Yustina Pavliuk and her mother, Nataliia Pavliuk care about refugee and displaced children of Ukraine who are victims of Russia’s aggressive and cruel war, and that is why they are teaching refugee and orphan children how to paint away their pains and fears—many of whom have lost their parents in the war against Russia.
In an interview with the Chicago Crusader held at the Medstar Laboratories, Inc. in Hillside, Illinois, which is the largest minority-owned chemical laboratory in the Midwest, the mother and daughter artists explain how they work with a number of misplaced Ukrainian children.
They said the children have horrible, frightening stories of their eyewitness accounts of Russia’s increasingly aggressive war against Ukraine and that letting the children paint their feelings is therapy for the nightmares they suffer.
Dr. Alex Forowycz, a Chicago area anesthesiologist who is related to the artists, said the mother is a professor at the Polytechnic National University in Lviv, Ukraine where her daughter is an architectural design student.
“During the course of the war in their city, Lviv, Western Ukraine started to see a lot of refugees, especially children—some of whom are orphans,” said Dr. Forowycz.
“They started on their own an art therapy program with the refugee and orphan children. They developed a good program by themselves that became popular. They collected the artwork conducted by children and took them to cities like Germany.” He said his mother, Marta Farion, is very active with this program and in the community.
Dr. Forowycz said the 150 paintings by the children in the art therapy program “were very moving and deeply emotional images.” Their paintings are at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, 2320 W. Chicago Avenue, until the end of February. “They poured their souls into those paints,” Yustina Pavliuk, 21, said.
She said some of the artwork is for sale and that the proceeds are used to expand their outreach to even more children orphaned by the war. She said the sales are seen as a donation.
“Art materials are so expensive,” stated Yustina. She went on to say that is why they are selling some of the children’s artwork.” Yustina Pauliuk is from Lviv.
For more information about the paintings, contact the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art: 773.227.5522.
Their visit comes on the heels of Russia’s placing its top general, Valery Gerasimov, who will be the commander of forces for Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has placed the total responsibility of the war against Ukraine on the shoulders of General Gerasimov.
The move came after the demotion of Russia’s General Sergey Surovikin, better known as “General Armageddon,” because of his known ruthlessness.