The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the horrors of war are on display inside the Bread and Salt Art Gallery in Barrio Logan, in an exhibit called “Ukrainian Voice Your Choice”.
Each artwork in the exhibition was made by artists in Ukraine during the darkest time of their lives, with pain evident in every inch of canvas, paper and screen. Curator Eugenia Brodsky, from Ukraine, said pain should be seen and heard.
“Silence is also violence,” Brodsky said. “So all of us, all Ukrainians, start to be very loud, and like all these works, they sound like a scream.”
Brodsky said the cry is many things, including a cry for help: “War can no longer be silent. You can’t just have a comfortable life and not see what’s wrong with the world because something in this system is broken.”
Art, like shouting, is also purposeful and cathartic – a release for the most creative Ukrainians to show the world what they have seen, what their people have endured and are still experiencing.
San Diegan Jenni Prisk said seeing the art was moving.
“It’s so real that I immediately feel the pain of the paintings and the Ukrainian people,” she said. “It comes straight to you in the paintings. They are austere and they portray the abject pain they feel, living in shelters, fleeing bombs, fearing Russian invasion. and these are very, very real.”
The exhibition is also a sale with all proceeds going directly to 25 shortlisted families who are still in Ukraine and in desperate need of help. Prisk was delighted.
“Very often the funds don’t get to where they should be and the fact that 100% is going to a Ukrainian family, I’m thrilled,” Prisk said.
Brodsky and his family came to San Diego because of the war in Ukraine. They got stranded abroad while on vacation and couldn’t get home.
She may be over 10,000 miles away, but she said she feels the grief of her people and needs to do something to raise awareness and funds. She said she hopes others will also be brought in to help.
“What is your mission in this life? Brodsky asked. “Can you help someone?” Can you feel this love?
The exhibit runs through Friday at Bread and Salt, 1955 Julian Avenue in Barrio Logan.