Contemporary Art Exhibition “By virtue or despite of…”
By International Art Alliance and Ukrainian Artists of America (UAA)

November 16th-22d, 2021
Opening reception – November 17th, 6-8PM

About artists and artists about themselves 

Mikhail Turovsky, People’s Artist of Ukraine

“Contempt of the ephemeral gives Turovsky’s work the power of time.
More than a message, it is a link between yesterday and tomorrow that Turovsky leaves us when he paints.”

Adeline Chenon, Le Mondе
Paris, France.

Turovsky commenced a prolific creative career in 1957, participating in numerous exhibitions of Ukrainian art in Kyiv, Moscow, as well as in many traveling exhibitions to Europe and Latin America. In 1962 he became a member of the Union of Artists of USSR.

Mikhail Turovsky forsook his official career for the sake of creative freedom and emigrated with his family to the United States in 1979. The Turovsky family first settled in the Bronx and he resumed his work there. After that important move, his career developed rapidly. His international reputation grew as he exhibited in New York, Jerusalem, Paris, Brussels, Madrid, Venice, Arles[5] and other cities in Europe.

Mikhail Turovsky’s work is represented in permanent collections of the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kyiv, the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, the Yad Vashem Memorial Art Museum in Jerusalem, the Herbert Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University in New York, and the Notre Dame University Art Museum in Indiana, as well as many public and private collections. Among his well-known works are the cycle Holocaust, The End of an Utopia‘, many nudes, landscapes and still lifes; illustrations to the works of Ivan Franko, Vasyl Stefanyk, Aleksandr Blok, Sholom-Aleichem, Lion Feuchtwanger, Johannes Becher, and many other writers.


Mykola Zhuravel


Mykola Zhuravel is one of the most original artists of Ukrainian today. Each of his exhibition becomes an event in Kiev (Kyiv and not only) the artistic life. Creativity of Mykola Zhuravel – always search and experiment. That’s why it appeals to different kinds of arts.

Mykola Zhuravel breaks the boundaries between painting and sculpture, performance and installation art. Zhuravel turns to nature to create thriving monuments to man’s links to the Earth itself. He searches for compatibility between Earth and mankind, while pointedly making reference to the obstacles that human beings have placed in the way of a harmonious existence. Zhuravel’s ambitious style results in a remarkable series of living images of a visionary utopia, ranging from his beehive sculptures to his thought provoking installations of glass jars that become virtually transcendental. Born into a family of beekeepers, Zhuravel incorporates elements and products of beekeeping with traditional media into his work. Zhuravel uses honey, beeswax, and the actual beehive itself, along with other unusual media, such as tea and wine to create his unique works of art.



Yelena Lezhen

I am an American artist borne in Ukraine. Currently, I live and work in New Jersey, USA. My preferred media is oil, acrylic and ink on canvas and paper.

My works can be compared to meditation. My artistic puzzle takes place in a space of memories, imagination, and emotions I experience at a given time. My artistic philosophy concentrates on the fact that humanity and nature are not separate – we must see them as one. I focus on the body, mind, and soul – the human identity and its relationship to the Earth.

If you want to know more about me, take a look at my paintings. They will tell much more about me than any words. My soul is in them.

We’ve all heard about the “dumpster fire” year of 2020. In fact, we lived it. As an artist, Yelena Lezhen channels her experience into her work. Her piece “Broken Time” deals with how 2020 managed to subvert and deconstruct our daily routine, which effectively changed our relationship with time. Weddings and birthdays uncelebrated, unlived. Hours of time spent with friends and family lost. Grandchildren and grandparents unseen, alone. And yet, precious moments of watching birds in the backyard were reclaimed; and priceless family camping trips rediscovered.  Lives became like jigsaw puzzles unmade and jumbled up. Planning for the future became an exercise in absurdity, further unmooring our ideas of time. As we hurtle through this vortex of uncertainty, we grab onto anything stable just to find an ounce of balance and orientation. The fabric of our day, previously taken for granted, was torn, at the seams if we were lucky, only to be re-stitched into a new patchwork of resilience and survival. Yelena captures this flux, and our attempt to rebuild the clockwork of our lives.

