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Catholic Life Features

 Exhibition of contemporary Ukrainian artist opening July 28 at Castellani Art Museum

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NIAGARA UNIVERSITY  — War is destructive to people and  their cultural heritage. Living Through War: Works from Kharkiv by Bella Logachova is a reaction against the war in Ukraine. Each work gives unique insight into the perspective of an artist living through the violence and destruction of her homeland.

With this exhibition, the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University strives to bring empathy and awareness to the war in Ukraine while supporting an artist and her country embroiled in conflict.

The works of Ukraine artist Bella Logachova will be on display at the Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University beginning July 28.

Living Through War is generously sponsored by KeyBank in partnership with First Niagara Foundation.

Living  Through War: Works from Kharkiv by Bella Logachova offers the incredibly rare opportunity to see through the eyes of a person in an active combat zone. The CAM will exhibit 19 of Logachova’s artworks from the ARtNUO (New Ukrainian Ornaments) Series,  produced from 2014 through 2022, along with a video of the artist. The  exhibition will be on view Thursday, July 28, with an opening reception from 4:30–7:30 p.m. on July 28, with RSVP required. The first hour, 4:30-5:30 p.m., is for museum members and features a special curator tour. From 5:30–7:30 p.m., the public can explore the exhibition, hear remarks from co-curator Sabine Kutt and leadership from the Dnipro Ukrainian Cultural Center, and attend a short public gallery tour.

Combining imagery that is traditional to Ukrainian folk art along with military icons and symbols, Logachova creates complex and narrative digital images. Through her intricate works, she describes various international events including the current conflict in  Ukraine starting with the 2014 Revolution of Dignity: “Each work is a documentary story told by means of ornament. War time is difficult … but we need to do something, to create new things. It’s our responsibility,” Logachova said.

Logachova is a Ukrainian artist and photographer, born in Mariupol in 1973. She graduated from the Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Art, where she currently teaches Media Arts and is a co-founder of SOSka art group, including the Excess film group, in Kharkiv.

 She has exhibited her work throughout Europe and Ukraine.

She received wide recognition after the presentation of posters titled ARtNUO – New Ukrainian Ornaments at the IX International Triennale  “4th Block” in 2015 for which she received the Grand Prix award of the festival. The 4th Block is an association of contemporary graphic designers. “In 2014, when the war in Ukraine started, I began the ARtNUO series … as the war only escalates, this series  is still ongoing,” Logachova explained.

This exhibition will be co-curated with Sabine Kutt of Sabine Kutt Photography. Sabine Kutt is a photographer, art curator, choreographer and ballet master. Born and raised in East Germany, she has resided in the United States since 2001. She curates international exhibitions and special events, and currently represents women artists, including Bella Logachova. “The natural, joyful elements of the embroidery stand in sharp contrast to the military symbols Bella Logachova inserts into her images. Her art is like news. She is one of the few artists who are able to immediately implement what she has experienced in a creative way,” Kutt said.

The Dnipro Ukrainian Cultural Center in Buffalo, an important exhibition partner, is providing project support and lending traditional Ukrainian needlework for visual reference in the exhibition. The gallery will feature a QR code that allows CAM visitors to donate directly to Dnipro’s Ukrainian Humanitarian and Medical Aid charity fund. On Saturday, July 30 from 11 a.m.–5 p.m., the CAM will host a special Ukrainian Community Day of programming for Dnipro Center members and the public to visit Living Through War

The Print Center, Philadelphia in partnership with the Castellani Museum, will feature a Bella Logachova work during August 2022 as part of its Windows on Latimer series. They will also offer Bella Logachova prints for sale; the artist will direct proceeds to support Ukraine.

The Print Center, founded in 1915, represents printmaking and photography as vital contemporary arts, and is recognized as an international voice in print.

During a time of many global conflicts, the CAM supports creativity across borders and recognizes the deep contributions of immigrant, refugee and BIPOC communities to the cultural fabric of the Buffalo-Niagara region. Additional programs referencing these powerful works will be hosted during the run of the exhibition for Niagara University students, local school districts, and the general public.

“Art distracts and gives strength. Art will always be against war,” Logachova said.

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