An artist, poet, writer and political activist of the mid 19th century, Taras Shevchenko was known for expressing themes of Ukrainian oppression by the Russian government in his art.
As invading Russian forces continue to encounter fierce resistance in the Ukraine, workers at the National Museum of Taras Shevchenko crate away valuable pieces of artwork in the exact same containers used to shield them from invading Nazi forces in 1941 to hide the valuable national artwork from the invading Russian Military forces as gunfire erupts just down the street.
The Immersive Shevchenko: Soul of Ukraine exhibit is coming to Chicago
Emboldened to assist Ukraine with its ongoing crisis, Lighthouse Immersive, the producers of Immersive Van Gogh, is currently arranging to have an existing immersive exhibit celebrating the work of Ukrainian artist, poet, philosopher and public figure, Taras Shevchenko, brought to North America. Immersive Shevchenko: Soul of Ukraine will be available for viewing beginning March 15 in Chicago, Toronto, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, with all proceeds from ticket sales going directly to Red Cross and National Bank of Ukraine Fund. Ticket buyers may select which charity to allocate their contribution to.
In 2021, Ukraine-born Lighthouse Immersive Associate Producer Valeriy Kostyuk, working with a Ukraine-based team including Producer Natalia Delieva, Creative Director Tais Poda, Composer Timur Polyansky, and Curator-Consultant Dmytro Stus, developed and launched an immersive exhibit of Shevchenko’s work in Odesa.
Kostyuk sought to apply the artistry and innovation that Lighthouse Immersive practiced with Vincent Van Gogh to one of Ukraine’s most beloved cultural figures. He was able to work with the National Museum of Taras Shevchenko in Kyiv to obtain access to their collection of paintings, resulting in a one-of-a-kind sensory experience that President Zelensky himself visited before the war began.
Now, Lighthouse Immersive is working with the Ukrainian producers in Kyiv and Odesa to bring the exhibit to North America so they can share Ukrainian art and culture with audiences abroad while raising funds for a righteous cause.
“I always wanted to find a way to use my experiences producing in North America to promote Ukrainian artists,” comments Kostyuk. “Ukrainian culture is as beautiful and moving and important as the culture of any other country in the world, and Shevchenko is, in many ways, a father of the independent Ukrainian nation. I have been moved and inspired beyond words by the endurance and resilience of the Ukrainian people in this moment and I am deeply thankful to the incredible team in Ukraine who partnered with me on this project, as well as to the producers at Lighthouse Immersive for standing with me in this moment.”
“As the people of Ukraine, with freedom in their DNA, continue to stand strong against this grave threat together with the free world, it is important to remember everything we are fighting for is to protect our values,” said Andrii Bukvych, Chargé d’Affaires of Ukraine in Canada. “Ukraine is a culturally rich nation with a storied history, a part of European heritage, and it is encouraging to see the art of one of Ukraine’s most prominent cultural icons being appreciated by audiences on the other side of the world. It is important for the global community to know what is at stake, and what is under attack.”
“Like millions around the world, we feel shocked and helpless in the face of what Ukraine is experiencing right now, and I happen to have a particular lens on this with core members of our team being from and with family in Ukraine,” says Lighthouse Immersive Producer Corey Ross. “On behalf of the entire company, I am grateful to have the opportunity to bring this show here and to be able to help in any way I can.”
Taras Shevchenko (March 9, 1814 – March 10, 1861) is largely considered a cultural trailblazer of the independent Ukrainian nation. Born a serf, Shevchenko was freed in 1838 while a student at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art. A master of Ukrainian painting and graphic art, and a spiritual leader, Shevchenko was the founder of critical realism and the folk element in Ukrainian fine arts. Shevchenko’s creative output primarily reflected the socio-political reality of the Ukrainian people of that period and largely expressed themes of Ukrainian oppression by the Russian government and calls for Ukrainian liberation.
Tickets for IMMERSIVE SHEVCHENKO: SOUL OF UKRAINE are on sale now at lighthouseimmersive.com/immersive-shevchenko.