Natalia Valenyuk: The Garden of Hidden Dreams in Ukrainian Village


This images come from very old pysanka designs

 Valenyuk's The Garden of Hidden Dreams reflects her belief that people should take time for nature and life and enjoy! The show in the Ukrainian Museum, 2249 West Superior St., will be available for taking a pleasant stroll, reflecting and enjoying thru March 30. 

Her "garden" in the Ukrainian Museum is populated with a variety of artistic pieces which include painting on silk, weaving, paintings, pysanka (art of painting eggs also known as pisanki in the Polish community) and floral arrangements.


A pysanka is the eye of the bird

She uses wonderfully rich, vibrant colors in her paintings and weavings. Several of the pieces incorporate pysanka designs and others have an egg as part of the piece.

Valenyuk was born into a world of art in Liviv, Ukraine. Her father was a sculptor and she spent her childhood in his studio as did her brother, Oleh Lesiuk, who is also a sculptor. 


This is the detail of another piece in which a pysanka is displayed

She studied at the Lviv Academy of Applied Arts (Textile Department) from 1982 to 1986. She has taken part in international textile exhibitions since 1985 and her works are primarily textile, batik and painting. As the Vice Principal of a children's art school, she also taught them floral design as well as other art forms. 


This is a detail of a weaving

A member of the Ukrainian Union of Designers from 1999 to 2002, she moved to Toronto, Canada, with her husband, Oleh, and two children, Nadiya and Lyubolyr in 2002. "My husband had a solo show in Toronto in 2000 and enjoyed the city and felt there were more opportunities there," she explains.

She continued her work in textiles and became a member of the Ukrainian Association of Visual Arts of Canada in 2003. But, Valenyuk expanded her horizons by working full-time as a floral designer. 


Daughter Nadiya and Natalia stand surrounded by "The Garden"

Her daughter Nadiya traveled with her to Chicago for this exhibit and shared her experience as the child of two artists. "There was always an artistic mess in the house," she explained. "It was a great way to grow up, amazing to see creations happening. Everything had an artistic compliment. It gets you thinking outside the box. 

"My parents always read and sang to me and that gave me a love for books and studying in our huge library." Nadia will be graduating from York University in Toronto and then is planning to go to law school. 

Museum Hours are Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: $5.00 Children under 12 - Free

Exhibit continues through March 30. For additional information, visit the Museum's website or call 312.421.8020.



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