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For Release: July 5, 2002
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Kushch to present multi-dimensional
senior art exhibit, featuring Minoan culture

An upcoming senior art exhibition at Arkansas State University will bear no resemblance to any that has come before it.Chrystyna Kushch

Chrystyna Kushch, a native of Kyiv, Ukraine, came to ASU to study art two years ago. For her final presentation, she has selected the theme "Atlantis," for her varied artistic expressions, including wall-size murals in the Jonesboro residence of Dr. Alexander Sydorenko.

The title reflects her fascination with the ancient Minoan civilization on the Mediterranean Island of Crete, and her interest in archaeological remnants which she believes may be the fabled lost city of Atlantis.

Her presentation also will include poetry, dance and film presentation at the ASU campus, in addition to drawings, ceramics, pottery and sculpture she will display.

She credits two trips to Greece, in 2000 and 2001, for providing inspiration to do the project.

"For the first time, I could seek works of art which I had always admired and drew from plaster models at the Fine Arts Academy in Ukraine," she recalled. "The artistic legacy of Classical Greece proved unforgettable, but in the end it was the remnants of the Minoan civilization on Crete and Santorini that left me bedazzled."

Atlantis will open Sunday and Monday, July 21-22, with exhibits in the ASU Museum Gallery and the Fine Arts Center Art Gallery.

The Museum Gallery exhibit, which opens at 1:30 p.m. on July 21, will include ceramics, pottery, ceramic sculpture, reconstructed Minoan perfumes, oils and sketches. This exhibit continues through July 26.

The Fine Arts Center Art Gallery exhibit, which opens at 7 p.m. on July 22, will feature her oil pastel drawings, sketches, reconstructed Minoan costumes, ceramic sculptures, and photos of the murals she has painted at the Sydorenko residence. The exhibit will continue through Aug. 9.

On Tuesday, July 23, she will present the poetry, dance and video documentary of the entire project at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall.

Her project will conclude with an open house on Sunday, Aug. 4, from 3 until 7 p.m., at the Sydorenko residence, 208 Karen Court. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the murals, pottery, ceramic tiles and other work within the natural surroundings. Eventually, she will re-design the homeís entire interior and exterior.

Kushch, who studied art at the Ukrainian Academy of Fine Arts before coming to the United States, had the opportunity to work as a portrait painter, tutor, designer and fresco painter in France, Italy, Holland, Belgium and Germany. She has displayed her work at shows in Ukraine, Italy, France, Austria Germany and Chicago.

Her reading and study intensified her interest in the ancient Minoan civilization. Kushch says she has been fascinated for years by the archeological discovery of the remains of a Minoan city on the southern tip of the island of Santorini, about 60 miles north of Crete. She has theorized that Santorini is the famous Atlantis as described by Plato, and has named her project accordingly.

After developing an interest in painting murals while in Europe, her commission at the Sydorenko residence became an opportunity to express her interest by developing what she called a "re-interpretation of the entire Minoan milieu," a period 2,000 years before Christ.

In addition to the murals, the project involves sculpture (three-dimensional tiles depicting faces, busts and animal heads), pottery (vases and jars), ceramics (platters, dishes and drinking cups), furniture, clothing and more.

Memphis composer Christopher Lawrence has written original music, and Shannon Rennicke has choreographed a dance which she and her group will perform during the July 23 event in the Recital Hall. Charlene Johnson made costumes.

Sheridan Essman of Jonesboro will read the artistís poetry, and Betty Joanne Rousey will assist with presenting perfumes based on Minoan formulas. The video is being prepared by James Tichgelaar, William Rowe and John Kerst.

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