The Artist Exchange Program The program was a labour of love. It was a dream to finally see the artists arrive in Toronto in September, to set them up, and see them get the workshops off and running. It was even better to host the Artist Exchange Culminating Art Show, exhibiting wall to wall art pieces by the workshop participants and artists.
For those of you who don't about our artists exchange, it was a project conceptualized by our artistic savant Oksana, who thought it would be great to host Ukrainian folk artists in Canada. And...somehow...with some luck....and a lot of planning...we did it ! (2 years later). You can learn more about the artists we brought over and what they have to offer here.
The workshops we hosted turned into quite the family affair. On Mondays, we had the icon on glass crowd, a gaggle of ladies who fed off each others talents to create some venerative and folk inspired paintings on glass. Wednesdays were a double bill with the Byzantine iconography and folk painters and Fridays were 20 strong for Petrykivka folk flower painting.
The Culminating Show
On October 26th, 2012, everyone came together to share what they'd made. We could not have imagined that there were so many budding talents among us! People who said they had never picked up a paintbrush blew us away with their finished pieces. So many of us recognized within ourselves that we had been curious about these art forms, but just needed a safe, non-judgmental, and most of all, amateur setting to develop our taste for it.
The evening was a whirlwind of music, food, and marveling at what Yura and Vasyl were able to accomplish in such a short time (they painted day and night in preparation for the show). Yura played tsymbaly in the upstairs gallery to a captivated crowd, and so many people huddled to hear the music -- cross legged on the floor, squished in the hallway- wherever there was space. Kosa and the women from our traditional singing workshops sang a few tunes for everyone, and finally Chiara Ubertino and friend Jen played traditional Irish folk music to everyone's delight.
By looking around the room, we could tell everyone enjoyed themselves. By the hugs we got from friends and family, and the promise of something like this being possible on a shoestring budget, we came to know that - if you ask, you shall receive.
Thank you to Eddie's Meat & Deli Market for providing more than enough delicious bread, spreads, meats and pastriesfor all to feast on....
To Rosewood Estates Wineries and Mill St. Brewery for providing local delicious beverages!
To Shevchenko Museum for opening their doors to us and being such a lovely venue to work with...
To all our talented and generous friends who entertained us with their music: Ada Dahli, Mark Marczyk, Tangi Ropars, Jaash Singh, Chiara Ubertino, and Jen, and of course, our special guest artists: Yura Rafaliuk and Vasyl Karpiv.