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Communicating through art

Abby Skorenkyi had no idea when she met Kostia at her high school graduation that they would someday be married, much less that she would be able to use her art to tell the story of his family’s flight from the Russo-Ukrainian War. “It feels like it’s my duty to capture their story in the most beautiful way I can,” Abby said when her senior capstone showcase at Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, Minn., was featured on the local news.

woman in red shirt painting
Abby Skorenkyi working on one of her paintings.

Abby believes that art has the power to tell stories and share truth on a level that words can’t always accomplish. “Through the use of color, composition, and your choice of imagery, you can invite people on a journey to discover a message,” says Abby. “In this case, I communicated how one family found hope and love for the Creator, even while walking through loss and pain. The visual language is universal—communicating across cultural backgrounds, just like a storybook you read as a child.”

When it came time to choose a title for her capstone project, Abby selected some words from Taras Shevchenko—the same Ukrainian poet whose work Kostia often recited as a child—“Everything has passed, but not all is lost.” The showcase featured six larger-than-life paintings that introduced viewers to the members of the Skorenkyi family as they were seen in the days following the Russian invasion. The paintings range from Petro driving to the front lines to Kostia’s grandma and her sister, who still live in Ukraine and face the horrors of war daily.

Abby hopes that her art shines a light on the tragedy of an ongoing struggle on the other side of the world as well as the grace of our God, who is good even when our circumstances are not. “The Skorenkyis demonstrated strong faith and hope in their Savior, even in the darkest of trials,” she says. “Even through the pain, God was there. They clung to him, and he held them in his hands.”

More of Abby Skorenkyi’s paintings:

Abby Skorenkyi art_1

Abby Skorenkyi art_4

Abby Skorenkyi art_6

Read Kostia Skorenkyi’s story at forwardinchrist.net/kostia-skorenkyi

Author: Cameron Schroeder
Volume 111, Number 07
Issue: July 2024

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This entry is part 1 of 53 in the series my christian life

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