An exhibition of paintings and drawings by Yulia Gasio, a Fresno State alumna and a faculty member at California State University, Long Beach, reflects her family’s traumatic experiences of survival during the war in the Donbas in eastern Ukraine, and intends to raise awareness among the Fresno community about an event rarely covered by the media.

The exhibition, “Art and War: Donbas, 2014 to the Present,” will run during normal operating hours from Feb. 3 to 28 at the Leon S. Peters Ellipse Gallery on the second floor of the Henry Madden Library at Fresno State. The opening ceremony and reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 6 outside the Peters Ellipse Gallery and will feature Indiana University, Bloomington professor Hiroaki Kuromiya presenting on the topic, “How to Understand the Enigma of the Donbas,” which will provide a background for the artist talk.

In five years since the Revolution of Dignity and the annexation of Crimea by Russia, events rapidly escalated into war in eastern Ukraine, resulting in over 13,000 casualties and displacing over 2 million people. Despite international mediation and economic sanctions brought against Russia, the war shows no signs of resolution. It continues to produce casualties and refugees every day.

In her work, Gasio stresses the need to end the war by depicting its brutality, and she brings awareness to the ongoing pain and suffering of civilians in Ukraine. The paintings have also allowed her to accept the pain that her family endured.

The opening ceremony and reception will feature a Ukrainian mournful song, an a cappella performance of music that blends liturgical chants with Ukrainian folk music; a commemoration of the slain Heavenly Hundred; and a tribute to soldiers and volunteers fighting in eastern Ukraine.

The event is sponsored by the Henry Madden Library, the College of Arts and Humanities and the College of Social Sciences in cooperation with the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, the Ukrainian Culture Center, the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council, the Ukrainian Federal Credit Union and the Ukrainian Art Center.

The event is free and open to the public. For special accommodations or questions, please call 559.278.2153 or email Dr. Victoria A. Malko at

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