Ukrainian traditions expressed by adults and children from Ukraine and Chicago are charming


Individually strung beads make up the design

Ukrainian heritage is part of both the short run of The Magic of Beads at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (UIMA), 2320 W. Chicago Ave., through Dec. 21 and Ethnic Heritage through the Eyes of My Elders. up through Jan. 25, 2015. 

Magic Beads is an exhibition honoring beads and semi-precious stones in jewelry. Pieces are the work of members of the studio Gerdan, who work with UIMA throughout the year. Gerdan is a multi-colored, intricately woven beaded necklace from the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine. 


Two paintings from children living in Ukraine*

A collaboration of the UIMA and the Ukrainian National Museum, made possible the Ethnic Heritage exhibit which spans countries. 

Before the end of the school year last year, children in the Ukraine and in Chicago were talked with about what heritage meant to them. They were encouraged to create something that expressed that heritage as they interpreted it from adults such as their grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. 

Students from St. Nicholas Ukrainian School, 2200 W. Rice St., and others from youth organizations in Palatine and the City as well as children in the Ukraine participated in creating the pieces on display. 


Ivana Chychula's Pavuk hangs over her grandmother's embroidery*

The results are charming and amazing. Some are flat pieces, others are three-dimensional. They should not be missed. 


Buildings by the children in Ukraine

Three walls at the museum have pieces created by Chicago area students and one by children in the Ukraine.

Wedding breads are a major tradition. A mother makes one for her daughter's wedding. Though


Dania Hrynewycz's wedding bread*

 is not ready to marry, she and her mom, Kathryn "Katia" Hrynewycz, baked a wedding bread together. 


The work of a St. Nicholas School student*


Painted on wood by Olga Sobkiv*

As they talked about Parania Dudycz, Katia's mother, Dania decided to add to the tradition of the wedding bread by putting pictures of her grandmother and other images in a ring around the middle of the bread. 

Dania's cousin, Ivana Chychula honored their shared grandmother by placing a piece embroidered by Dudycz in a frame over which hangs a Pavuk. She made it of the traditional straw. The spider web like creation is traditionally hung in a Ukrainian home all year long. 


The many symbols of the Ukraine were put together by Sophia Jarowyj*

A new one is hung each year on New Year's Eve. The old one is taken down and burned. These dream-catcher type structures are to absorb any negative energy in the house all year long. 

Other pieces in the show tell heritage stories in pictures. Some of the students had no art training and others had several years. 

This project encouraged multiple generations of passing down the stories and traditions of their families, helping to carry those stories to the next generation by talking and doing. 

The hours at the museum are Wednesday thru Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

*Photos courtesy  by Volodymyr Podio  



Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Insert images and media with <pp_img> or <pp_media>. See formatting options for syntax.

More information about formatting options