The Archdiocese of Riga hosts an exhibition on the works of art of Ukrainian refugee children

An exhibition of works of art by Ukrainian refugee children opened on May 8 in the complex of St. James’s Cathedral in Riga.

May 13, 2022

The opening night of an art exhibition by Ukrainian refugee children at St. James’s Cathedral in Riga, Latvia, May 8, 2022. | Archdiocese of Riga.

By Carl Bunderson
An exhibition of works of art by Ukrainian refugee children opened on May 8 in the complex of St. James’s Cathedral in Riga. Organized by Archbishop Zbig?ev Stankevi?s, the event was attended by several ambassadors to Latvia.

“This initiative of [the] The Catholic Church in Latvia has succeeded in uniting Latvian society – government bodies, businesses and private citizens on behalf of children, love and support for each other,” the Archbishop of Riga said. .

“It was amazing that we also welcomed an international audience – 14 ambassadors to Latvia,” Bishop Stankevi?s added.

The Archbishop delivered an opening address at the event. Among those present were his auxiliary, Bishop Andris Kravalis; Father Roman Sapuzhak from the Greek Catholic parish of Riga; and Olexandr Mischenko, Ambassador of Ukraine to Latvia.

“Despite all the horrors these children have gone through, these works have no sense of revenge, fear or hatred in them. They are full of goodness and hope,” Bishop Stankevi’s said during his opening address.

Mischenko thanked the Catholic Church of Latvia for its warm welcome and sincere support for the children, who had lost so much.

Gabriella Cabiere, art historian who organizes the exhibition, spoke about the future of Ukraine and the artistic talent of children.

The opening night included a live concert to give the children and their families “an evening to remember and for a few hours to forget about the horrors happening in their homeland,” the Archbishop of Riga said.

The exhibition includes art from March of more than 200 children who came to Latvia after Russia invaded Ukraine. The works “show so much pain but also tenacity, spirit and hope. These works of art speak to us and bring real life, pure emotions of children who have gone through horror,” a representative from the Archdiocese of Riga said.

Artworks include tanks and experiences from the war, but also homes and pets that have been left behind.
“These families are in great need of our help, not only physical but also emotional. They need to know that they are not alone in this war but that the whole world is behind them and with them. These children are the future of their country,” the representative said.

The opening was a ‘special moment’ for the archdiocese as the Church had extended an invitation to the diplomatic corps in Riga ‘and received an overwhelming response, now they are coming together to show unity in support of the Ukrainian people’ .

The exhibition was organized by Caritas Latvija and the country’s Church. It will remain open until May 23 with free entry. Donations will be used to maintain the children’s art workshop. –CNA