osadca is a respected authority on Ukrainian folk art, especially
pysanky, and a master artisan of the craft. She studied art history
at Kent State University, but her spare time was devoted to the promotion
of the pysanka art through education, lectures and visual demonstration.
For many years T. Osadca has been involved in the research of the history,
symbolism and application of ancient pysanky designs. Her work has
translated into the development of one of the most important, interesting
and rare pysanky collections outside of Ukraine. She has shown her
collection in many exhibitions throughout the United States, Canada and
The traditional motifs of the pysanka permeate the contemporary
art works of Aka Pereyma, which the artists draws from the fertile source
of her ancestral culture. A. Pereyma has adopted the lore, the passion
and enchantment of Ukrainian folk art that is revealed in the ideogrammatic
manner in which she expresses her creative thought. The artist uses pysanka
elements to deal with themes such as the cycle of life and nature,
and the mysteries of the universe in oil paintings, in works of mixed media,
in ceramics and metal sculpture(examples of which will be on exhibit.
Aka Pereyma studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Dayton
Art Institute in Dayton, Ohio, from which she received a diploma in sculpture.
She learned welding at the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology in Troy,
Ohio. Collections of her work have been shown in numerous solo and group
exhibitions throughout this country, in Canada and in Ukraine.
Pysanka, Ukraine's Cultural Icon continues The Ukrainian
Museum's series of exhibitions entitled In Celebration of Private Collectors.
These exhibitions are designed to acknowledge the important role collectors
play in the formation of significant collections, which they in turn share
with the general public, whether through loans for special shows or important
outright gifts to cultural institutions.
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