Museum of International Folk Art to present "Amidst Cries from the Rubble: Art of Loss and Resilience from Ukraine"

The Museum of International Folk Art proudly announces its forthcoming exhibition, Amidst Cries from the Rubble: Art of Loss and Resilience from Ukraine, running from June 23, 2024, to April 20, 2025, in the Mark Naylor and Dale Gunn Gallery of Conscience. This exhibition offers a compelling exploration of life in a war zone and the transformative power of art in times of turmoil.

Amidst Cries from the Rubble draws inspiration from the poignant verse of Ukrainian poetess Lina Kostenko, capturing the spirit of resilience amidst the chaos of war. Kostenko writes, “Empty streets as faded pastels. Perhaps somewhere amidst cries from the rubble, a tulip will suddenly sprout.” Through more than sixty works, including the newly-commissioned photographic series Wrapping Art — Art of Salvation by Marta Syrko, the exhibition presents a profound reflection on the enduring strength of the Ukrainian people.

Co-curated by Laura J. Mueller, PhD, Sasha Samuels, and Nina Medvinskaya, along with project management by Lillia McEnaney, the exhibition bears witness to the ongoing military conflict and its impact on Ukrainian communities. It showcases art objects crafted from materials salvaged from war-torn landscapes, illustrating how Ukrainians navigate trauma through creativity and expressions of cultural heritage.

“At the heart of Amidst Cries from the Rubble lies a resounding resilience,” remarks co-curator Mueller. “Through their art, Ukrainians confront the harsh realities of loss and devastation, forging a narrative of hope and remembrance that speaks to the essence of a distinct Ukrainian cultural identity.”

Featuring diverse works by artists such as Marta Syrko, Khrystyna Valko, Serhii Polubotko, Roman Selivachov, Yaroslava Tkachuk, and Volodymyr Balyberdin, the exhibition invites visitors to contemplate themes of loss, resilience, and hope. From sculptures crafted from ammunition casings to paintings on reclaimed wood, each artwork offers a unique perspective on the human experience in times of crisis. The works explore how Ukrainians cope with the daily trauma of death, loss, and destruction. Through art, Ukrainians reclaim and reimagine remnants of war—bullet and shell casings, helmets, ammunition boxes—as symbols of resistance and hope, reflecting their rich cultural perspectives and folk art practices.

As a member of the UNESCO International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, the Mark Naylor and Dale Gunn Gallery of Conscience is committed to addressing pressing social and cultural issues. Located within the Museum of International Folk Art, it serves as an interactive space where visitors actively engage with the exhibitions, fostering dialogue and awareness.

About the Museum of International Folk Art

The Museum of International Folk Art  is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the auspices the Board of Regents for the Museum of New Mexico. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the International Folk Art Foundation, Friends of Folk Art, and Museum of New Mexico Foundation. The mission of The Museum of International Folk Art is to shape a humane world by connecting people through creative expression and artistic traditions. The museum holds the largest collection of international folk art in the world, numbering more than 160,000 objects from more than 100 countries.