An exhibition available to view Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from noon to 5pm until February 10th at The Service Station in Lower Summerland.  5505 Butler Street.

Oksana and her father Andrii were both well esteemed artists in the Ukraine and beyond.  Andrii worked in the Art Fund of Ukraine as an easel painting artist and a master of reproductions and painted many large frescoes and murals in churches in Western and Central Ukraine.  Until the end of communist rule in 1991, the pursuit of personal art was not allowed and artists like Andrii did not sign their works for fear of persecution.

Despite these restrictions, Andrii was commissioned to produce paintings for the mayor and officials of the City of Kiev.  The Sheikh of Saudi Arabia also purchased many of Andrii’s paintings.  While his work at that time was mainly large historical compositions portraying famous heroes of the Ukraine, Andrii prefers painting landscapes than political works.  His current work reflects this with a focus on creating Okanagan inspired landscapes.

Oksana’s work has been internationally exhibited and is housed in both private and corporate collections in Greece, Japan, China, Mexico, North America and in Europe.  Recognized as the founder of the ‘Ukrainian ethno-romantic style’, Oksana was accorded the international Cultural Diplomacy Award and conferred the honorary title of “Honored Artist of Ukraine” by decree of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy in 2022.

Oksana’s work reflects a world of purity and wonder that is fed by memories of childhood immersed in the richness and natural beauty of the Ukrainian countryside.  Her work is full of color, texture and whimsical imagery and her compositions allude to an internal world of hope and joy.

Despite their recent hardships of fleeing their homeland, Oksana and her father have been working very hard to create a new body of work.  The Ukrainian Nightingale project and local businesses and community members have offered support with supply of materials, transportation, and housing.  The South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS) women’s shelter housed Oksana and her two sons while her father was living with a Penticton local and Nightingale volunteer.  Oksana was able to paint at the women’s shelter.  The Service Station provided transportation and an inspiring space for Andrii to paint during the month of December.

Now, the whole family has found safety together in a house for the next five months that has been donated by a local family through the work of the Nightingale project.  This space is providing a comfortable working environment for father and daughter to build their collection of works and slowly gain a viable income as professional working artists.

Prior to the war, Oksana’s works were sold for up to $10,000.  While their current works are being priced lower, their hope is to slowly return the value of the work to match their international collections.  Art experts are providing advice on how best to approach the Canadian market while also continuing to expand in the international market.

There is interest in her work to be exhibited in galleries in both Vancouver and Toronto and efforts are being made to recover work left in the Ukraine because of fleeing from the war.