Dec 17th 2022

Children of War

@ Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art

2320 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Opening Saturday, December 17th, at 12PM

On view through Sunday, February 12th

The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art is honored to host an exhibition titled Children of War, featuring children’s art works from Ukraine that will be on view fromDecember 17, 2022 to February 12, 2023. The opening will take place on Saturday, December 17 at 12 p.m. CT. It will be attended by children from the local school, and by leaders from the Ukrainian community, ethnic communities affected by Russia’s war on Ukraine, and key individuals from the Chicago area.

Children in Ukraine were caught in the midst of missile attacks on civilian targets and the horrors of Russian occupation. While many were killed or kidnapped and taken from their families by force to Russia, others were hiding in bomb shelters or escaped to the West. They witnessed the killing of their loved ones, the destruction of their homes, and other unimaginable horrors of war. By experiencing trauma, horror, loss of life, and loss of innocence, many children developed post-traumatic stress that prevented them from communicating or feeling safe.

Beginning in March 2022, Lviv artist and art teacher Nataliia Pavliuk and her daughter Yustyna began an art therapy program in Lviv, a city in Western Ukraine, where many refugees settled. They held classes in orphanages, hospitals, community centers, and art galleries. The word spread about the Pavliuk’s art therapy program and refugee children sought them out wherever they went. Nine year old Maria from Donetsk was in a Lviv Children’s Hospital painting a cat using only pink colors. When asked if she had sisters, her answer was shocking. She said, “Yes, I have… I had a sister, she was on a bus when a missile hit and she was burned to death.” Veronica, 10 years old, is the sole survivor of her family who was attacked by a tank that destroyed their home. Despite the horrors she endured, Veronica becomes relaxed and smiles when she paints in bright colors. Renat from Severodonetsk was injured from shelling at the train station while trying to evacuate. He paints his favorite places back home before the war. Two brothers, ages five and three, lost their father. The five year old continuously paints tanks with Ukrainian flags, with a black heart surrounded by a red border. Nataliia Pavliuk commented, “These children saw ‘hell’ in the true sense of the word, but they continue to live as children, with hope and love in their hearts. We will continue these art therapy sessions as long as they are needed.” Nataliia and her daughter brought the works of these children for the exhibit in Chicago. The works will be available for sale, as humanitarian help for the children undergoing treatment in Lviv.

UIMA is proud to exhibit these children’s inspiring works of resilience and joins the efforts to help the children through this humanitarian crisis. These children are reaching out to us through their works as art is humanity's most essential, most universal language.

Contact UIMA Marketing Consultant Alexandra Senycia at with any questions or to set up a private viewing of the exhibition.

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