Kira Koktysh 

“For a successful jewelry designer Kira Koktysh the painting was another way to process her feelings during the time of uncertainty and uneasiness.

While everything was seemingly on pause it was an opportunity to rethink, rearrange life values, time to find new comfort zones, explore new paths. For several years Kira has been practicing Chinese brush painting in Xeiyi style. East Asian brushwork has four basic tools – brush, ink, ink stone and paper, known as the Four Treasures. All together they have hidden powers to fully realize the artist’s intentions.  Xeiyi style envisages brevity and spontaneity while reflecting the essence of the subject. It invites the observer to deduce all that remains untold by the author.

During unprecedented events we were all looking for a sense of peace and tranquility. “My desire to connect with nature’s rhythms is the most important thing in my creative process. It is my main source of comfort and inspiration”.

Kira found this exact state of mind in the cityscapes of her neighborhood (Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn) during her early morning walks, in her own little balcony garden observing seasonal changes, growing her own mushrooms and exploring the development of these unique creatures.

All those simple, yet very effective things became the source of Kira’s current art storytelling.,


Armine (Armine Bozhko)

Armine works on the crossroads of different cultures.  Being an American artist of Ukrainian-Armenian descent, she was born in Ukraine and currently resides in Long Island, New York. Armine studied art since her childhood at the Republican Art School by Taras Shevchenko in Kiev, graduated with honors and earned her Master’s Degree from the Ukrainian National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture, worked at the Armenian Institute of Art, and practiced art at the Krakow Academy of Art. She was accepted as a member of the Ukrainian and Armenian Artists Unions. Armine received an award from the Armenian Ministry of Culture “One Culture One Nation” and became the winner of the “Solo” Award at the Art Expo New York 2019. She is the initiator and one of the creators of UAA (Ukrainian Artists Association). Armine’s works are in multiple private collections in USA, Ukraine, Canada, Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Norway, and Italy.

“Her works captivate by their spacious proportions and create the experience of novels in color. Color for me-it is a language in which I communicate to the World,-says Armine,-That is why I attach a great importance to it. Color for me is the concept of artistic work and self-expression, emotional response to the world.” (Nova Gazeta, 2019)

Armine: The inspiration for my work comes from the environment that surrounds me. In depicting the landscape I aim to conduct emotional response to the world through the language of color. I believe that painting manifests our existential experience and is our way to connect to others through the communicative means of art. I think that art is the deepest and truthful way of connection. Living surrounded by nature, I spend a lot of time observing and contemplating its silent and profound beauty. It feels that while we are contemplating the beauty of the nature it contemplates us as well. It is a silent observation of one another. 


Ola Rondiak 

Statement on Exhibited Works. 

Rondiak’s journey of working on straitjackets developed from the culmination of her family history, her love for fashion, and her earlier career as a psychotherapist. Throughout the process of making these jackets Rondiak has discovered that it’s important to create our own freedom, despite our circumstances. This jacket symbolizes the journey of finding our internal freedom, which is quite relevant given our life changes throughout the COVID pandemic. 

Rondiak’s contemporary female portraits symbolize strength, determination and the indomitable spirit within. Inspired by the difficult life of her grandmother whom she never met, she incorporated the sentiment of the current pandemic and the power of creating during a forced lockdown in Kyiv, Ukraine. 


Oksana Movchan

I am a Ukrainian born visual artist, residing in Canada for two decades. I received my PhD in Printmaking from the Ukrainian National Academy of Fine Art and Architecture. Throughout the years of my professional career I’ve been working in various fields and medias including printmaking, painting, public art and as a glass artist. My work investigates personal memory, metaphor, cultural iconography and history through poetic narrative and abstract storytelling.

