Manhattan pop-up art gallery raises money, supplies to aid Ukrainian resistance

Lauren Glassberg Image
Friday, December 2, 2022
Art gallery making difference in Ukraine's fight against Russia
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The Sonya Pop-Up Gallery in East Village is helping the Sunflower Network raise money and supplies to aid the resistance against the Russian invasion. Lauren Glassberg has the story.

EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A network of Ukrainian artists, that has become a symbol of resistance against the Russian invasion, is raising money and gathering supplies to get them to people in need.

At the heart of this effort is a gallery at East 13th Street in Manhattan.

For nearly a month, the Sonya Pop-Up Gallery in the East Village has been filled with the work of Ukrainian artists to raise awareness and money.

"Through the sale of art and solicitations of donations allows us to raise money to purchase more aid to help more people in need," said Dustin Ross of the Sunflower Network.

Ross started the non-profit Sunflower Network shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine.

He has no ties to the country, but quit his job in real estate to create ways to make a difference.

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The art, all brought across the border, reflects the impact of the war.

"In Ukraine, simultaneously everything is normal, and nothing is normal," Ross said.

The money raised through this show will go to buy generators, which will be distributed in January.

"As of Monday, there were 12 million people in Ukraine without power, that's nearly a third of the people in the country, and it's going to be a long brutal winter out there," Sonya Gallery co-director Dylan Siegel said.

Running this gallery aligns with Siegel's passion for philanthropy, something he inherited from his late father, the beloved movie critic for Eyewitness News, Joel Siegel.

"He was always proudest of having met Martin Luther King," Siegel said. "The a man whose actions responded to the time he was living through and I felt the need to do the same here."

Buying art at the gallery or supporting Sunflower Network is a way New Yorkers can contribute as well.

"People in Ukraine when they know thousand of people on the other side of the world care about them, they feel a little bit less alone," Ross said.

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