‘Art Under Siege,’ Fundraising for Ukraine, Opens June 5 at Old Lyme

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OLD LYME — “Art Under Siege,” a Ukrainian art and fundraising exhibition, will have its opening at the Sill House Gallery at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts on June 5 from 2 to 4 pm.

The show is presented by resident Barbara Shriver, who collected more than fifty works of art, created from 1945 to 2001, during which she and her husband, Dick, lived in Ukraine. Between 1990 and 2001, Shrivers lived and worked in Ukraine — during the last days of Soviet rule and 10 years after Ukraine’s independence.

“Unless they adhered to the rules prescribed for official Soviet art, dissident artists were persecuted and abused in a variety of ways, including being barred from purchasing essential materials such as paint and canvas,” said Barbara Shriver in the release.

He said that many artists — most of them trained at the Kyiv Art Institute — are not allowed to travel outside Ukraine but they are well aware of the art world outside Ukraine.

“Girl in White Scarf” by unknown artist (Photo: Barbara Shriver)

“To me, much of this art reflects the impact this form of government has on the way artists paint. The paintings made under Soviet tyranny are very different from the paintings produced in independent Ukraine,” said Shriver.

Artists highlighted in the exhibition include Victor Zaretsky, a figurehead of Ukrainian Socialist Realism and Soviet Art Nonconformist influenced by Gustav Klimt. He and his wife, Alla Horska, were one of the “Sixtiers,” a group of dissident painters, poets and writers in the 1960s who advocated for Ukrainian culture and refused to let their art serve the Soviet Union.

Also included are works by Mishnovskiy, from L’viv in Western Ukraine, known as “Andy Warhol of Ukraine”.

The exhibition includes portraits and landscapes from Crimea to Kyiv, made from 1945 to 1990. The exhibition also includes woodcuts, painted eggs, fabrics and handmade jewelry.

Traditional Ukrainian pottery (Photo: Barbara Shriver)

Shriver said an important part of the show’s aim was to convey an understanding of how Russians are perceived by Ukrainians.

“People always say the Russians say [Ukrainians are] their siblings. But Ukrainians say 300 years of oppression is enough – and that’s a direct quote from Ukrainians,” Shriver told the CT Examiner.

Paintings range from $300 to $5000 and memorabilia from $5.00 to $100.00. Two-thirds of the proceeds from the sale of the artwork will be donated to Ukrainian charities including the Catholic University of Ukraine (based in L’viv, Ukraine) and its program for refugees from war, and the Boyarsky Orphanage of 88 young children who were forced to flee the Kyiv region earlier this year. this, and moved to Utsk, Poland, according to a release.

The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts has donated the gallery space and its share of the proceeds from the sale of the artwork.

“Art Under Siege”

Opening: June 5, 2 to 4 pm
Exhibition: 8 – 19 June, Wednesday. – Sunday, 12 to 4 pm

Sill House Gallery at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts
84 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT

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