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Published January 18th, 2023
Ukrainian-Canadian artist's paintings to be featured at Lafayette's Town Hall Theatre Gallery
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The city of Lafayette's Public Art Committee has selected "Movement," a collection of paintings inspired by the Avant Garde movement in Kyiv by local Ukrainian-Canadian artist Yana Verba, for exhibit at the Town Hall Theatre Gallery in Lafayette. The exhibition runs Jan. 19 through March 5. There will be a free opening reception Sunday, Jan. 29, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Gallery (3535 School Street in Lafayette). Verba will present an artist talk and a new site-specific chalk installation referencing the massacre at the Donetsk Regional Academic Drama Theater in Mariupol beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Born in Ukraine and immigrating to Canada in 1999, Verba studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and received a BFA from Ontario College of Art & Design University in Toronto. She grounds her art practice in a language of abstraction, using rhythmic patterns, colors, and movement. Informed by Modernists of the early 20th century, Verba presents a series of paintings inspired by Ukrainian artist and stage designer Vadym Meller's costume sketches created between 1919-1921 for Bronislava Nijinska's "School of Movement" dance school in Kyiv.
Verba encourages viewers to look back a hundred years ago when, despite the Ukrainian-Soviet War, Kyiv was the Ukrainian capital of arts, theater, and literature. "By looking back in time, I hope the viewer can make a connection to our time, when Ukraine is fighting the Russian invasion that is trying to erase the Ukrainian people. Our culture, our songs, our spirit, and our love for life and freedom will never be erased. People are singing Ukrainian folk songs while sheltering from bombs in the Kyiv subway. Ukrainian youth are getting together to dance, clean up the ruins, and restore communities. Although the war has forced people to move the theatre into the bunkers, Ukrainian arts are still thriving."

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