UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — A photography exhibit displaying historical photos of Chicago’s Ukrainian community opens Friday in Ukrainian Village.
The show at the Ukrainian National Museum, 2249 W. Superior St., will feature 40 photos by Ukrainian-American photographer Petro Oleksijenko. The museum is open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday.
Organizers said the goal of the exhibit is to showcase the contributions Ukrainian immigrants have had on the city’s civic life. Many are shots of parades and events in Downtown Chicago and the neighborhood that would later become known as Ukrainian Village.
We “wanted to demonstrate what people from Eastern European countries did, and how they immersed themselves in American life. … They truly believed in being grateful to America for what America did for them,” said Lydia Tkaczuk, the museum’s president.
That includes members of Chicago’s current Ukrainian-American community.
“We had a parade on [Aug. 24] and mostly people put on Facebook, ‘Well, it’s the first parade in the history of Ukrainian diaspora,”’ said museum archivist Halyna Sarancha. “I try to tell these people, ‘Listen, there was many many different parades, events in Ukrainian life here,’ so it’s a good opportunity to show our people, teach them.”
The exhibit also details Oleksijenko’s life. He fought in the Ukrainian revolution and came to Chicago after World War II. The photos on display range from 1951-1958, before Oleksijenko moved to Denver.
Some local landmarks are identifiable in the photos, including storefronts and houses along Chicago and North avenues.
“Our mission is to preserve our heritage and then sort of promote what the Ukrainian immigrants did for the city, and how they participated,” Tkaczuk said.
The exhibit opens Friday and will be on display through the end of November.
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