A collective creates art to support Ukraine

Creatives and artists from across the South Island are gathering in Wanaka to support Ukraine.

A creative collective has been formed to organize a month-long art exhibition, ‘Aid Through Art’, which will disburse funds directly to three aid organizations in Ukraine.

The creative collective includes painter Olga Zoma, artist Sally-Mae Hudson, illustrator Cris Pliego and filmmaker Whitney Oliver.

The cause is particularly close to home for Olga Zoma, from the Sloviansk region in eastern Ukraine.

“Being so far from home – all my relatives are here – it’s been hard not being able to help directly. To share the pain and struggle they are going through,” she said.

Ms Zoma said the art had been self-therapy, back when she had trouble concentrating.

“Every day I try to contact my family to find out if they are still alive. If they are fine. You are overwhelmed by this negativity. This art has helped me feel human again, and not nervous and worried about what’s going on with my family and friends and Ukraine in general.”

Artist Sally-Mae Hudson said the creative collective came together after feeling overwhelmed by events around the world.

“We thought we had to do something,” she said.

Ms. Hudson said she was impressed with the caliber and support of local artists and businesses who joined in to make the event possible.

”Everyone just wants to help.”

Over 40 artists from Wanaka, Queenstown and Christchurch contributed to the exhibition.

Wanaka businesses donated for opening night through live music, food and drink.

The exhibit was on display at the Wanaka Community Center in May and pieces were still available for purchase.

Printed works were also available online.

Prior to launch, over 100 tickets had been sold and door-to-door sales were expected to sell out.

– By Aspen Bruce – [email protected]

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