The Ukrainian National Museum offers its first exhibit of 2016 this month, “Bohdan Soroka (1940-2015) Retrospective Art Exhibit.” “Bohdan Soroka” will open on Friday, January 8, at 7:00 p.m., and will run through January 31. The exhibit opening will feature a special performance by violinist Solomia Soroka and pianist Arthur Greene.
Many themes are presented in the artist’s works including Ukrainian religious and cultural traditions, history and folklore. The exhibit will showcase the artist’s most recent graphic series including Ukrainian traditions, Christmas (including Vertep – a travelling nativity scene drama), Angels and Music, Musicians, The Four Seasons, and Ukrainian Wooden Churches. Bohdan Soroka’s work in graphic arts is readily recognized by its rather expressionistic style and very imaginative pictorial representations. He was a talented artist, one who was able to communicate strongly through his art. His prowess was in his ability to speak to the viewer directly and clearly through the images he put on paper.
Bohdan Soroka was born September 2, 1940, in Lviv, Ukraine. He was a graphic artist and painter-monumentalist and Professor Emeritus at the Lviv Academy of Art. He graduated from the Lviv Academy of Art in 1964 and won the Premium at the International Competition of Ex-Librises in Vilnius in 1989. Son of politically active parents, Bohdan Soroka was born in a prison in Lviv where his mother was being held for assisting in anti-soviet uprisings. He was raised by his grandparents. His father was also imprisoned for 30 years in Soviet prison camps, because of his membership in the Ukrainian resistance movement. His father died in Siberia for refusing to support the soviet regime. This desire for freedom from the soviet sentiment greatly influenced the artist.
During the 1980s, modernism and postmodernism appeared in Ukraine in spontaneous art movements and exhibitions. Post-modern rethinking infused the works of the artist. Bohdan Soroka belongs to the generation of Ukrainian artists who, in the 1960s under the regime of the Soviet Union, used their art to protest their oppressors. Soroka had personal exhibits in Ukraine, England, Germany, France, Canada, Toronto, and throughout the United States. Bohdan Soroka passed away suddenly in April of 2015.
The Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago was founded in 1952 by displaced scholars: Olexa Hankewych, Julian Kamenetcky, Orest Horodyskyj, and with the extraordinary assistance of philanthropist and community activist Dr. Myroslav Simynovycz. The goal of the Museum was the establishment of a museum and archives that would reflect the lives of those forced by cruel circumstances to leave their homeland and who, in love and longing for that ancestral home, formed Ukrainian organizations for cultural continuity and life in their new settlements. Today the Museum is highlighted as the finest achievements of the Ukrainian American community. Its unparalleled array of folk art, exceptional collection of fine art, and extensive compendium of archival materials make it one of the most unique and dynamic museums in USA, with broad appeal for diverse audiences.
The primary mission of the Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago is to collect, preserve, develop, catalog and exhibit, as a resource for research, information and enjoyment, the documents artifacts, and records of the Ukrainian Immigration in America in general and Chicago in particular. The secondary mission is to preserve the existing museum collection and make it accessible and user friendly.