As part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, Cheremosh commissioned Alberta artist, Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn to create a painting representative of this history. Larisa chose to create an eight-panel, 16-foot long watercolour capturing the regional variations of Cheremosh’s costuming over this 40-year period (see above). The painting is owned by the Ukrainian Cheremosh Society.
While this piece has been displayed at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival (Bloor Street) and at the Government Conference Centre (Parliament Hill), to date only those Albertans attending Cheremosh’s 40th anniversary have been able to view it. The Ukrainian Cheremosh Society feels this is a stunning piece of Canadian Art that should be made available for more Albertans and Canadians to see. To this end, Cheremosh has arranged to exhibit the piece at the Citadel Theatre to coincide with Alberta Culture Days celebrations. “Ensemble of Colour” will be displayed in the Citadel Theatre lobby (across from 2nd Cup) from September 20 to October 7 (open to the public 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.).
The painting is made up of eight, two feet wide (by four feet high) panels. Each panel is individually framed with plexiglass and a thin, profile metal frame making it lightweight. A six-minute DVD describing the artist’s process in creating this work can be viewed at http://www.cheremosh.ca/company/gallery/ (“Artist’s Process of Cheremosh’s “Ensemble of Colour”).
Larisa Sembaliuk Cheladyn’s thoughts on “An Ensemble of Colour”:
Creating “An Ensemble of Colour” has been one of the most rewarding projects that I have worked on to date. It is the largest single image that I have ever produced, featuring a glimpse of the magnificent wardrobe that has been worn by the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dancers over the past 40 years.
“An Ensemble of Colour” not only captures the regional and thematic variations of the costumes it traces the history and the evolution of Ukrainian dance costuming. From individualized, hand embroidered authentic clothing to factory produced theatrical costuming we can see how the dance apparel evolved over time.
The task of actually painting the 8 panels that make up the full image, was a labour of love. I was compelled to portray the wardrobe as accurately as possible, matching colours and including almost every stitch of embroidery. The intense period of concentrated brush strokes was well rewarded when upon unveiling, a dancer complimented the piece by stating “you could even smell the boots’ – I knew the painting had come to life. ~ Larisa