Exhibit at Orlando Museum of Art Featured Modern-Day Look At Life in War-Torn Ukraine

Recently, the Orlando Museum of Art featured the “Relentless Courage: Ukraine and the World At War” exhibit.

Jaliah Meade, Reporter

Orlando Museum of Art exhibited “Relentless Courage: Ukraine and the World at War” for a limited amount of time. (Camron Flanders @camronflanders)

Recently, the Orlando Museum of Art featured the “Relentless Courage: Ukraine and the World At War” exhibit which depicted the life of Ukrainians amidst the ongoing war. This exhibit was available between the dates of January 21 and March 23.

This exhibition was presented by the Ginsburg Family Foundation and was partnered with the book Relentless Courage: Ukraine and the World at War. Maureen Walsh, Marketing & Communications Manager at the Orlando Museum of Art, said that the exhibit itself came from the Ukraine House in Washington D.C. where it was previously shown and featured photographs from award winning photo journalists. These images worked to tell the story of both the journalists and citizens of Ukraine while showing the war from a real perspective. Walsh said that the Orlando Museum of Art was approached by the Ginsburg Family Foundation to partner with the cultural community of Orlando with knowledge that the city is melting pot with an Eastern European population.

Associate Curator for Community Engagement Molly Lawson gave her own description of the exhibit. “It is one gallery and consists of over 60 works of art and seven journalists – It was an exhibition that was presented to us to curate and showcase here,” Lawson said. She said the exhibition aimed to shine a light on the ongoing war in Ukraine which was unconventional as museums typically display war scenes of the past. This set the exhibit apart from anything not only on display at the Orlando Museum of Art but in the entirety of Florida.

Though this also brought concern to the sensitive nature of the images as it could be triggering for some people to walk into the gallery and see war images. Fortunately, the museum utilized signage to give visitors a forewarning about the content in the exhibition.

“I think personally it has been a little bit sobering to walk through, I’ll admit it’s difficult to walk through the exhibition,” Walsh said. “What we do, from my perspective, is tell the story of many
through art in different ways – we’re able to provide these types of connections for people who come from different background and experiences”.

Both Lawson and Walsh observed various reactions from the public that all stemmed from the human perspective that this exhibit is able to capture so well. Walsh said that it was interesting to see the impact that this exhibit had on a variety of people within the Orlando community. Especially when considering that the photos presented offered different perspectives on the crisis in Ukraine. Visitors could experience the exhibit from the viewpoint of elderly Ukrainian women who were hesitant to leave their home country, the children who were sheltered and scared, or even from mothers who were having babies amid the war.

OMA Curator Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon said that the exhibit was quite impactful as it brought awareness to the continuation of war. Many pieces in the exhibit were very large scale and gave visitors an experience they could not gain simply by watching these events unfold on the news. People could gain a better understanding of the resilience of the Ukrainian people who are fighting for their freedom daily.

“It’s an incredibly powerful visual account by photojournalists,” Claeysen-Gleyzon said.

Following the departure of this exhibit, the Orlando Museum of Art is expected to open their newest exhibit “The Outwin: American Portraiture Today” on Saturday, April 8th.