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Cover photo courtesy of Dmytro Lavrentiev.
OCAD University’s Ukrainian Student and Alumni Collective will present its first exhibition, Eclectic Ukrainian Futures, from Oct. 19 to 26. A reception and auction will take place on Oct. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Great Hall at the Rosalie Sharp Centre for Design, located at 100 McCaul St.
Eclectic Ukrainian Futures will showcase more than 26 artworks from OCAD U students and alums, aiming to bring the diverse perspectives, creativity and talent of the OCAD U community to the forefront, while celebrating Ukrainian culture.
The charitable auction on Oct. 26 is organized in collaboration with the Canada-Ukraine Foundation and will donate 50 per cent of its proceeds to the AID for ARTISTS fund. This important fund supports artists, arts workers, arts organizations, arts institutions and artist advocates to improve the preservation, promotion and development of Ukrainian arts in Ukraine.
Participants vary from those who were born and raised in Toronto, to those who were born in Ukraine and migrated during the war, to those who were born in Ukraine but have lived in Canada for a longer period.
Ievgeniia Cherednikova, president of the OCAD U Ukrainian Student and Alumni Collective, and fourth-year Drawing and Painting student who came to Canada in May 2022 from Kyiv, Ukraine, aims to help the community and artists in her homeland through this exhibition and auction.
Cherednikova says that for the theme of Eclectic Ukrainian Futures, the collective was inspired by manifestations of the future from Indigenous cultures in Ontario, in particular the Mi’kmaq.
“Also, we were inspired by what it meant to be Ukrainian for each person and an eclectic nature of Ukrainian culture and its future,” she notes.
“I realized that I am attracted to spaces where I inhabit wholesome and joyful feelings thus making it as a centre point for my internal investigation,” says Cherednikova of her own practice. “For me, I receive the majority of pull towards Ukrainian nature. This is where I am working from and do picture making.”
“Recently, my painting style has been changing to follow what I found meaningful and joyful in the progress of intuitive making in response to my surroundings,” continues Cherednikova. “My most enjoyable medium so far is beeswax and oil paint.”
The OCAD U Ukrainian Student and Alumni Collective is a student-run collective that was established in May 2023 to bridge the gap between the OCAD U community and Ukrainian culture. Through Eclectic Ukrainian Futures, they aim to envision a future where Ukrainians matter and prosper internally, culturally, environmentally and externally on a global scale.
The exhibition will also be a part of OCAD U’s fourth annual Gallery Crawl on Oct. 21, which features five exhibitions across campus.