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Stuck in Frames


Gallerists Julia and Max Voloshyn from Kyiv, Ukraine have taken refuge in Miami with the temporary art exhibition, The Memory On Her Face. 

“We have become refugees…I don’t know how else to put it.”

On February 5, 2022, the Voloshyns debuted a pop-up exhibition composed exclusively of Ukrainian art. The couple had previously traveled to Miami before for events like Art Basel. After finding an exhibition space in Wynwood, they took on an ambitious renovation. Painting walls and gathering art, Julia and Max enjoyed positive reactions from the public during the gallery’s initial opening. The couple and their young daughter planned to return to Kyiv in early March, but the war has made them refugees in Miami. “I love Miami,” said Julia Voloshyn, “but it is quite sad that we cannot enjoy it because of what is going on at home. We want to go home.” 

The pop-up was not planned to coincide with the war. “Our exhibition became very timely. We did not think this could happen again (as it did in 2014),” she said when asked about the timing.. The start of the war caused the Voloshyns to extend their initial Wynwood exhibition which closed on March 28. The art pieces ranged from metal sculptures, cinematic art, and oil paintings, and all were created by Ukrainian artists. 

“For me, art acquires new meaning after war,” Mrs. Voloshyn explained. However, she is not just referring to the recent invasion but rather the Russian invasion of Donbas and Crimea in 2014. A majority of the art displayed depicts the emotions and effects of the previous war, which provides an eerie parallel to today’s Ukrainian headlines. When referring to the paintings that are a part of the collection Personal Vacation by Lesia Khomenko, Julia explained how Ukranians are always on guard and never on ‘vacation.’ The paintings show oversized people filling up canvases. “Our people are stuck in frames,” Voloshyn said, “We have always been.” 

Although the Voloshyns are staying in Miami for now, they are still finding ways to help their friends and family in their home country. Some of the money from the art that has been sold has gone to charity organizations that help those in the war. Also the Voloshyn Gallery in Kyiv, which was a bomb shelter in World War II, is once again being used as a place of refuge. For almost a month now, the gallery has been housing Ukrainians and protecting them from Russian forces. “It was used as a bomb shelter in the World War II, and now history is repeating itself it in that space. Everyone thought that ‘never again’.” Now, we are seeing the same great violence in Ukraine that was previously prominent in the 1940s.  

The Memory on Her Face has closed, but the second pop-up, The Memory on Her Face Part II, opened on April 1st in the Miami Design District. The Voloshyns hope to sell more art and continue to present the artistic capabilities of the Ukrainian people to our Miami community. “Maybe it’s better that we are here (Miami),” Julia said, “so that we can help those artists still in frames.”


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About the Contributor
Sofia Barrera, Opinion Editor
Sofia Barrera is the Opinion Editor for The Beat and was formerly a staff writer for two years. Covering Carrollton policy debate and global opinion topics, Sofia is passionate about promoting student journalism in an educational atmosphere. She was awarded an honorable mention last year at the Journalism Education Association Convention in San Francisco, California. Apart from journalism, Sofia is also the shadow president of Model UN, a business manager for the Solar Car Racing Team, and an alto in the school choir.