With the war in Ukraine marking its second anniversary later this month, TCNJ Art Gallery’s new exhibition, “Two Years Gone,” features contemporary Ukrainian artists reflecting on the psychological and physical stress of the ongoing conflict.
The exhibition opened on February 7 with a panel discussion featuring the exhibit curator and two featured artists.
“The exhibit offers an opportunity for the arts to play a central role in thinking about raising awareness and commemorating the war in Ukraine,” gallery director Margaret Pezalla-Granlund, said.
Featuring contemporary Ukrainian artists, the exhibition showcases a range of media including watercolor, photography, video, and installation.
Katerina Ganchak, a Ukrainian artist who immigrated to the U.S. years before the conflict began in 2022, spoke of using her practice to reflect on the war stories of friends and family still in Ukraine. A trained sculptor and painter, Ganchak’s work in this show is largely done in watercolor — a medium that she says tends to be reserved for lighter, brighter applications than depicting war — out of necessity for a quick and simple way to put her feelings to paper.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the gallery has planned a series of lectures and roundtable discussions around the issues raised by the show, including the ways in which artists generate dialogue and awareness in a time of conflict, and the role of museums, art historians, libraries, and archives in the preservation of cultural and historical heritage in conflict zones around the world.
There will also be a hands-on workshop exploring the art, history, and process of creating Ukrainian pysanky (Ukrainian Easter egg).
Learn more about these events at tcnjartgallery.tcnj.edu.
— Emily W. Dodd ’03