Ukrainian Club spreads love and friendship through art

Larisa Grozovskaya and Valeria Vanegas work on their paintings of hearts.


            On Thursday February 9, the Ukranian Culture Club and other attendees gathered in room 400 in the main building after school for a Valentine’s Day celebration. The students all painted hearts or other Valentine-related pictures of their choosing.  

            Faculty advisor and art teacher Larisa Grozovskaya guided students through their projects. “We painted a heart on a small canvas,” Amisha DeSilva explained. “The background was a fade of a dark pink/red to a lighter red on one side, and a fade of black to grey on the other side. On the middle of the painting was a heart made of different streaks of colors.”  

            The students were told to paint a heart, or painting of their choosing, so long as it had to do with the holiday. Grozovskaya said the reason for this was “to spread love and friendship.”  

            Although this was predominately a Valentine’s Day event, the meaning behind these paintings and pieces is open to deeper interpretation. “I feel like the reason or meaning behind the paintings was also to show others that the right amount of love and support from anyone can help you get past your hardest times,” China Onwudiwe stated. 

Amisha DeSilva and Yeva Zvonar collaborate on their piece of artwork.

            Yeva Zvonar and Grozovskaya put this event together and ensured that all participants would have an enjoyable time. “I went out and bought things for the goodie bags like lollipops and chocolates. Then, Ms. G set up all the painting and craft activities,” Zvonar explained. “Two days before the event, we had a meeting and set up all the goodie bags and everything that was going to be included in the workshop.”  

            All the attendees enjoyed their time painting with friends and venturing out of their comfort zone to make new friends as well. “It was nice to make another memory for the school year and getting to hang out with my friend, so I thank the club for arranging this event,” Joselyn Dayal mentioned. 

            While this event focused on art, the club mainly aims for all students to experience the Ukrainian culture. “The club is good for people who are new to the school or to the cultural experiences,” Grozovskaya explained. “It’s a means of becoming more comfortable and making friends. The club is also a good way to learn about the culture, food, colors etc.”   

Farida Allam and Joheidy Puente Portorreal focus on their Valentine-themed paintings.

            “I feel like this club brings everyone together, Ukrainian or not,” said Zvonar. “It could create a safe space for any new Ukrainian kids.” This group educates students from other countries and helps them understand more about the world around them, especially regarding the recent global turmoil. 

            Overall, the club seemed to have a positive outcome for all involved. “It’s just a great environment and there was always something to do,” Anastasiya Sharkan said. 

Students should keep an eye out for more upcoming events. “I would love to run another workshop,” said Zvonar. “Ms. G and I are already thinking of some spring workshops that could incorporate Ukrainian culture.”  

Posted on 3/9/23

Photos by Barbie Shonia

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