A brand new piece of Ukrainian culture has debuted in the East Village.
A new mural by Ukraine-born artist Misha Tyutyunik now decorates the East Village branch of Citizens Bank at 143 Second Avenue. Because is there anything more "Downtown Manhattan 2022" than a meaningful piece of artwork painted on a financial institution? Regardless, the artwork is worth visiting.
"I’m doing this artwork to stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and with oppressed people all over the world," Tyutyunik said at a mural painting and unveiling on Saturday, March 26. The work, “UKRAINE: A HISTORY IN SOLIDARITY,” celebrates the rich history of Ukraine. Tyutyunik is known for transforming public spaces into cultural centers. He recently completed a Fulbright Grant abroad in Ukraine, and was one of five artists chosen to paint a sanitation vehicle for the NYC Department of Sanitation as part of their "trucks of art" initiative.
This work of art, which community members helped fill in with bright colored paint, represents the legend of how Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, was named. Legend states that siblings, Kyi, Shchek and Khoryv, and their sister Lybid, founded the city. Kyiv thus takes its name from Kyi, the eldest brother. Tyutyunik depicts a famous monument of the three brothers and their sister and personifies Ukrainian storytelling and cultural history.
To show solidarity with the neighborhood and community, Citizens will match $25,000 in funds donated directly to Ukrainian National Womens League of America (UNWLA). A QR code next to the mural allows New Yorkers to continue to donate to Ukraine for the rest of the month and listen to the artist talking about his work.
"Watching the horrible and senseless destruction manifested in Ukraine and its people reduces me to tears daily, but seeing the local community rally in support of Ukraine is very heartening," says UNWLA Officer-At-Large Oksana Lodziuk Krywulyc. "Citizens' very generous donation of $25,000 to the UNWLA Humanitarian Aid to Ukraine efforts will greatly help civilians and refugees with basic needs of food, shelter and medical care."
UNWLA are the founders of the Ukrainian Museum and a volunteer organization committed to sending funds directly to rescue efforts in Ukraine. Established in 1925, it's the longest-running and largest Ukrainian women’s organization in the US. The group aims to unite women of Ukrainian descent and affiliation in service, friendship and dedication in order to promote and develop educational and cultural efforts and humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians worldwide.