Curatorial Statement for the Stumptown December Show.

by Wendy Shwartz

paintings by Tatyana Ostapenko

On view at Division December 2nd - January
Reception Sunday, December 6th, 

After a couple of months of correspondence, I got to visit with Tatyana in her studio. Her posture is that of studious dancer. There is strength in her stance. She had recently returned from a show in New York where she encouraged the viewers to touch her paintings. In order to get the paintings to New York (affordably), she removed the canvases from their frames, rolled them up into two architectural drawing tubes and took them on the plane as her carry-ons.

Tatyana gave me a little history of what it was like growing up in Soviet Union (now independent Ukraine) and how that tied into her work. Her voice is direct and thoughtful.  

Tatyana immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 18. She completed her undergraduate studies with a B.A. in Spanish and International Business. As a child she loved to draw, but was stifled by the restrictive academics of her upbringing. It wasn't until after graduating that she began to really explore different artistic mediums – first photography, then pencil, charcoal, pastels and finally, paint. Painting is where she found the most challenges and the biggest rewards. 

When I asked Tatyana if there was anything specific she would like to do for her reception, this is what she said, "I grew up in a country with strong traditions of hospitality. When anyone comes over we always offer them some form of nourishment.

When I set up my work in a gallery, that space becomes home to my paintings. I want to extend that
same tradition of hospitality to my gallery goers as I would to guest in my home. I cannot think of anything more appropriate than dark bread an borscht:  one of the most humblest, most common, and most well loved of traditional foods, meant to be eaten with family and close friends, food that compliments my paintings."

We hope you can join us Sunday, December 6th from 4-6pm.
Tatyana will be serving her homemade borscht with bread to those attending her reception.

I am super excited about this show and really impressed with Tatyana's full vision for it.