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Preface to our 2022 Spring Journal Artist Interview

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Ukrainian landscape by textile artist Maryna Lukach

 

I’m going to call it a miracle.

It was time for me to contact an artist to interview for the Segullah Journal artist’s profile. This was in late Feburary 2022 when Putin had just bombed Ukraine. I was gripped with anxiety, outrage, and a sense of impotence. What could I do to aid a reeling foreign nation?

Meanwhile, I still had deadlines to meet and one of them was to locate, interview, and get samples from an LDS woman artist for Segullah.org’s quickly upcoming Spring 2022 journal. (What you’re reading now.) Still distracted and in international mourning with the people of Ukraine  I started my hunt for an artist to highlight like I usually do. I reached out through what I thought was a working email address to an American LDS artist whose work I admired. I heard nothing back.

A couple days later I reached out to a different artist through her Facebook page. This time I got one a message that sounded like it was from a Nigerian prince who needed money. (Obviously that friend’s account had been hacked.)

Then I sent an email to another artist – and again, heard nothing back. Usually I hear back quickly with the artist’s enthusiasm.

This went on again and again for over two weeks and time was growing short….

Distraught that I might not be able to connect in time with an impressive LDS woman artist for the journal I started scrolling through facebook for lovely things to look at to help me deal with my angst.

Within minutes my eye was caught by an elegant image of a fabric collage (see above). I love fabric collage and mixed media of every kind. As an artist myself I love fiber, feathers, beads, unique papers and whatever I can lay my hands on for creative inspiration. Apparently so did this artist.

I had landed on the facebook page and then on the etsy shop of someone named “Lukach Maryna.” An unusual name. Was it a man or a woman? The artist’s profile photo was of a woman. I explored her page and shop and was immediately impressed with the creativity, level of detail, skill of handwork, color choices, and compositional strength of the images.

Maryna Lukach, Ukrainian textile artist and sister saint

I scrolled through the gorgeous images on her facebook page and was astounded to see a lovely fabric collage of an LDS temple! What?! And she also had a link to purchase downloads of some of her images to give supplies directly to Ukrainian people!

Her facebook page mentioned some kind of connection with Farmington, UT. Was she in Utah? Or Ukraine? I didn’t know.

I immediately sent her – “Lukach Maryna” – a quick and very eager facebook message asking what her connection to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was, telling her a little about my job as Segullah’s art director, and asking if she had both images and interest in being our featured artist.

I also mentioned that my finding her did not feel like just a coincidence.

(It’s possible I heard a tiny band of angels singing the Hallelujah chorus in my head, but that was probably just my “Musical Ear Syndrome” acting up again.)

It turns out that Lukach Maryna is Maryna Lukach. She has lived in the US – but as I write this she is living in her basement workshop in Kyiv, Ukraine. Read on for portions of our exchanges, a bit of her artistic background, her conversion story, links to her etsy shop, and a peek into her creative, faithful, generous heart and indominable spirit. My new sister-friend, Maryna!

 

About Linda Hoffman Kimball

Linda Hoffman Kimball is an artist, writer, photographer, and poet who grew up as a faithful Christian near Chicago, & joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1971 while at Wellesley College near Boston. Early on she assumed that all Latter-day Saints were articulate, inquisitive, faithful, and socially engaged since her role models in the University wards in Cambridge, MA., were. Her husband says she is “fluent, but not native” in Mormon-ese. She is a founding member of Mormon Women for Ethical Government.

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