Ukrainian art on display at Somerset County Administration Building

·2 min read

SOMERVILLE — Two exhibits on loan from the Ukrainian History and Education Center are on display at the Somerset County Administration Building on Grove Street.

One of the exhibits is a linocut series depicting the starvation suffered by the Ukrainian people as political punishment by Soviet Union Dictator Joseph Stalin.

The other exhibit is a display of pysanky eggs, traditionally made during Easter or the weeks leading up to Easter.

The two exhibits show the tragedy of Ukrainian history and the perseverance to endure the oppression, said Somerset County Board of Commissioners Deputy Director Melonie Marano.

Ukrainian pysanky eggs on display at the Somerset County Administration Building in Somerville.
Ukrainian pysanky eggs on display at the Somerset County Administration Building in Somerville.

“It is moving, educating and very relevant for what’s happening in the Ukraine right now,” Marano said. “And the other exhibit of pysanky eggs gives us hope because they symbolize the enduring culture and traditions of Ukraine that have been handed down through the centuries.”

The county commissioners designated the block of the county administration building as "Freedom Square" when Russia invaded Ukraine this year.

“What’s been happening in the Ukraine is devastating and heartbreaking. It is a senseless war. And it makes us recall another time in history, almost a hundred years ago, when Stalin punished the Ukrainian people in the early 1930’s, resulting in millions dying from starvation,” Morano said.

Local news: Somerset County 'Freedom Square' a symbol of solidarity with Ukraine

The linocut exhibit in the building's lobby, “Ukraine 1933: A Cookbook,” was created by Ukrainian artist Mykola Bondarenko to depict the what measurers people were forced to use to survive the artificial famine of 1932-33.

The pysanky eggs are on display in glass cases on the third floor of the administration building. Pysanky comes from the Ukrainian word “pysaty,” which means to write. The designs on the eggs are written using a stylus, hot wax and dyes.

This exhibit is made possible with funds from the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Somerset County has posted a video on YouTube about the exhibits.

Email: mdeak@mycentraljersey.com

Mike Deak is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. To get unlimited access to his articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: Ukrainian art on display at Somerset County Administration Building