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Brightly decorated Ukrainian pysanky Easter eggs

Ukrainian Pysanky Eggs on Display on Capitol Square; Employment Opportunities Collected for Displaced Ukrainians

As the State of Ohio demonstrates its solidarity with Ukraine through executive and legislative action, so does the greater arts community provide opportunities for cultural understanding for Ohioans, as well as employment resources for displaced Ukrainians.

Ukrainian Pysanky Eggs on Display on Capitol Square

Christina Pereyma’s collection of decorated Ukrainian eggs, known as pysanky, are on display until Friday, May 6 on Ohio’s Capitol Square. A display of Ukrainian pysanky Easter eggs

The collection can be viewed in two locations—at the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda and the Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery, located in the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts.

The collection features Pereyma’s own work as well as that of her family—her sister Vaka Farrara, aunt Tanya Osadca, and mother Aka Pereyma.

While Ukrainian was her first language and family holidays were celebrated with Ukrainian traditions, Christina Pereyma was raised in Troy, Ohio. “My family was proud to become American, and as we debate what it means to be American, let’s remember that my parents were not free to be Ukrainians in Ukraine,” she reflected.

Pysanky are a Lenten tradition, with origins in Eastern Europe in pre-Christian times. Ukrainian and other European immigrants brought the pysanky artform to the United States, with women in Ukrainian families often passing down the practice. Given as gifts to ensure well-being, pysanky are sacred objects, often placed in homes or with livestock to protect them. As times changed, many pre-Christian symbols used to decorate pysanky were carried into the Christian era, with new meanings ascribed to align with a Christian worldview.

A display of Ukrainian pysanky Easter eggsThe exhibition is presented by the OAC Riffe Gallery and the Ohio Statehouse Museum Education Center.

Additional Pysanky Exhibitions and Resources

Beyond Pereyma’s exhibition on Capitol Square, the Ohio Craft Museum in Grandview Heights is currently exhibiting the pysanky collection of retired Ohio Arts Council Artist Programs Director Ken Emerick, as reported by the Columbus Dispatch.

During last year’s Lenten season, the OAC featured the work of Carol Snyder of Columbus. The feature details the process behind making pysanky and resummarizes the historical background behind the eggs.

Employment Resources Collected for Displaced Ukrainians

A national effort, the Ukrainian Cultural Capital Placement Project has launched a survey to gather suggestions for organizations, residencies, fellowships, educational programs, and employment opportunities for displaced Ukrainian artists, academics, and professionals. The survey link is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D2GTXFM.

Survey information will be shared with agencies nationwide working with refugees to connect individuals with organizations that can provide safe temporary housing, workspace, and networking opportunities to help people in transition.

The goal of the project is to create opportunities for professional advancement and to avoid underemployment of highly educated and trained professionals, despite their present circumstances. The survey can be completed multiple times and shared widely.

The project is led by Chicago artist Anya Antonovych and promoted by staff of the National Council for the Traditional Arts.

ABOUT THE OHIO ARTS COUNCIL

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at oac.ohio.gov.

ABOUT THE OAC RIFFE GALLERY

The Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery showcases the work of Ohio's artists and the collections of the state's museums and galleries. The Riffe Gallery is located in the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts, 77 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215.

Visit Riffegallery.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram.

Article by Justin Nigro, operations and public affairs director; photos courtesy of Cat Sheridan (display case) and Christina Pereyma (pysanky detail)



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