The “Heritage” Ethnographic Gallery from the private collection of famous entrepreneurs and philanthropists Taras and Iryna Demkur was opened in Ternopil on December 28, 2016 and during one year of its activity became a real cultural and artistic centre for the promotion, preservation and development of the nonmaterial cultural heritage of Galicia, the regions of Ukraine and the world ethnographic groups, which are related to the Ukrainian ones. The collection is constantly replenished with new samples of antiquities, thematic exhibitions and actively conducts excursions. It is an active presenter of Ukrainian authentic culture in international and national projects, and cooperates with well-known art schools, national museums, scientific institutions, foundations and public institutions in Ukraine.
The grand opening of the “Heritage” Ethnographic Gallery became a true cultural and artistic event in 2016 for the region and the city of Ternopil directly, gathering about 250 admirers of the topic of preserving and promoting the authentic gains of the Ukrainians, supporting the activity of private collecting and creating another brand of recognition of Ternopil region.
At the invitation of the Head of the Ternopil Regional State Administration, Ternopil mayor, one of the largest sites, judging by the attendance rates, for cultural and artistic potential of the Ternopil region and the city, at the thematic exhibition-presentation “Blessed Ternopillia” in Kyiv, on February 14, became a thematic exhibition with the installation of the Galician manor, treating and comments-explanations for visitors of the local traditions. The thematic exposition was attended by more than 20 foreign ambassadors or their representatives, many public organizations, invited Kyiv citizens. The participation in presentations to celebrate the regions’ anniversaries has become a continuation of this field of activity and a good tradition. Yes, on September 24, the “Heritage” Ethnographic Gallery took part in the celebrations for the 80th anniversary of the formation of Khmelnytsk region with its exhibits.
A significant distinction of the Ethnographic Gallery activity was an invitation of the Ukrainian Society “Berehynia” in the Czech Republic to visit the city of Prague, to celebrate with the Ukrainian community the World Vyshyvanka (editor’s note: a Ukrainian embroidered shirt) Day and the participation in the festive procession in the streets of the city on May 21. Among the Ukrainian embroidered shirts and national symbols, special attention was drawn to the models in authentic clothes from the Ternopil region. A lot of photo sessions and video interviews were held together with them, close links for further cooperation were established.
In the city of Chernivtsi, as part of the celebration of the World Vyshyvanka Day on May 18, the street Ethnographic University was conducted jointly with other regions of Ukraine. Our exhibits were both participants and presenters of the unique Borshchiv home-made embroidered shirt, which is the basis of the collection.
On May 25, the International Investment Forum “Ternopil ‘Invest-2017” invited to present the “Heritage” Ethnographic Gallery, nonmaterial cultural heritage of the region.
Also during the Forum, the excursions were organized and conducted for more than six delegations from Spain, Serbia, Portugal, Polan and other countries-participants of the forum. Reviews about attending the Ethnographic Gallery together with the wishes of cooperation are left in the Review Book. Equally interesting was the format of the July 7 ethno-party “In the Night at Ivana Kupala” in Kyiv, where fashion designers and participants in the Ukrainian fashion show became famous women of Ukraine – the artists. During the event, the collection of the “Heritage” Ethnographic Gallery clothes was complemented with the author’s wreaths by the designer from the city of Ternopil, the teacher in the Galician College named after Viacheslav Chornovil, Oksana Hrytsai.
The youth platform of the Global Villige international network, which gathered in the city of Ternopil the representatives of the student community from other countries of the world, who are studying and living in Ukraine, was supported as partners by conducting the workshops on Ukrainian clothes modeling on July 14. The Ethnographic Gallery got an excellent opportunity to establish connections and establish further cooperation in studying the cultural diversity of Europe and the world.
Participation in exhibitions and presentations of international level has become an effective result of the region’s promotional activities. It allowed talking about the international potential of the nonmaterial cultural heritage of Ternopil region during its presentation during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of UWC in Lviv, August 27-28, participation and partnership at the All-Ukrainian Festival “Borshchiv Vyshyvanka” on September 10, and participation in International Charitable Event “Parade of Nations” dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Ukrainian diplomacy.
An important area of activity of the ethnographic gallery “Heritage” is the use and introduction of creative industries during the presentations of the “ETHNO” theme for the modern generation of children and the youth, foreign citizens, the formation of multicultural traditions of contemporary world art in combination with original sources. The project “URBAN GIRLS – 26” dedicated to the 26th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence was successful for us. Famous models took part in the thematic photo shoot – Lilia Podkopayeva, Olena Kharlan, Marichka Yaremchuk, in total 26 well-known women of the present-day urban society in the traditions of Ukrainian authenticity. The invitation to the thematic rushnyk (editor’s note: an embroidered towel) collection of
Ethnographic Heritage to participate in the “Ornamental DNA” project, which was opened in the Contemporary Arts Center of Ankara, Turkey, during October-November, became the continuation of this direction, the new project and the great honour for the owners of the collection.
The literary and artistic events, organized by the Ethno Heritage, were interesting and cognitive for Ternopil citizens and city guests.
