The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)

The Great Famine in Ukraine 1932-1933
Artwork by Larysa Martyniuk, 1982-1983


(Click on images to enlarge them)

Larysa Martyniuk, a Ukrainian/American artist, now living and working in Colorado created a special piece of artwork in 1982-1983. The artwork is called "REMEMBERING" and was in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the genocidal famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932-1933.

Here is Larysa's personal story about the creation of her special artwork:

From: Larysa Martyniuk, Ukrainian/American Artist
Colorado Springs, Colorado, August 8, 2003
To: Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor  Information Service (ARTUIS)
Washington, D.C. and Kyiv, Ukraine

Dear Morgan,

Growing up in a Ukrainian /American community in the 60's and 70's I heard little about the "Great Famine" that occurred in Ukraine in the years 1932 - 1933. Then in 1982 I met several people who had lived in eastern Ukraine (my family came from western Ukraine and thus the man-made famine did not directly affect them).

It was astonishing to hear some of their stories; one woman who lived on the outskirts of town remembered how eerie it was not to see any dogs wandering around. As I grew more aware of the happenings surrounding that period, I came across the book "Harvest of Sorrow".

American newspapers at that time were also writing articles concerning the famine in Africa, (Ethiopia) and I realized that somehow my feelings had to be expressed visually. I was able to get a hold of some old yellowed linen, which I stretched unto stretchers that were 54x36 inches.

On the upper portion I masked out a portion and painted a purple sky. Another layer shows a dark silhouette of a skyline filled with the beautiful church steeples of Kyiv.

Directly underneath I embroidered a piece of linen in red and black threads. The design also comes from the Kyiv region. Another reason I chose this particular design was because of the symbolism of red and black, the two colors that are mentioned in the Ukrainian song "Two Colors." Red which symbolizes "Love" and black which stands for "Sorrow."

The bottom layer depicts the earth.with skulls...representing all those who perished as a result of this forced famine. In a corner just above this scene is a small pocket with newspaper clippings from The Ukrainian Weekly and The New Haven Register which contained articles on the famine in Ethiopia. I clipped out words that spelled "Is History Repeating itself?" and pasted these on the articles.

The piece is called "Remembering." Sincerely, Larysa


Larysa Martyniuk, Ukrainian/American Artist
MAGENTA Enterprises
Colorado Springs, Colorado


Larysa Martyniuk, a visual artist residing in Colorado works in acrylic, watercolor and mixed media. Ms. Martyniuk's work has been exhibited in various national exhibits including the Connecticut Painters and Sculptor Exhibit at Stamford Museum; Connecticut Women Artists Juried Exhibits; and The Invitational Exhibit, Artists of the West in Colorado.

Larysa Martyniuk

Her artworks have been included in various Colorado galleries, amongst them: The Warehouse Gallery and Hayden-Hays Gallery at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs; Morlan Gallery in Manitou Springs; Bella Art in Monument; Cogswell Gallery in Old Colorado City. Her one woman shows include Tribeca Gallery in Farmington CT; Albertus Magnus College in Hamden,CT; and Gallerie L"Eglise in Wyckoff, N.J.

Other galleries which the artist has been affiliated with are Douglas Gallery in Stamford; CT, Penryn Gallery in Seattle ,WA; Greene Art Gallery in Guilford CT.

Larysa Martyniuk holds a Master of Fine Arts from Montclair State University, N.J. She also has a Bachelors of Science and has studied plant anatomy at Cornell University.

This background has had a profound influence on her work as nature is her main source of inspiration. The artist credits her parents and various other invaluable teachers and artists who were willing to share their wealth of knowledge and love of art, and foremost their love for their native country - Ukraine.

Larysa Martyniuk can be contacted in Colorado Springs, Colorado at 719 481 4851, e-mail





Sky Series

This historical material has been complied, researched, edited and published by the  Information Service (ARTUIS). The material can be used but only with full credits to the  Information Service (ARTUIS), Kyiv, Ukraine and Washington, D.C., E. Morgan Williams, Publisher.