Interview with Oksana Movchan

Oksana Movchan

Ukrainian art and culture is vibrant, rich, and abundant in Canada. We are fortunate to have so many talented artists and artisans continually exploring and developing their crafts, making their art a part of our community.  One such artist is Oksana Movchan.

While pursuing her postgraduate studies at the prestigious Ukrainian Academy of Art in Ukraine, Oksana was invited to Toronto, Canada for what turned out to be a very successful solo-exhibition.   She decided to stay.  After 7 years in Toronto, Oksana moved to Edmonton in 2004, and has made this her adopted home.

She has had many solo exhibitions, including international exhibitions in Kyiv, Houston, and Hong-Kong, and has been recognized by two Ukrainian Presidents (L. Kravchuk & L. Kuchma), the Canada Art Council, the Ontario Art Council, and the Alberta Foundation for The Arts.

Oksana’s art reveals a strong relationship between the art and lines which is evident in her etchings and foil on glass art works. Elegant and honest, her art represents a powerful but fragile style. During her years at the Ukrainian Academy of Art she experimented with a number of techniques such as gravure, lithography and etching.  Overtime she has gravitated toward etching, with forays into functional and abstract art.

We asked Oksana about her passion and career.

NAC: How did you get started in art?

OM: I started in art, like all children do, quite naturally. The only difference is, I,ve never stopped:
I attended an evening art school, then went on to the National Ukrainian Art School and later-Ukrainian Academy of Art and Architecture. I would like to pay a tribute to my Father , who is an artist and who played a significant role in my professional career .

NAC: What drives your passion?

OM: Art for me is a way to communicate with the world; it is a language I speak. I want to touch people’s hearts with my art; I want to remind them how fragile and precious life is.

NAC: Who or what are your inspirations?

OM: I believe, I have pretty wide range of things that inspire me: music, poetry, design, architecture, visual art….all beautiful things around me that touch my heart, just beauty of life itself.

NAC: How has living in Canada changed your artistry? Or has it?

OM: Living in Canada, definitely changed me as a person and as a result, affected my art, even technically. Here I’ve discovered a world of glass, a new medium for me that I combine with etching-chine-colle.

NAC: What do you draw on from your Ukrainian heritage in your art?

OM: I am very grateful for education I’ve received back home. It blessed me with sense of belonging to deeply rooted culture that still nourishes me in my new found home.

NAC: What are your goals for 2012?

OM: I am working on Public Commission for Strathcona County: Painting glass panels for Ardrossan Recreation complex. After I am planning to work on preparing pieces for a solo show, and I have few commissions to complete (bathroom sink; glass panel, etching/dedication).

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