Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

The Museum of Fine Arts captures the war against Ukraine in new exhibit

Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Entrance of the MFA exhibit “Who holds up the sky?”

The Museum of Fine Arts introduced a new exhibit that ignites the elements of awareness and heartache from the war in Ukraine, as the world approaches the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

“Who Holds Up the Sky?” is an exhibit that was introduced by the museum on Jan. 21. This display is overflowing with photography documented by those on the frontlines of battle; alongside illustrations that frame the harsh new realities faced by Ukrainian civilians.

The exhibition includes photographs from a variety of Ukrainian reporters — including Vadym Belikov, who captured the night that a Russian missile was launched toward one of Ukraine’s largest cities of Kharkiv. His photo flares with accents of orange and yellow that lie beneath an air-borne missile as it shreds through the still Ukrainian skies.

Belikov’s work hangs alongside four pillars cloaked in an array of sketches that were illustrated by Inga Levi, a Ukrainian artist. Through the use of her intricate designs, Levi emphasizes the detrimental conditions of the war beside the new everyday routines for citizens throughout the country. She draws viewers’ eyes towards the etched out images of soldiers with heavy machinery slung over their soldiers, alongside civilians seeking out shelter and resources in times of disaster. Each of the pillars represent a mount of strength, elevating the sky above Ukraine. 

“I think the war in Ukraine is something we’ve all heard about on the news,” said Martina, a staff member at the MFA. “And I think when you bring that into the museum you invite the discussion about the war and specific questions no matter where you stand on that situation.”

Adjacent to the sketches of Inga Levi, the eyes of patrons are captivated by the images of Yana Kononova and Efrem Lukatsky. Both Ukrainian born, Kononova and Lukatsy display the deep scars embedded in Ukrainian land following Russian attacks. Kononova’s photographs capture the demolished and damaged remains of infrastructure left across Ukrainian landscapes following Russian strikes. While Lukatsky leans his focal point towards a crater that expands over Ukrainian farmland after taking a blow from a Russian rocket. 

The exhibition extends toward a fellow charitable project titled “Behind Blue Eyes,” which provides insight to the lives of Ukranian children whose childhood has continued to be modified by the war. The photo project allows children throughout a number of villages in Ukraine to document their day to day lives on disposable cameras. Slides presented against a shining yellow horizon show that the children are asked about their age, interests and aspirations; along with images depicting their daily routines. 

“I think it’s important to have these real life, real time issues represented in the museum instead of things of the past,” Martina said.

The MFA will be hosting a special event, “The City Talks: Who Holds up the Sky?,” on Feb. 23 from 7–8:30 p.m. to advocate for the safety of Ukraine and to discuss the exhibition and its artworks. A full list of participants will be provided soon at

The “Who Holds Up the Sky?” exhibit will remain on view at the MFA until May 21.

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The Museum of Fine Arts captures the war against Ukraine in new exhibit