Pelham Art Center Hosts Upcoming
Events Focused on Ukrainian Art & Culture
Pelham Art Center will host a series of three free community events centered around Ukrainian art and cultural traditions. A virtual panel of four Ukrainian-American artists on April 5th, and Ukrainian Pysanka Lecture & Demo on April 6th, and a Ukrainian Cultural Celebration with live music and dance on April 10th offer audiences a chance to learn more about the rich artistic traditions of Ukraine, and their vibrancy and importance to this day.
“Supporting our local Ukrainian communities and artists is incredibly important right now. It has been five weeks since the war in Ukraine started. For those of you who don’t know my husband is Ukrainian and we have family members currently in Ukraine. These past few weeks have been heart wrenching for all of us,” shares Charlotte Mouquin, Executive Director of Pelham Art Center. “We aim to support artists, celebrate all cultures, to promote art, education and unity. There is always something incredible coming up at Pelham Art Center. Please join us for these free programs made possible by the ReStart the Arts grant from ArtsWestchester, the Pelham Rotary, and our annual fund contributors and donors.”
Wednesday, April 6, 2022: Ukrainian Pysanka Lecture & Demo – 6:00-7:30 pm
Join Pelham Art Center for a live lecture and demo with artist and ethnographer Sofika Zielyk on the Pysanka (Ukrainian Easter egg) tradition. This event is free and open to the public.
Created using the batik wax-resistance technique, the Ukrainian Easter egg or pysanka (from the word “pysaty” or “to write”) was believed to possess enormous power. For the ancients, holding a pysanka in one’s hand was a way of harnessing the power of the sun. The whole egg represented the rebirth of nature, while the yolk alone was a symbol of the all-powerful sun god. Pysanky (the plural of a pysanka) were revered as talismans: they protected the family against evil, disease and fire. They could bring good luck, health, wealth and a bountiful harvest. Visit Pelham Art Center on Wednesday, April 6th at 6:00pm to learn more about this rich Ukrainian tradition and the history behind it.
Artist and ethnographer Sofika Zielyk, a native New Yorker, holds a degree in Art History from New York University. She started making pysanky and ceramics when she was six, having learned the basics of these traditional Ukrainian art forms from her mother. What began as a hobby has through the years developed into a professional pursuit. Sofika has lectured and exhibited her work most notably at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, Museum of Arts and Design, the office of the Security Council at the United Nations in New York, the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C., America House, a component of the US Embassy in Kyiv, at the residence of the Bishop of the Eparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Vincennes, France and in Rome, Italy at the Church of Santa Sophia. Her pysanky are in the permanent collection of the Ukrainian Museum in New York, the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C., America House in Kyiv and the Pysanka Museum in Kolomyja, Ukraine. Interviews with Sofika have been published in New York Newsday, The World and I, The New York Daily News and Crain’s New YorkBusiness. In 1992 Sofika was the first American of Ukrainian descent to exhibit her work in her ancestral homeland (Taras Shevchenko Museum, Kaniv, Taras Shevchenko Museum, Kyiv.) She has also been accepted as a full-fledged member of the prestigious Association of Folk Artists of Ukraine. Photographs of Sofika’s work have been prominently featured in the book “Festivals of the World: Ukraine” published by Times Editions, in a coffee-table book entitled “Decorative Eggs” published by Crescent Books as well as in “Malevich” by Rodovid Press. In early 1993, a bilingual book on “The Art of the Pysanka” by Sofika was published in Ukraine. It contains 100 color photographs of her eggs as well as sections on the lore of Ukrainian Easter eggs and step-by-step instructions. In 2014-2015 Sofika was living in Kyiv having received a Fulbright Scholar grant. Her topic of research was “Folk art as inspiration and muse for early 20th century artists of Ukraine.”
Sunday, April 10, 2022: Ukrainian Cultural Celebration – 1:00-3:00 pm
Attend a free public celebration of Ukrainian culture with music and dancing in the Pelham Art Center courtyard. From 1:00-2:00pm, three artists–Nadia Garber, Tania Homenko, and Olga Khomenko–will give demonstrations in traditional Ukrainian craftwork. A live Ukrainian folk performance begins at 2:00pm: “Haida-haida!” Live Music by Cheres Ensemble and Dance Performances by the VESNA Dance Group from the Yunist Ukrainian Dance School.
During the April 10th Ukrainian Celebration, Pelham Art Center will be collecting donations for Razom to support the immediate needs and relief efforts in Ukraine. Razom was created to provide urgent help and support for the people of Ukraine. Today, the sovereign nation of Ukraine has to deal with the most horrendous and catastrophic emergency – a brutal invasion. Razom is responding to this by providing critical humanitarian war relief and recovery depending on the most urgent needs as they evolve. Learn more at razomforukraine.org.
These events are presented with support from The Pelham Rotary Club, The ArtsWestchester ReStart the Arts Grant, and Pelham Art Center Members & Annual Fund Donors.