Thank you to donors who bought a Ukrainian child’s painting. The 8 to 9-year-old artists donated their art to help their war-affected art teacher.
4 months ago, Russian bombings targeted a Kyiv suburb called Vishgorod, destroying residential buildings and a children’s playground.
The attack happened on November 22, 2022. Six people died during the bombing, and dozens were injured.
Dr. Valerii Gontarenko, who was my Peace Corps Medical Officer during my Peace Corps service in Ukraine, has a 9-year-old granddaughter, Anfisa, who studies painting. Her art teacher is from Vishgorod and she lived in this destroyed building. During the attack, the art teacher was home with her husband. It is a miracle that they survived.
The teacher’s Ukrainian elementary school students, including Anfisa, decided to donate their own artwork for Ed’s Friends Ukraine to auction off, to support their art teacher who lost her home, and also to help cover shipping costs for a cargo container of medical supplies that we shipped from the US to Ukraine.
In January 2023, my friend, Dr. Steve Orten, traveled from Texas to Ukraine to perform surgeries. While there, he received the paintings from Dr. Valerii and brought them to me in Texas.
In collaboration with Oksana Toporina, Alena Jacobs, Tatyana Neuner, and others in the Ukrainian Cultural Club of Dallas, we conducted the “Ed’s Friends Ukraine – Save Our Teacher – Children’s Art Auction” online and at Gourmet Room Ukrainian Restaurant. By February 24, 2023, we sold almost all of the paintings to art lovers, who can appreciate them as more than just beautiful works of art, but as meaningful pieces of history, created during the war, by the children of victory.
Here is a video from the art teacher, a photo of her destroyed home, and a Dallas art auction event where children in Texas helped auction the Ukrainian children’s art. In the comments are more photos which include the art teacher near her Christmas tree before the full-scale war, after the bomb attack on her home, an art student of hers, and a child’s painting.
I admire Ukrainians for their ability to spread hope and joy, display resilience, and teach the world about generosity in the face of tragedy and injustice. Glory to the heroes, adults and children!