Images of Faith, Hope & Beauty

December 6, 2017 – January 28, 2018

Enterprise Square – West Gallery, Edmonton, AB

Contact:  Lynnien Pawluk  Ph. 780-492-6906  email: 

The Kule Folklore Centre at the University of Alberta in partnership with the Ukrainian Pioneers Association of Alberta is very pleased to launch a new exhibit, Images of Faith, Hope and Beauty, featuring Ukrainian Canadian icons and iconostases from national and international collections.  

The exhibit takes place December 6, 2017 through January 28, 2018 in downtown Edmonton in the gallery space at Enterprise Square, 10230 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton. It will be open to the public and will include both a display and educational programming (lectures, workshops).

This collaborative initiative brings together over 100 pieces created during the last century. Exhibition curators – Dr. Jelena Pogosjan  (Director Kule Folklore Centre)  and artist and PhD student Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn have partnered with local museums, archives, and organizations including St. John's Institute, Ukrainian Canadian Archives & Museum of Alberta, Ukrainian Museum of Canada – Alberta Branch, Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada Museum, the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton, and the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives at the University of Alberta. 

The overall vision is to display icons and related imagery and materials that unwrap the history and mystique behind iconography.  These images of faith are precious to many; their creation a long-held set of rituals that express spirituality and devotion of the iconographer. Very few Canadians are aware of the history, significance, and processes that have led to the creation of the beautiful interiors of many Ukrainian churches on the prairies; Images of Faith provides insight into this artistic and spiritual calling.

The exhibition features five unique collections of artifacts. 

  1. This project was inspired by the works of Wadym Dobrolige. His icons and iconostases grace the sanctuaries of many Ukrainian churches in Alberta and are exemplary pieces from the post war era in Canada. The Kule Folklore Centre has been granted permission to share his legacy of sketches and mock- ups within this exhibit, in addition to other related pieces.  Dobrolige is also known for his contributions as a set designer to the Alberta Ballet and Edmonton Opera, as well as working with the Hudson's Bay Company as muralist and fashion show set creator.
  2. The exhibition also includes the installation of a real iconostasis which was originally created for St. John’s Institute and now serves as a focal point of instruction and public awareness. This is especially relevant as this exhibit coincides with the 100th Anniversaries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada and St. John's Institute in Edmonton.
  3. Contemporary Ukrainian artist, Oleksandr Klymenko will contribute pieces from his exhibit “Icons on Ammo Boxes”.  Klymenko, a graduate from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Ukraine, paints icons on the boards of ammunition boxes from the war in Donbas.  He says that the boards, which still have a burned smell, are the witnesses of the atrocities of the conflict in Ukraine and Oleksandr fund from the sale of his icons go directly to Ukrainian army field hospitals.
  4. The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton has loaned their copy of the most studied artifact in Christendom, The Shroud of Turin, to this exhibit.  The Archdiocese of Turin, Italy authorized this official replica for the Eparchy, one of only ten official copies in North America.
  5. Additional pieces from our partners and private collections include works by Julian Bucmaniuk, photographs by Orest Semchyshyn, as well as stories from the "Sanctuary Project" coordinated by Dr.'s John Paul Himka, Frances Swyripa, and Natalie Kononenko. 

The Exhibition Lecture Series will feature presentations by:  Oleksandr Klymenko, Andriy Nahachewsky, Jars Balan, John-Paul Himka, and Natalie Kononenko as well as scheduled guided tours of the exhibit on December 16, 19, 27, and 28.  Group tours can also be booked for dates in January.

More information about these events can be found at  

780-492-6906 or