When Studio 1010 opens its next art exhibit at the Grace Campbell Gallery, they’ll be thinking about more than just colours, lighting, and brush strokes.
Two painters, Sonya Jahn and Jerome Mrazek, have decided to donate proceeds from their work to Humanitarian Aid for Ukraine, a charity that helps vulnerable Ukrainian families.
For Jahn, the donation is a personal one. Her mother was born in Ukraine, and she’s visited the country with her family.
“A lot of people don’t realize what an incredibly gorgeous country Ukraine is if they haven’t had a chance to visit,” Jahn said while taking a break from setting up for Saturday’s opening reception. “It is my hope that this war will not destroy the beauty of Ukraine.”
While Jahn is concerned about the beautiful cities and countryside, she’s even more concerned about the people.
She hopes donations from her four paintings on display can help a few vulnerable families escape the country. She even has a few more pieces at home planned for sale if the first four sell out.
She said 100 per cent of the proceeds will go to Humanitarian Aid for Ukraine.
“They are fighting for their right to live in a peaceful country just like (Canadians) do,” she she explained. “Certainly, the fact that they are fighting for every inch to save their country speaks volumes as to the tenacity and the will of Ukrainian people.”
Ukrainian cultural symbols figure predominantly in Jahn’s work, especially the sunflower, the flag, and wheat. She’s worried the war will destroy the countries national beauty, but optimistic the Ukrainian people can win.
“One of the things I learned visiting Ukraine is that Ukrainian people are peaceful people, however they have a strong will to fight for their country,” she said.
Jerome Mrazek is of Czech descent, not Ukrainian, but said it’s important for Canadians to stand up and support Ukraine. He’s donating the proceeds of his painting of the old Prince Albert City Hall, which includes a healthy dose of yellow and blue.
“I call the piece ‘In Solidarity’,” he explained. “The sidewalks are in the yellow and blue of the Ukrainian flag, and there’s also a yellow and blue door and a yellow and blue bell in the belfry. It’s a civic building that represents Prince Albert and the history of Prince Albert, so I thought that would be a good combination too, to say Prince Albert is in solidarity with Ukraine, and so am I.”
Like Jahn, Mrazek said Ukrainians are fighting to maintain their autonomy. He’s worried they won’t be able to do it without international support, and even if they do, he’s worried about the cost they’ll pay.
“Not to lecture, but we’re looking at good over evil here,” he said. “It’s important to not just assume that everything will be okay over there and people will survive. They won’t unless we support them.”
The Studio 1010 Art Show and Sale runs until April 26. The opening reception begins at 2:30 p.m. on April 2 in the Grace Campbell Gallery.
For more on today’s opening reception, please see the Tuesday edition of the Daily Herald.