View Virtual Art Resources for All Ages at Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art

Many cultural institutions are offering more ways to engage the public online during this “shelter in place” period. The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (UIMA) is no exception as they also are enhancing their online presence by offering more content to the public. A special event film on the founding and history of the museum will be screened on Facebook at 7pm Thursday, April 30. Details below.

By visiting their website, one can take a virtual tour of the exhibition, The External Eye: Yana Bystrova and Paula Henderson.  Initially scheduled to run through April 14, the exhibition closed early when the “shelter in place” took effect on March 21.  Although the virtual tour is no substitute for seeing this exhibition in person, one can still feel the power of the works and observe how Bystrova and Henderson have two different approaches to abstraction in their paintings.

Yana Bystrova, Rubic’s Cube,
Yana Bystrova, Rubic’s Cube, 2018. Acrylic on canvas. Photo courtesy: Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.

Bystrova’s art reflects an en plein-air (painting outdoors) style as she captures elements of the surrounding environment such as landscapes, nature, and organic elements. Henderson, on the other hand, concentrates more on social constructs and traditions of representation. What is most intriguing about this exhibition, is how Bystrova and Henderson create their own perspective through their use of colors and shapes.

One can also browse UIMA’s permanent collection where up to 1,050 works can be viewed.  The list of artists in their collection is an impressive one that includes the artists Wasyl Kacurovsky, Mychajlo Urban, and Konstantin Milonadis.

Mychajlo Urban, Head
Mychajlo Urban, Head, 1997. Oil on canvas. Gift of Wasyl Kacurovsky. Photo courtesy: Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.

For children, UIMA is offering an activity coloring book where one can easily print out a PDF version. Included in this activity book are crossword and word search puzzles as well as 11 outlines of paintings from the UIMA collection that kids are free to color as they wish.

UIMA is also offering a free virtual screening of The First Lions, a film that tells the story about the founding of the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in 1971 as well as its early years. The film also looks at Ukrainian-American artists who were working in modern and contemporary art methods in Chicago after World War II. This film not only provides an oral history of the founders, but also acts as a catalyst for new conversations about Ukrainian-American art in Chicago. The film will be live-streamed for free on Facebook at 7pm Thursday, April 30. RSVP here to this event. You can also watch the trailer of The First Lions.

If you enjoy any of these activities, then make sure to visit the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art when it can once again open its doors to the public. In the meantime, check out their website for more information about future events. The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art is located at 2320 W. Chicago Ave. in a set of four storefronts with a facade designed by Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman.

Thomas Wawzenek
Thomas Wawzenek