Anna Ponomarenko: One year of our magazine

Author: Anna Ponomarenko
Founder and Curator


Emergence of the Idea and the First Issue

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Anna Ponomarenko, and I am the founder of the international project Artwork Gallery, as well as the print and digital Artwork Gallery Magazine.

The idea to create a magazine emerged closer to the year of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. At that time, I was living in the heart of the country – in Kiev – and was an active volunteer in the international Ukrainian art community Uartist 83, which was founded in the first months of the invasion by Anna Miklashevich and served as support for Ukrainian artists worldwide. The volunteer movement transitioned into active cultural projects, with representatives participating in international exhibitions and actively creating exhibition projects in Slovenia, where Anna Miklashevich lived and worked.

I contemplated in detail the idea of an international magazine as a means of support not only for Ukrainian artists but also for young artists from different parts of the world who were starting their journey and showed excellent potential. As an artist who has gone from hobbyist to participating in international exhibitions and projects and receiving grants, I understood the barriers facing young artists very well. Many magazines were unwilling to accept newcomers, or it was difficult to break through open calls to participate in exhibitions. It was challenging to progress as a young mother without having an authoritative experienced mentor to provide timely advice or guidance… Therefore, the focus of the Artwork Gallery project was to provide equal rights to all – experienced and emerging artists alike, regardless of their gender, to showcase the diversity of art directions and styles.

For a year now, I have been immensely pleased to review participant applications from around the world and see magnificent and diverse works in various media! And I am happy to highlight the individuality of each artist in interviews!

The First Year of the Project and Achievements

Since the inception of the project, my team has managed to hold 2 digital exhibitions. The first exhibition was “Discourse of War,” which became a place for artists from different corners of the world who wanted to share their experiences and emotions related to the military actions. Although the majority of participants were from Ukraine, there were other participants affected by the war. Then there was the exhibition “Power,” which examined power as a physical value or as willpower. This event also attracted significant interest from both participants and visitors.

We launched the initiative “Publication for donation” to raise funds for the Uanimals fund to help animals affected by flooding following the strike on the Kakhovka Hydro Power Plant, and in collaboration with our partner Uartist 83, we promoted the idea of donating a percentage of art sales to the fund. Primarily, paintings featuring animals and nature were put up for sale as part of the initiative. On our part, we published interviews for free for all artists who made a contribution to the Uanimals fund.

Also, during the first year of the magazine’s operation, 6 beautiful issues of Artwork Gallery Magazine were released in both digital and print formats, which were sold in various parts of the world!

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