By Alvin Tsang
The local art gallery is hosting a three-week exhibition to show support for Ukraine.
From March 30—April 17, over 30 art pieces painted by 20 artists will be featured in the show Free Ukraine
Ingrid Hollander, owner of the Orange Art Gallery, was a military engineer for three years.
“I watch the news every night, and what’s going on in Ukraine breaks my heart,” Hollander said. “I never went overseas during my time in the military, but I did help in some of the other disasters, like the big Manitoba flooding and the Ottawa ice storm of 1998.”
Hollander and the 20 painters coming together for Free Ukraine are all local artists who care deeply about the bigger cause. The idea behind the art show is to do something good, to support Ukraine and to encourage the rest of the world to help out too.
“Watching the images on TV now, and anything involving soldiers and what they’re going through, is really moving to me. I have a personal understanding of how terrible war is, and it’s heartbreaking,” Hollander said.
Throughout the three weeks, 20 per cent of all sales at the gallery will be donated to efforts to support Ukrainian refugees coming to Canada.
“Half of the 20 per cent is from the gallery, and the other half is from the artists themselves, so it’s a split effort,” Hollander said. “With that said, everything else in the gallery, upstairs and downstairs, even if it’s not a part of the main show, will be doing the 20 per cent proceeds as well.”
The Free Ukraine exhibition will consist of works of relevance and significance—either by colour or by subject matter.
One of the main centrepieces is called The Power of Yellow and Blue by Lorena Ziraldo.
“Heart-wrenching photos of men and boys forced to war, at borders turning away from families, are what inspired me to complete this painting,” Ziraldo said. “Yet, they go with hope and pride.”
Another main centrepiece is the Rise of the Oligarch by Pamela Cockcroft-Lasserre.
“If you look closely at the clouds in the painting, they suggest the chore de ballet, possibly the Bolshoi,” Cockcroft-Lasserre said. “The Oligarch in the flimsy lawn chair with his Sotheby’s shopping bag—indicative of his London connections—will ultimately fall. All his influence, wealth and possessions, like the chair, will be unable to save him from coming down to earth with a mighty thump.”
An opening reception took place on Thursday, March 31, from 6-10 p.m. to kick off the three-week event. Hollander spoke to Kitchissippi Times in advance of the big premiere night.
“We’re going to play Ukrainian music, have a few special cocktails—everything’s going to be Ukrainian—and I’m going to encourage people to wear blue and yellow when attending the reception. We’ve set up blue and yellow lights around the front entrance, and we’re dressing up the gallery, inside and out, and doing what we can to show support for Ukraine.”
All profits from the bar on opening night are to be donated as well.
For more information about Orange Art Gallery and the Free Ukraine exhibition, please visit orangeartgallery.ca