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Plan to Visit ‘East Meets West’

By Michelle Schweickart

East Meets West, the Marian Library’s newest exhibit, is now open. This two-part exhibit features East Meets West: Women Icon Makers of West Ukraine, on display from May 1 through June 30  in the Stuart and Mimi Rose Gallery on the first floor of Roesch Library, and Halyna Nykolyshyn’s Ukrainian Marian Legacy, on display from May 1 through Nov. 10 in the Marian Library Gallery, seventh floor of Roesch Library. It includes artwork and cultural artifacts with themes of freedom, war, resistance and religious devotion.

“There has been a renewed interest in learning about Ukrainian culture and heritage due to the current ongoing crisis in Ukraine,” says Marian Library assistant director Kayla Harris. “This exhibit honors the legacy of former library employee Halyna (Helen) Nykolyshyn, who established the Ukrainian Marian Collection in the Marian Library in 1981. Shown alongside the traveling exhibition from female artists living and working in Ukraine today, these materials are more important than ever in showing Ukrainian identity and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

Women Icon Makers of West Ukraine 

Women Icon Makers of West Ukraine is a traveling exhibit of more than 30 works on loan from collector John A. Kohan’s Sacred Art Pilgrim collection. The exhibit was made possible with assistance from the Iconart Contemporary Sacred Art Gallery in Lviv, Ukraine, and highlights the work of eight women icon makers from Ukraine who achieved recognition in a male-dominated genre. Respectful of the theological and artistic canons of iconography, they experiment with different media, painting techniques and color palettes to create contemporary variations on time-honored themes.

The artists

Halyna (Helen) Nykolyshyn’s Ukrainian Marian Legacy

Marian Library staff curated the Marian Library Gallery space and hallway with other art and artifacts from the Ukrainian Marian Collection, along with new acquisitions — made possible by Nykolyshyn’s endowed fund — that display Marian devotion in Ukraine today. This section of the exhibit demonstrates the many facets of the Marian Library’s Ukrainian Marian Collection and the librarian who started the collection. Nykolyshyn, a Ukraine native who worked as cataloger for the Marian Library, established the collection to preserve artwork, manuscripts, stamps, news stories and other artifacts she collected from Ukrainian churches and cultural organizations throughout the United States and Canada.

“Nykolyshyn’s outreach to Ukrainian church parishes, communities and individuals built a collection that demonstrates a unique cultural identity and pride,” Harris said. 

How to go

To plan your visit to explore East Meets West: Women Icon Makers of West Ukraine and Halyna Nykolyshyn’s Ukrainian Marian Legacy, see

— Michelle Schweickart is a library assistant in the Marian Library. 

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