April 3, 2015

Pysanky by Sofika Zielyk on exhibit at Ukrainian Institute of America


Some of the pysanky by Sofika Zielyk on exhibit at the UIA.

NEW YORK – Unique works by accomplished and internationally known pysanka artist Sofika Zielyk are currently on display at the Ukrainian Institute of America.

The exhibit, called “Mystical Power of the Pysanka; Ukrainian Easter Eggs by Sofika Zielyk,” is on view through Sunday, April 12, Easter, according to the Julian calendar. The exhibit opened to the public on March 28, and the opening reception was on March 27.

As noted in publicity material prepared for the show, pysanka-decorating is one of the most interesting expressions of Ukrainian folk art. “This tradition is very old and its beginnings reach back to antiquity, when in attempting to understand creation, ancient people developed myths in which the egg was perceived as the source of life, the sun and the universe. Although such similar myths are found in many cultures of the word, Ukrainians today are one of the few groups of people who still strongly adhere to many of the ancient traditions associated with the egg,” notes the event information on Facebook.

This poster announcing the pysanka exhibit hangs outside the Ukrainian Institute of America.

Sofika Zielyk/Facebook

This poster announcing the pysanka exhibit hangs outside the Ukrainian Institute of America.

“The Ukrainian pysanka (from the word ‘pysaty,’ to write) was believed to possess an enormous power not only in the egg itself, which harbored the nucleus of life, but also in the symbolic designs and colors which were drawn upon the egg in a specific manner, according to prescribed rituals. The intricately colored eggs were used for various social and religious occasions and were considered to be a talisman, a protector against evil, as well as harbingers of good,” it is noted.

Exhibit hours are Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. The Ukrainian Institute of American is located at 2 E. 79th St. For information visit www.ukrainianinstitute.org.