A new exhibit featuring Ukrainian artists will reside in TCNJ’s Art Gallery next spring, thanks to a recent grant the School of the Arts and Communication received. The TCNJ Foundation was given a $7,500 grant in support of the gallery by the Robert Lehman Foundation.
The exhibit will feature paintings, sculptures, and photos from contemporary Ukrainian artists that revolve around the current struggles and conflict Ukraine is facing. The gallery is being finalized and run by Margaret Pezalla-Granlund, the director of the TCNJ Art Gallery and Sarnoff Collection. Pezalla-Granlund also serves as the principal investigator for the Robert Lehman Grant.
“The grant will help support a series of events addressing the roles of artists as witnesses, victims, and activists in times of conflict, as well as the evolving role of museums, libraries, and artists in preserving and transmitting cultural and artistic heritage in conflict regions,” Pezalla-Granlund said.
In addition to the gallery, there will be a lecture series named Heritage and Future: Navigating Peace and Conflict in the Arts, which focuses on the same message as the art pieces. The hope is that students will start a conversation about important topics such as these and gain valuable education on current events and issues.
The Robert Lehman Foundation was made to honor Robert Lehman, an art collector and philanthropist, and to support the visual arts field as he did. The grant was specifically awarded through the Foundation’s Edwin L. Weisl Jr. Lectureship program, which helps colleges in providing students with a stronger education and experience with art and art history.
Jen Kosakowski, director of corporate and foundation relations at TCNJ, explained why the college was chosen as a recipient for the grant.
“The focus of the upcoming exhibition and lecture series is incredibly timely and topical with its focus on art produced by Ukrainian artists in an active conflict zone,” Kosakowski said. “Many private funders are interested in contributing to current and ongoing cultural discourse on issues of immediate impact.”
– Grace Murphy ’26