Northeast grad student hosts art auction for Ukraine

A Northeastern University graduate student has hosted an online auction that features works by Ukrainian artists and will benefit two nonprofit organizations that provide humanitarian aid to Ukrainians.

Daria Koshkina, 28, who is working on a master’s degree in digital media with a concentration in 3D at the College of Professional Studies, organized an online auction, The Art Auction for Ukraine, in collaboration with Boston Cyberarts, Digital Silver Imaging and BarabásiLab to northeast.

“I had this idea because I was devastated by the war,” says Koshkina. “Russia is my home country. And I think that’s also what makes it so painful for me. I felt like I wanted to do something. »

Northeast Digital Media graduate student Daria Koshkina is one of the organizers and curator of Art Auction for Ukraine, which aims to raise funds for verified nonprofits helping Ukrainians during the Russian-Ukrainian War. Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

Koshkina, who was born in Russia but also has Ukrainian and Jewish roots, says she strongly opposes the Russian-Ukrainian war.

“Honestly, what I’ve learned through my interaction with injustice is that it’s better to do something small than nothing,” she says. “It may feel like it’s not enough, but it’s a start.”

Koshkina shared the idea for an auction with Boston Cyberarts Executive Director George Fifield and Deputy Director Allison Maria Rodriguez, with whom she worked on their latest spring exhibit this year, featuring BarábasiLab, where she is an art and design assistant.

“We really enjoyed working with her and when she presented us with this idea – and the opportunity to actively support such an important cause – we were thrilled to be able to work with her again,” Rodriguez said. “This is not the usual work that Cyberarts focuses on, work at the intersection of art and technology, but it is a project that we believe in very much and we believe in vision and curatorial voice. of Darya.”

Boston Cyberarts, a non-profit arts organization that promotes and exhibits electronic and digital experimental arts, operates a gallery in the Green Street station on the MBTA’s Orange Line in Jamaica Plain. They provided Koshika with logistical and administrative support for the auction, ranging from technology and legal advice to press releases, media presence and promotion.

Koshkina tapped into her network to invite Ukrainian artists still living in Ukraine and those living abroad to participate in the auction. The auction includes a range of artistic media, including photographs, illustrations, drawings and multimedia works.

Photographer Julia Grabar, who lives in Kyiv and was a stylist on film and video sets before the war, has submitted her filmed photographs to the auction, which show how diverse and authentic Ukrainian culture is, despite what the neighbor who attacked him might think, she said.

Grabar woke up at 5 a.m. on February 24 when her mother called to tell her that Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities had been attacked by Russia.

“We were going down to the basement all the time, because there were so many attacks on civilian buildings in Kyiv and the Kyiv region,” Grabar says. “My parents decided to leave town because there were a lot of strikes near our house and a lot of buildings were destroyed. I decided to stay.

In her images, one can see architecture that is so recorded in history, she says. “Right now we understand that a missile can hit any place in our country and destroy everything.”

“Participation in the auction gives Ukrainian artists the opportunity to help Ukraine and its people. It is very important for every Ukrainian right now to raise funds for our country,” says Grabar.

lena shkoda posing in front of a red backdrop
“Lee”, one of Lena Shkoda’s photographs, is offered for sale via Art Auction for Ukraine. Courtesy of Ukraine Art Auction

Another artist, fashion and portrait photographer Lena Shkoda, also grew up in Kyiv but has lived in Brooklyn since 2013.

“We must all do everything we can to help Ukraine win this cruel war and stop the genocide,” she said. “This sale raises awareness of what is happening in Ukraine. The more people know, the better. I hope they will also support or tell others about the situation.

Shkoda says it is sometimes unbearable for her to go through the day thinking about the war in her home country, but when she remembers what Ukrainian defenders go through every day, she is filled with hope and pride for them.

“We must all come together and repel evil through collective effort,” says Shkoda.

Eighty-five percent of the proceeds will be divided equally between two verified non-profit organizations that provide significant humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine: Nova Ukraine and Razom for Ukraine.

“We were very selective and I asked my Ukrainian friends, first of all, which organizations they wanted to see”, Koshkina explains about this choice.

The remaining 15% will go to participating artists, many of whom have also chosen to donate their share of the proceeds.

“It is very important that artists get something for their work. They also need help right now,” says Koshkina.

The auction opened for auction on July 15 and will close on Sunday August 14 at midnight. Digital Silver Imaging provides high quality prints of artwork sold at auction.

Bundle prices start at $20, and according to Koshkina, even $20-25 is still a big help for recipient organizations.

“I would like to encourage the North East community to participate and come and have a look as we have a great range of prizes. It doesn’t necessarily require a big budget,” says Koshkina.

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