artnet: The Creators of “Immersive Van Gogh” Will Bring an Experience Dedicated to a Historic Ukrainian Artist to Six North American Cities

An immersive exhibition dedicated to the work of Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), a Ukrainian poet and artist considered a founding figure in the country’s cultural history, is coming to six North American cities.

Proceeds from the project, originally organized by Lighthouse Immersive, the company behind Immersive Van Gogh and Immersive Frida Kahlo, will be distributed to the Red Cross and National Bank of Ukraine Fund. Ticket buyers can choose which of the two organizations to direct their money to.

The experience first opened to the public in the port city of Odessa last year in a design managed by Lighthouse Immersive producer Valeriy Kostyuk in coordination with a team of Ukraine-based curators and consultants. Kostyuk also secured the cooperation of the National Museum of Taras Shevchenko in Kyiv, which shared images of the artist’s works for the exhibition.

“I have been moved and inspired beyond words by the stamina and resilience of the Ukrainian people at this time and am deeply grateful to the amazing Ukrainian team who partnered with me on this project, as well as ‘to the producers of Lighthouse Immersive for standing with me right now,’ Kostyuk said in a statement.

The show, which was visited in Odessa by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, will now be shown in Toronto, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston starting March 15.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visiting the Taras Shevchenko Immersive Experience in Odessa. Photo courtesy of Carol Fox and Associates Public Relations.

Shevchenko, who was born into serfdom, was freed in 1838 while completing his studies at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art, according to Lighthouse Immersive.

As a writer, painter and spiritual advisor, he celebrated folk art and helped define Ukrainian identity when the nation was still part of the Russian Empire (1721-1917).

Andrii Bukvych, a Ukrainian diplomat stationed in Canada, said the Shevchenko experience was an opportunity to introduce North American audiences to the culture of his native country.

“It is heartening to see the art of one of Ukraine’s most prominent cultural icons being enjoyed by audiences halfway around the world,” Bukvych said in a statement. “It’s important for the global community to know what’s at stake and what’s being attacked.”

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