Dnipropetrovsk authorities organized a trip to the city’s Museum of Art for refugee families who fled the anti-terrorist operation area, allowing them to see exhibition “The Open Soul of Petrykivka.” Children and their parents, coming from Donbas trouble spots Donetsk, Kramatorsk, Horlivka, and Mariupol, have now seen examples of the unique folk art tradition that is recognized by UNESCO as part of the humanity’s spiritual heritage. In addition, they participated in a master class where children were taught to draw elements of Petrykivka painting patterns, including viburnum, flowers, and bulbs. According to director of Dnipropetrovsk Museum of Art Tetiana Shaparenko, this event served as a kind of art therapy for people who had come from the troubled neighboring regions.
It was organized by the Youth Center of Dnipropetrovsk Region, affiliated with the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council. For several months already, the center’s employees have been involved in supporting soldiers and refugee families, providing humanitarian assistance to victims of the war and organizing charitable events.
“It is common knowledge that art heals the soul,” chairman of the regional council Yevhen Udod said. “I believe that beauty of the Petrykivka painting will help us to distract children from the horrors of war. Dnipropetrovsk region has lent a friendly hand to residents of the regions still engulfed in fighting. Our region provides new homes to forced migrants and helps people to adapt to peaceful conditions.” The regional council reported that it planned to invite refugee families on a tour of Petrykivka district, the historic birthplace of the world famous folk painting tradition.