Ukrainian Exhibit Teaches History Through Art

By Mallory Lane

Published 07/25 2014 05:52PM

Updated 07/25 2014 06:07PM

STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - As the crisis between Ukraine and Russia continues, one local town is hoping to educate people about it, through art.

The Woskob family calls their exhibit "The Immortal Diorama of Memory: Triumph over Tragedy in Ukrainian Art." They hope as tragedy continues to unfold in Ukraine, folks in our region will learn more about the country's history and the people there who still have hope for the future.

"Pictures tell 1,000 words, as the saying goes," Michael Naydan, a contributor to the exhibit, said.

When Naydan looks around this Ukrainian art exhibit, he sees history unfolding all over again.

"Ukraine has seen what happens when they let themselves be controlled by Russia," he said. "Massive tragedies in Ukraine and million and millions of people dying."

From hand-carved wood to oil paintings and metal creations. Signs read, "Wonderful means to renew the government - purification," "Human rights above all," and "Together, we are a force."

To Naydan, they're all a symbol of perseverance.

"While this exhibit does show many of the tragedies in Ukrainian history, it also shows the resilience and strength of the Ukrainian people to keep pushing for the one thing they wanted for over 1,000 years," he said. "Their freedom."

It's the bloodiest violence in Ukraine's post-Soviet history. The turmoil has turned this country of 46 million upside down, with loyalties torn between Europe and Russia.

Just last week, nearly 300 people were killed as a Malaysian Airlines flight was taken down by what the United States believes was a missile provided by the Russians.

As these events force the rest of the world to pay attention, Naydan hopes this exhibit will do the same.

"This is an artist statement that really requires a little meditation and reading and understanding," he said. "I think you will understand the Ukrainian spirit a lot better."

The exhibit is located in the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center on South Allen Street. It will run through Sunday.

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