In NYC’s own “Little Ukraine” in the East Village, a colorful mural has gone up to — designed by Ukrainians, for Ukrainians.
Created by Brooklyn-based, Ukrainian-born artist Misha Tyutyunik, the large-scale piece was actually designed with the people of Kyiv when Tyutyunik completed his Fullbright program there in 2019, a press release shares.
It was painted this past weekend by members of the neighborhood, who all came together to fill in the design with color, making it a full community effort.
Entitled “Ukraine: A History in Solidarity,” the work was inspired by the legendary story of Kyiv’s founding, involving siblings Kyi, Shchek, and Khoryv and Lybid. It depicts the famous monument of the three brothers and their sister, and “personifies Ukrainian storytelling and cultural history.”
“I’m doing this artwork to stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and with oppressed people all over the world,” the artist said in a statement.
The mural is on 9th St. and Second Ave., at a new Citizens Bank branch. It’s part of the bank’s “mission to support the neighborhoods they are in.” They will also be matching $25,000 in donations made to the East Village-based women-led organization UNWLA (Ukrainian National Womens League of America), which has been raising funds to aid Ukrainian refugees.
“When I was first approached by Citizens with an idea to create a community event in support of Ukraine, I was both touched and grateful,” said UNWLA Officer-At-Large Oksana Lodziuk Krywulych.
The idea to have a mural created by a Ukrainian artist which would then be painted by the general public was appealing, as it would create a lasting impact on the area. Watching the horrible and senseless destruction manifested in Ukraine and its people reduces me to tears daily, but seeing the local community rally in support of Ukraine is very heartening.
A QR code next to the work lets passersby hear Tyutyunik speak about his work directly and easily donate themselves to UNWLA. Find it at 143 2nd Avenue.