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TCNJ Art Gallery exhibition features Ukrainian artists

students discussing the artThe spring 2024 TCNJ Art Gallery exhibition TWO YEARS GONE, opened on Feb. 7 with a panel discussion featuring contributors to the gallery. The exhibition, curated by Dylan Siegel, displays the work of contemporary Ukrainian artists, including Maya Hayuk, Maria Kulikovska, Dana Kavelina, Katerina Ganchak, Sasha Kurmaz and Anton Varga. The exhibition reflects the emotional turmoil inflicted on those impacted by the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

Siegel introduced the exhibition during the panel discussion, explaining that this project takes on important issues and aims to “remind people of the humanity and hope of a country.” The name TWO YEARS GONE is inspired by the approaching two-year mark that the war in Ukraine will reach later this month on Feb. 24. When thinking about a title for the exhibition, Siegel explained that he was inspired by the Led Zeppelin song, Ten Years Gone, and wanted to highlight the loss of life, time, and innocence due to the war. 

The idea for an exhibition compiled of contemporary Ukrainian artists began with a gallery show in a Ukrainian village in New York that raised $250,000. The first few shows, Siegel said, were about showing the hope and beauty of a culture through wartime. The momentum from that first gallery exhibition allowed Siegel to move forward with the project and curate larger exhibitions with more artists’ work.

The three panelists, curator Dylan Siegel, artist Katerina Ganchak, and photographer/videographer Jack Chase all presented pieces of their work and what it meant to have contributed to this exhibition. 

Ganchak has artwork in the gallery with titles including, “No One Returns From War,” “Lost Homes,” and “Things That Remain,” documenting the immense changes that the war has had on the Ukrainian people. 

The gallery includes a variety of extraordinary pieces, including a projector slideshow by Sasha Kurmaz titled “Target,” that presents a series of photos of Kyiv residents within the past year. 

Associate Professor of Design and Creative Technology Belinda Haikes’ graphic design students also contributed to the exhibition, creating posters that are hung outside of the gallery.

By featuring this exhibition of Ukrainian artists at TCNJ, there is a hope to continue to bring awareness to the ongoing war and to amplify Ukrainian voices. As Ganchak explained in the panel discussion, people who are not directly impacted by the horrors of the war tend to forget more and more that the war continues to be a reality for many. She called this exhibition a cry for help and a cry for attention. “This is still happening, we still need to care about it,” she said. 

TWO YEARS GONE will be on display in the first floor gallery in the AIMM building until March 7. Several events will take place throughout the month of Feb. in collaboration with the exhibition. Learn more

This program is made possible with the generous support of: The Edwin L. Weisl Jr. Lectureship Program at the Robert Lehman Foundation

TWO YEARS GONE  is made possible in part, by The Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission through funding from the Mercer County Board of Chosen Commissioners and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Leah Cruz ’26


School of the Arts and Communication
Art and Interactive Multimedia Building
The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628