Her art calls from her Ukrainian upbringing
Snohomish teen to be honored in New York City
SNOHOMISH — Since the age of 5, Anna Lomachenko has always had a passion for art, but it wasn’t until this spring when she found new inspiration from her home country.
In the midst of war and suffering in her home country of Ukraine, Lomachenko looks to change the world perception of her country through art. When Lomachenko was 9 years old, she watched as protests broke out over then-President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to develop closer relations with Russia over the European Union. Years later in 2018, Lomachenko and her family decided to move to the United States in order to avoid the brewing conflict in Ukraine.
Lomachenko is now a senior at Snohomish High School, and her passion for art has grown into a learning tool to teach others about different cultures and traditions. Last spring while looking through an old book about traditional Ukrainian clothes, Lomachenko decided to try out a new project. “It sort of started as a hobby, and a way to show others what my culture is about,” said Lomachenko over the phone.
She soon started preparing to make a traditional Ukrainian headdress called a “vinok,” and after five months of research and gathering materials and six hours of work she perfected her design.
“Normally vinoks are colorful and vibrant, I decided to go with an all-white design because I wanted mine to be unique and to stand out,” said Lomachenko.
Her headdress gained national attention. She was among the winners, out of 260,000 entrants, of a National Gold Medal and a American Vision Medal in this year’s Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
Photos courtesy Snohomish School District
The vinok is a traditional Ukrainian headdress. Anna Lomachenko’s vinok uses all white, in contrast to typical multicolor vinoks.
Lomachenko and her work will be recognized in June at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
For her traditional design Lomachenko went with white ceramic roses, bamboo leaves, and feathers. “The all-white design defines each piece, if I added too many colors they would all bleed together,” said Lomachenko.
The Vinok is Ukraine’s most iconic headdress, with each region of the country having their own variation of it. Currently Lomachenko only has made one headdress, but may consider making more due to her first design’s popularity.
The significance of her headdress personally dovetails with how Ukraine is currently fighting for its independence from Russia.
“I still have family back home, luckily they moved away from the fighting so they are a bit safer now. When the invasion first started I called my Grandma who lives in Kyiv three or four times a day to make sure she was safe.”
Her art is a device to continue educating others about the beauty of her country. “War is dark and grim, and art makes beauty of the current situation.”
Lomachenko wants to continue pursuing her art and culture. Currently she is the president of the Art Honor Society at Snohomish High. After high school, Lomachenko has set her eyes on attending an art institute where she plans to major in either art or architecture.
“Hopefully once I have my degree, I can go back to Ukraine and help rebuild its beauty with my art,” she said.
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