Ukrainian Art and Culture on Display at Otterbein 

Posted Feb 22, 2024

Feb. 24, 2024, marks two years since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia. To keep public attention on this democratic nation fighting for its sovereignty, Otterbein University is spreading awareness of Ukraine’s distinct and independent culture through three art exhibitions. 

Otterbein & The Arts: Opening Doors to the World invites the public to view the work of Ukrainian artists Zaryana Bezu, Oleksii Koval, and children participating in art therapy programs run by mother and daughter team Natalya Pavlyuk and Yustyna Pavlyuk. 


The ABC of Enamel 

Oleski Koval 
Now-May 5, 2024 
Fisher Gallery, Roush Hall, 27 S. Grove St., Westerville 
Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily 
Contact: 614.823.1792 or visit 

Born in Kyiv, Ukraine, Oleksii Koval has worked with hot enamel according to the tradition of Leonardo de Vinci for more than 16 years. Also a mixed media printmaker, Koval has had more than 50 solo exhibitions in leading art museums in Ukraine and galleries in Europe and the United States. 

The ABC of Enamel features Koval’s mixed media technique that incorporates hot enamel and etching, including the Ukrainian series, Spring is Coming, Alphabet of the Big City, Jungle, Nu, and other individual works. The exhibition expresses the beauty and harmony of the world, as well as the joy of exploring and communicating with it. This life-affirming exhibition speaks to the enjoyment of diversity and, most importantly, is a call to care for all living things around us. 


Mystery and Whimsey: The Living Qualities of Ukrainian Folklore 

Zaryana Bezu 
Now-April 28, 2024 
The Frank Museum of Art, 39 South Vine Street, Westerville 
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. during the University’s academic year. 
Contact: 614-818-9716 or visit 

Zaryana Bezu, a fiber and sculpture artist who was born in Kyiv, was 17 years old when the Soviet Union fell, and her country was thrown into economic and social chaos. Amid the hardship, Bezu turned for solace to the ancient Ukrainian folktales she found deeply embedded in the country’s history — stories, images, and realities that lived just beneath the surface of communist and orthodox narratives. Her environmental installation in The Frank Museum introduces visitors to some of the realms and beings she has encountered over three decades.  

In Mystery and Whimsey, Bezu recalls her childhood in Kyiv, spent wandering the city’s aged, curved streets that were filled the legends, myths, and stories from Ukrainian folklore. Bezu’s installation of contextualized sculptures and poetry brings forth nature’s magnificent mystery that was called upon for guidance and protection, as well as a lens for understanding the complexity of human nature. 


Children of War 

Natalya Pavlyuk and Yustyna Pavlyuk, Curators 
Now-May 5, 2024 
Stichweh Gallery, Art and Communication building, 33 Collegeview Road, Westerville 
Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 1-4 p.m.; closed holidays. 
Contact: 614.823.1792 or visit 

Ukrainian mother and daughter creatives, Natalya and Yustyna Pavlyuk, bring healing art therapy to the children of Ukraine during wartime through their Art that Saves Lives initiative. Natalya Pavliuk was born in Lviv, Ukraine. She graduated from the Lviv National Academy of Arts in 2001 and became an artist and faculty member at the Lviv Polytechnic Institute.  

Since the beginning of the Russian war against Ukraine in February 2022, Natalya and her daughter, Yustyna, have focused on helping children evacuated to Lviv from central and eastern Ukraine who witnessed the horrors of war. They lead art therapy sessions with children in hospitals, shelters, and orphanages. The program helps children express their feelings and communicate while dealing with post-traumatic stress. 

Children of War features the paintings and drawings of 40 Ukrainian children — young souls who use their artwork to express their dreams, fears, thoughts about the war, and their aspirations for what life would be like after victory.