In December 2016 I received an EAC Cultural Diversity in the Arts Individual Project Grant which facilitated the opportunity to create a series of large-scale acrylic paintings, (‘Pendulum’ is one of them), exploring a new artistic voice for myself. I researched deeply through this period and broke significant new ground utilizing a new aesthetic and artistic technique for myself. Some fundamental characteristics were established during the ten-month project. I am compelled and committed to develop my new artistic language much further. In the midst of that process, I found myself playing with forms of abstract nature, mixed with super-flat decorative surfaces and objects painted in a realistic manner. This mix of different styles allows me to be versatile in my storytelling and rigorous in the challenging task to combine multiple elements to create a harmonious and cohesive narrative.

My intention is to tell a personal story about healing using intuitive and symbolic language, which can be interpreted in many different ways by different viewers, depending on what they are relating to. I endeavour  to create an environment that resonates with viewers in ways that help them to open up and look deeper inside. I aim for the work to be a guide and the facilitator for the process of healing, inspiring people to explore their real but perhaps unknown ability to build or change their own future. 

Miroslav Duzinkevich

Painting is my life, I can't even imagine how it would be possible to live without this amazing and subtle world, where the soul truly lives. Received academic honors, for the best thesis of the year, I can feel quite confidently in various styles, from classical to experiments with a more modern and decorative interpretation. I really love figurative painting, the depiction of a person with his inner world, experiences and aspirations, this for me is the highest achievement in art. I also really love the still life, stylized, decorative, ideally complementing the modern interior in the loft style. Drawing with a pencil or charcoal, as the basis of art, is a favorite technique for me, even during my studies at the academy, I could spend days working on busts and figures of antique sculpture. New York brings a more dynamic understanding and perception of the world, the colors on the canvas are more expressive and brighter. The biggest inspiration for me is my family, wife and children, who every day I go through life's difficulties with me and share the joy of being. I am very optimistic about the future, I look forward to the opening of new exhibitions and symposium.


Anna Miklashevich

«Be artist no matter what happens. Be artist so devotedly as if you could change the world»

My work as an artist is egoistic. I paint for self-studying and self-identification. 

It is a way talking to myself so as not to arouse suspicion. 

What colors of the strokes life paints on my canvas? What am I worrying about today? Am I being discriminated against? Or maybe I’m discriminating against someone?

If I don’t feel inequality, does it mean that there is no inequality? What is feminism? Do I want to speak out about the role of women? How to do this effectively? How do I say so that I can be heard?

I write lyrics. When I want to speak louder, I start to paint a new portrait that becomes a manifest. Then I gather paintings in the collection that becomes a temporary conclusion about some problem I am researching now. 

I agree and argue with myself again. And with new conclusions, I get to work again. 


Tatiana Rusetska

Artist statement:  I have often asked myself the question – what does my art mean to me personally? And what do I want to tell the world?
I have come to understand that my art is a constant search for God. Seeing and affirming His presence in everything- is my main task as an artist.

Tetiana Rusetska was born in Ukraine in the city of Dnipro in 1973. From 1990 to 1995 she studied at the Vuchetich Art School in Dnipro.  From 1995 to 2001 Tetiana studied at the Academy of Arts and Architecture in Kiev at the Faculty of Scenography, Professor D.Lider. 

Tetiana Rusetska is an artist who works in the genre of mystical ethno-romanticism and Ukrainian pop art, which is how the artist defined her niche of art that is close to her. Tetiana considers herself a Ukrainian artist not in the formal sense – but in essence, 

Her interest lies in the plane of national self-identification. Scenographic experience allows the artist to find visual ways of expression in different techniques, boldly combining elements of photography with painting and graphics.

 Tetiana is active in exhibition activities.

Works Tetiana are in private collections of collectors from the USA, Germany, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia.