Thursday pick: ‘Art and War’ at Fresno State’s Madden Library

Fresno State News

The opening ceremony and reception of a new Fresno State exhibition, “Art and War: Donbas, 2014 to the Present,” will be held 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6, outside the Peters Ellipse Gallery in the university’s Henry Madden Library.

Here’s a rundown:

What: An exhibition of paintings and drawings by Yulia Gasio, a Fresno State alumna and a faculty member at California State University, Long Beach. It reflects her family’s traumatic experiences of survival during the war in the Donbas in eastern Ukraine, and intends to raise awareness among the Fresno community about an event rarely covered by the media. The ceremony will feature a Ukrainian mournful song, an a cappella performance of music that blends liturgical chants with Ukrainian folk music; a commemoration of the slain Heavenly Hundred; and a tribute to soldiers and volunteers fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Featured speaker: Hiroaki Kuromiya, a professor at Indiana University in Bloomington, will present on the topic “How to Understand the Enigma of the Donbas,” which will provide a background for the artist talk.

Backstory: In five years since the Revolution of Dignity and the annexation of Crimea by Russia, events rapidly escalated into war in eastern Ukraine, resulting in over 13,000 casualties and displacing over 2 million people. Despite international mediation and economic sanctions brought against Russia, the war shows no signs of resolution. It continues to produce casualties and refugees every day.

Artist’s take: Gasio stresses the need to end the war by depicting its brutality, and she brings awareness to the ongoing pain and suffering of civilians in Ukraine. The paintings have also allowed her to accept the pain that her family endured. Here’s more from the library’s Heather Parish.


Sponsors: The event is sponsored by the Henry Madden Library, the College of Arts and Humanities and the College of Social Sciences in cooperation with the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, the Ukrainian Culture Center, the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council, the Ukrainian Federal Credit Union and the Ukrainian Art Center.

Admission is free. The exhibition runs through Feb. 28 and is open during regular library hours.

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

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