May 16, 2022


art requires creative

In Sarasota, a new exhibit features Ukrainian children processing war through art

3 min read

As you step inside the Chasen Gallery II in Sarasota, it’s as if you are moving into a classroom. Atop a established of faculty desks and chairs, absent of kids, sit unopened notebooks which are partly burned.

A faint scent of char however lingers.

“These notebooks talk to the fact that quite a few schools were being ruined by the Russian invaders by indiscriminate or purposeful shelling of civilian objects,” claimed Sarasota-primarily based artist, Wojtek Sawa, who established the installation.


Wojtek Sawa is a Sarasota visual artist specializing in participatory installations. His get the job done has been exhibited at the Florida Holocaust Museum, the Salvador Dali Museum, Artwork Centre Sarasota, and other venues.

In other places is a substantial blackboard. Published in chalk is the phrase, “Vocabulary: new words and phrases this thirty day period.” People terms contain “rocket attack,” “subway shelter,” and “atrocity.”

“These were being text that the youngsters experienced never ever utilized in advance of,” said Sawa. “Maybe they listened to of them somewhere in the periphery, but they were being by no means part of their every day language and now they are.”

The artwork in the display displays a gamut of expressions from young children aged 3 to 18.

Some painted images of conflict, many others shared desires of peace.

A six-year-aged girl named Sonya drew a fluffy black cat surrounded by significant purple hearts. It can be titled “I Skip My Plusha.”

Drawing of black cat surrounded by red hearts.

Courtesy of UA Kids These days


The show is a collaboration among numerous community artists and corporations like the Sarasota Arts Alliance and the UA Young ones Nowadays job, an on the internet art gallery established to enable young children cope with the trauma of war and having to leave their properties.

Sawa himself is an immigrant who arrived to the U.S. from Poland when he was 11.

He suggests leaving at these kinds of a youthful age was a jarring experience for him, and looking at how bad it is for Ukrainian children displaced by war made him want to act.

“I would cry a lot, I would get indignant a good deal and I felt like, I’m an artist, I require to do anything,” he claimed. “I are unable to just glance at Facebook posts and listen to the information. So I considered this link with young children was truly essential. They are losing everything right know. I felt that Ukrainian young ones wanted to know the earth cares, and how we treat them is going to be how they see the environment.”

Drawing of soldier in green uniform carrying baby wrapped in blue blanket

Courtesy of UA Young children Today


Viewers of the show can publish notes to the younger artists that will be photographed and despatched to the children.

The show is absolutely free, but viewers can purchase copies of the art, with proceeds heading to the children and businesses supporting refugees.

In a several months, Sawa and his artist spouse Basia will vacation to Poland to supply the donations.

The Ukrainian Youngsters Artwork show is at the Chasen Gallery II in Westfield Southgate Shopping mall in Sarasota and operates by way of May possibly 21.

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