Among them there is “Vyshyvana Koliada” (an artistic meeting with the participation of Lviv artist Roksoliana Shymchuk on January 16), the presentation of the art-book “The Chest. The Things of Power” with Yaryna Vinnytska and Yulia Tabenska, April 20, which was continued at the end of the year by “Maiden Gatherings for Future Brides”, on November 3, during the presentation of the next work of these authors Art-Book “The Bride”. The artistic community of Ternopil region made a presentation of the album-monograph by Yevstachiia Shymchuk “The Destiny is Natural as the Sky. Yaroslava Muzyka: Life and Creativity”, a little-known for contemporaries countrywoman, an artist, in October of this year.
During one-year of the gallery space activity it was visited by over 100 excursions, the representatives of general education, vocational schools, colleges from the city of Ternopil and the districts of Ternopil region. The Ukrainian heritage theme, studying the traditions of authentic samples of Ukrainians’ use of wood, clay, ceramics, icon and rushnyk collections always attract enthusiasm for visitors of all ages. A professional excursion is also a good opportunity for further self-study and familiarization with the “ETHNO” theme, conducting lessons, extracurricular activities, etc. The close cooperation with foreign students of higher educational establishments of the city has been established. At the initiative of medical and technical universities numerous excursions and photo sessions were held for students from European, Arabic, African countries, from India and other countries. The photos depicting the Ukrainian clothes were spread around the world. Let’s also not forget about the cooperation with local communities of the Eastern regions of Ukraine. The participants of the exemplary folk ensemble “Horynka” from Lanovechyna, the representatives of local self-government bodies from Luhansk and Donetsk regions, children of the ATO participants from the Eastern regions of Ukraine received an invitation to the excursion.
There is a close cooperation with NGO “Tourist Association of Ternopil Region”, Tourism Department of Ternopil Regional State Administration, Tourist and Information Centre of Ternopil.
The activity of the “Heritage” Ethnographic Gallery implements an important direction in the development of ethno-tourism in the Ternopil region.
The proof of this was a successful presentation of this resource during the International Tourist Salon UITT 2017 in Kyiv on April 29-30, the reviews after the All-Ukrainian Press Tours “Trans-Empire. Journey around the Old Border” (May, 2017), ethno-tours (December, 2017), the press tour around the Ternopil region for well-known bloggers (December 2017). Ethnographic Gallery is a participant of this year’s Hospitality Forum in July. For incomplete year of activity, close ties with well-known Ukrainian tourist websites and resource portals, tourist companies from the cities of Poltava, Kyiv, Rivne, Lviv, Vinnytsia have been established.
But perhaps the main mission of today is the mission of the Cultural Diplomacy Envoy. The guests from other countries, who conduct official visits to Ternopil region, are frequent visitors. More than 18 foreign delegations visited Ethnographic Gallery during the year and got acquainted with our cultural heritage. There was a delegation from the National Council of the National Minority in Serbia in April; there was a specially invited guest – Ostein Nystad, a professor at the University of Nord, Norway, the Ambassador of Brazil to Ukraine during his official visit to Ukraine, the delegation from Spain, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary, Argentina, the representatives of the twin cities of Ternopil from Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, Estonia. There was a special, in terms of efficiency, visit of the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine to Argentina, Yurii Diudin, which was followed by the invitation and performance by the dance team of the “Prosvita” Ukrainian Society in Argentina, in August, in the amount of 140 people and became an adornment of the Ternopil Evenings with a festive concert and excursion program.
During a year, partnership with renowned art schools and craftsmen, museum institutions have been established. The initiative to hold an all-Ukrainian flashmob on the occasion of the World Vyshyvanka Day was supported. The national clothes from the Ethnographic Gallery took part in the photo project “Sincere. Heritage.”. Friendly relations are maintained with the Ethnographic Gallery of Roksoliana Shymchuk from Lviv, the Museum of Ivan Honchar in Kyiv, the workshop of the Honoured Craftsman of Ukraine Olesia Telizhenko in Cherkasy, the public initiative of Lesia Voroniuk “World Vyshyvanka Day”, the regional ethnographic museum, the regional union of artists, the library-museum “Literary Ternopil”, art associations “Palette of Warmth”, “School of Borshchiv Vyshyvanka”, “Berehynia”. The Presentation of the National Bureau of the Creative Europe Foundation was conducted in the city of Ternopil. The potential of the cultural heritage of Ternopil region was presented at two international forums on cultural and creative industries in Ivano-Frankivsk and Kyiv at the end of this year.
The number of exhibit items in the Ethnographic Gallery is more than 1800 copies.
Thematic exhibitions are constantly being refilled and updated: Ukrainian clothes and collectible thematic rushnyk towels – January-February; church icons – October-November; wooden chests – April-May; Oksana Grytsay’s wreath collection – July-August; ceramics, clay products – May-June. A collection of wax wedding wreaths, a collection of wooden cradles and sticks, stone products, materials of the World War I, Cossack attribution, Trypillia findings, etc, became new entrants of the exhibits items of the Ethnographic Gallery.