Our Diaspora in Bloom
JAN 12, 2023 to JAN 12, 2023
6pm – 8pm
View the collection online here
OUR DIASPORA IN BLOOM
“Welcome to the exhibit of artwork from the estate collection of Ivan and Olena Stadnyk. This exhibit represents the work of 25 Ukrainian artists, acquired over a period of 40 years.
Many of these artists were part of the “third wave” of Ukrainian immigrants, occurring between 1947-1953, from various locations: POW (Prisoner of War) and refugee camps in post war Germany, Austria, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. Many were former “ostarbeiters” – citizens of Ukraine who were deported to Nazi Germany as forced labour.
During this “third wave”, 37,000 Ukrainian Immigrants arrived in Canada; some 180,000 more came to the United States. These included scholars and intellectuals who sought to preserve the Ukrainian culture while abroad and who dedicated themselves to the realization of a free and sovereign Ukraine.
Our parents arrived in Edmonton as part of this wave of immigration, joining the vibrant post-war Ukrainian community. They met through the Ukrainian Scouting Organization “PLAST”, married in 1953, and started their own small business, “Seventh Avenue Pharmacy”. Olena was the pharmacist, Ivan oversaw the onsite post office and other aspects of the business.
In the way of the diaspora the world over, their drugstore became a drop-in hub for fellow Ukrainians settled in or just visiting Edmonton. Artists who made Edmonton their home and whose works are part of this exhibit include:
Yulian Butsmaniuk, Ivan Keywan, Lubomyr Dytyniak, Parasia Iwanec, Wadym Dobrolige
Ivan and Olena acquired artwork starting with these artists, as they knew them personally, admired their work and wished to offer their support. Through the following years, Edmonton was fortunate to have regular exhibits of Ukrainian artists in the diaspora, aided through the efforts of Mrs. Sofia Skrypnyk; the UCAMA (Ukrainian Canadian Archives and Museum of Alberta), and others, all of which served to add to the family collection. Both Ivan and Olena felt a deep obligation and duty to support other Ukrainian immigrants who shared the same history of war and displacement.
As the Iron Curtain loosened up following the 1960s, residents of Ukraine who arrived to visit relatives in Edmonton often brought lists of medications that were scarce or unavailable in Ukraine. They went to “Seventh Avenue Pharmacy” because they heard the owners were Ukrainian and there would be no language barrier. Often, in lieu of payment, Olena and Ivan would be gifted artwork from Ukraine. This, too, would join the collection.
Preparing this exhibit with the current reality of Ukraine at war uncovers anew these recurring experiences of needless loss, displacement, trauma, pain, and isolation. The collection offers proof of a different and more eternal vision: of hope, faith, creativity, endurance, and the unbreakable spirit of Ukrainians, at home and in foreign lands, which transcends time and gives strength to us in the present. The biographies of each artist speak volumes of their own personal challenges and accomplishments while forging a new path in a strange land.
Your presence honors all the artists displayed here. Thank you.”
— Stadnyk Family
Contact ACUA for purchase inquiries.
Note: Sales will be going live Opening Night, and will continue until exhibition closes February 4th, 2023.
Email [email protected] or call 780-488-8558 during ACUA hours.
Tue – Thu 10am – 4pm
Friday 2pm – 7pm
Saturday 11am – 3pm
10554 110 Street Edmonton