Tag: carpatho-rusyn architecture

Praying in the trees – Ivan Shutyev

Ivan Shutyev is an Honored Artist of Ukraine, who was awarded the Prize of Yosyp Bokshai and Adalbert Erdelyi in 2012 for the best traditional realist work. There are several books with his paintings, one titled Prayer in the Tree where he brilliantly presents the wooden churches scattered through Transcarpathia viewed from many angles and in different light and season conditions. With only few touches of the brush, the landscapes that hold it all together gain a sense of immediacy and reality. The colors are combined in a way that surprises you, the shadows become tangible, and the cold of winter and the green of  summer convey to the eye exactly what you would perceive looking at the scenery yourself without the artist’s interference.

The source of these images is an art enthusiast  Михаил РябецFollow this link to get to the whole album.


Thoughts from the trip

I asked a wonderful RusynArt fan, Marjorie Markusen, to summarize her recent experience at Studium Carpatho-Ruthernorium when it comes to art. She was only too kind to do that for us so enjoy her input:

Source: Courtesy of Marjorie Markusen

“My daughter, Jessica and I had the opportunity to travel to Poland and Slovakia during the month of June. We were there for over four weeks. Three of those weeks were spent living in Presov, Slovakia where we attending the 4th Annual Studium Carpatho-Ruthernorium. This is a summer school program where we studied the language, culture, folklore and history of the Rusyn people. We enjoy our time there so much and met so many wonderful people from the United States, Slovakia, Poland and the Ukraine. It was so wonderful to share this experience with my daughter.

My maternal grandparents came to the United States (Minnesota) in 1903 from the villages of Stebnik and Chmelova (Komlosa), Slovakia. We had the opportunity to spend time in those villages and we met so many relatives. It was a life changing experience for us. 

Poland and Slovakia are beautiful! We had the chance to experience not only the visual arts but also folk music and, dance. We attended the folk festival in Svidnik and Presov. We enjoyed hearing folk music in Kurov, Presov and in Stebnik. Those tunes will be forever with us!

We especially enjoyed seeing all the beautiful Wooden Churches, and other churches and cathedrals, with their beautiful artwork and icons. We went to the Icon Museum in Bardejov and were overwhelmed by the lovely icons. They are so beautiful!

We spent some time at the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art in Medzilaborce, Slovakia. It was very interesting to see the art in this special place. 

We saw some work by local artists but didn’t have the opportunity to see as much as we would have liked. Although, we did have the chance to see a potter work at the Spis Castle. Next time we are back in that area we hope to witness more of local folk art.

We know that we will go back to Slovakia and Poland some day. It is forever in our hearts and we are so proud of our Rusyn heritage.”

Written by: Marjorie Markusen

Byzantine-style icons hiding in the architectural treasures

My short post on this church on Facebook reached over 500 people and received over 20 likes within some 48 hours. I feel that the reason for this is very simple. One of the two singular aspects of being Carpatho-Rusyn is religion, the other is the Rusyn language. Both came under so much trial throughout the long Rusyn history that it is remarkable they were able to survive, repeatedly revived during different cultural “renaissances” in countries where Rusyns have lived.

A church like this one, dedicated to Archangel Michael in Uličské Krivé from 1718, is not the only one. Historically, there have been around 300 churches in Slovakia of this architectural style – only wood and no nails, with Byzantine and Roman stylistic elements, dating from 16th to 18th century. Today 50 of these churches remain, the richest group being the group of churches of the Eastern Christian rite in eastern Slovakia. All these churches contain impressive Byzantine iconography and most of them are still in use for daily masses and holidays. To enter a church like that is to enter a place where yesterday meets today.