Voloshyn Gallery from Kyiv reopened its exhibition space for the first time since the war started. The gallery’s space was a hiding place for Ukrainian people and artists. Now it will finally start working as it did before the war, and its purpose will make sense again. Overall, the intention of reopening the gallery is to normalize life again. As it was before the Russian invasion.
Voloshyn Gallery Supported Ukrainian Artists During Hard Times
Max and Julia Voloshyn, gallery owners, spoke about their reasons for the reopening of the gallery. “The decision to reopen our gallery in Kyiv was driven by a strong sense to support the Ukrainian art scene during challenging times”, the Voloshyns said. This can be a completely new start – for the gallery, their owners, and also for the artists. Now they can finally be able to create in normal conditions.
As the situation calmed down a bit, the owners decided the gallery should continue with normal work. Their goal is to support the local community and artists. They want to enable artists to express themselves more easily, as well as to further develop Ukrainian cultural and artistic heritage. The owners, however, live in America, but will visit the gallery from time to time and thus manage it.
The “Camera Obscura,” a collaborative exhibit, served as Voloshyn’s official reopening on Friday, April 14. The exhibition depicts the Ukrainian situation – how light can be found even in the greatest darkness. The exhibition contains motifs of freedom and the struggles that Ukraine is dealing with. When the war started, the owners had to leave Ukraine and go to America. They didn’t know when they would return – but this now represents a new beginning for them.
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War Changed Artist’s Imagination
Although the owners were not on Ukrainian soil, they tried to represent Ukrainian artists around the world. They participated in many art fairs, such as ARCO Madrid in February, and the upcoming Art Brussels this week. In reality, the plan for reopening existed in October 2022. However, the owners abandoned it when Russia attacked Kyiv. Although the circumstances were difficult, the artists continued to work.
Owners commented on the attack. “One of the rockets hit the playground in Shevchenko Park, directly in front of the building where our gallery is located. This incident caused damage to the city’s infrastructure, we had problems with electricity and internet at our gallery, and with the constant shelling throughout the winter, we decided to postpone our reopening plans”.
The war had a big impact on Ukrainian art – it changed the way artists create. They present “a stronger focus on themes of survival, resistance, and documenting crimes of Russians. These works not only reflect the changing realities, but also serve as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Ukrainian people”.