September 8-November 18, 2023
Public Works Gallery
2141 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
RSVP Opening Reception: September 8, 2023 at 7-11 pm CT
Panel Discussion: September 8, 2023 at 7-8 pm CT
with curators Monika Brauntsch & Ewelina Skowrońska,
artist Zofia Jaworowska, and gallery director Nick Butcher
Closing Reception: November 17, 2023 at 7-11pm CT
You may hold peace in your heart. But can you forge it with your hands? Peace Has No Home: Posters for Ukraine features powerful graphic works from Polish artists, created in support of Ukraine amidst the ongoing Russian invasion. Each piece reflects the unwavering support of the Polish artistic community for their neighbors in Ukraine, embodying the ongoing solidarity Poland and other nations have shown to Ukrainians throughout the crisis.
Peace is not a passive state. It is an active concept that requires work and sacrifice. War’s winding path bleeds across borders. Peace Has No Home is a clarion call for those trapped within the bounds of war and just outside its reach. War’s destructive potential awaits us all. Peace is our only protection.
The exhibition is supported by a global network of artists, activists, and organizations raising awareness for the plight of Ukraine in this unprovoked war. The exhibition, initially launched in Tokyo, now travels to Chicago’s Public Works Gallery and includes inspired contributions from designers at Someoddpilot (Public Works’ parent company).
Peace Has No Home: Posters for Ukraine is organized by Public Works and The Spirit of Poland Foundation, in cooperation with The Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Polish Cultural Institute New York. The exhibition has been curated and produced by Monika Brauntsch and Ewelina Skowrońska who will participate in an inperson panel discussion at the exhibition’s opening reception on September 8, 2023.
Not so long ago war in Europe seemed like just a threat. The day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, exposed the naivety of our thinking. During the first weeks of the war, many countries, including Poland, helped and welcomed numerous refugees. Different forms of help supporting Ukraine were offered, mainly through the initiatives and involvement of individuals.
The creative cummunity also responded. One of the first graphics that appeared on the web on February 24th was the banner “In Solidarity with Ukraine” by Studio Lekko. It was widely shared on social media, both by individuals and well-known cultural institutions hoping to demonstrate their disagreement with the invasion. In the following days, artworks created in support of Ukraine filled the Internet, and the creators (including Kwiaciarnia Grafiki, Aleksandra Morawiak, Ewelina Skowrońska, Aleksandra Morawiak, Jakub Kamiński or Beata Śliwińska Barrakuz) donated their works or income from sales to support Ukraine. “Russian Bear” by Paweł Jońca is the most famous. A digital poster made available by the artist for a symbolic PLN 10 ($2.00), raised PLN 200,000 ($50,000.00), which was donated to support those in the conflict zones.
Initiatives have united artists in demonstrating their disagreement with the war. Pogotowie Graficzne, a poster platform focucing on social issues, facilitated digital uploads of graphic works demonstrating against the Russian invasion the day after it started. Both well-known and up-and-coming artists, incl. Ola Jasionowska, Jan Estrada Osmycki, Grupa Projektor, Adela Madej, Dominik Przerwa, Wybornie Studio, Michał Dyakowski, Paweł Pacholec, Anna Ocipińska, Przemek Kotyński, Michał Kowalewski joined the action. Another independent event, called “33 Letters for Ukraine”, was inspired by the action of “36 Days of Type”. In this case, the alphabet became an act of solidarity – the Ukrainian letters were designed by Polish and foreign artists. Peace Has No Home: Poster for Ukraine collects these works and more into a singular exhibition.
“Over time, the initial enthusiasm for Ukraine’s support fades. However, the war is still going on. It has taken the shape that we know from history, manifesting itself through destruction, violence, rape and murder, causing suffering to people, animals and nature. The exhibition is both a defiant objection to aggression and violence, and a clarion call to continue to support those currently affected by the war and its consequences.” – says the exhibition’s curator Monika Brauntsch from The Spirit of Poland Foundation.
Bartłomiej Walczuk / Osom Studios
Beata Śliwińska / Barrakuz
Jan Estrada – Osmycki
Krystian Kasolik / Krykas Studio
Znajomy Grafik / Jacek Rudzki
Public Works is an art & design gallery and storefront in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. We develop topical art & design exhibitions and product releases about four times a year, launched with not-stuffy-at-all Friday night openings and other special events open to the public. Our mission is to be a community hub that amplifies under-heard voices, armed only with the idea that art & design should be a whole lot more accessible, provocative and fun. Founded in 2009, Public Works is an extension of the Someoddpilot creative studio, continuing a tradition of our 25 year history within Chicago art, design, and music.
The Spirit of Poland is an initiative which aims to promote Polish culture, design and entrepreneurship internationally. The project presents Polish brands through industry events, exhibitions at museums and cultural centres, as well as through collaboration with universities. An important part of the team’s work is networking with focus on searching for new links and contacts, encouraging new business relations, as well as the cultural exchange.
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute is a national cultural institution, whose goal is to build a lasting interest in Polish culture around the world. The institute works with foreign partners and initiates international cultural dialogue in line with the goals and aims of Polish foreign policy. The institute has put on cultural projects in 70 countries on 6 continents, including Great Britain, France, Israel, Germany, Turkey, USA, Canada, Australia, Morocco, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, as well as in China, Japan and Korea. To date, the institute has presented 38 strategic programmes seen by 60 million viewers. AMI is funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The institute’s flagship brand CULTURE.PL – an up to date cultural news service, discussing the most interesting events and phenomena related to Polish culture – offers articles and news in three languages: Polish, English, and Ukrainian.
Polish Cultural Institute New York shares Polish heritage, history and art with American audiences, and promotes Poland’s contributions to the success of world culture. The Institute does so through initiating, supporting and promoting collaboration between Poland and the United States in the areas of visual art, design, film, theater, dance, literature, music, and in many other aspects of intellectual and social life. The Institute’s main task to ensure Polish participation in the programming of America’s most important cultural institutions as well as in large international initiatives.