Oxana Kovalchuk is a New York based visual artist, a Master of Fine Arts graduated from the School of Visual Arts, NYC, in 2019. Her recent solo exhibition, Making Fools Pray to God, Gallery 456 in New York City, showed an essence of Kovalchuk’s artistic journey – her delve into the intersection of world events and human reaction to them. She explores cultural shifts and human spirit through her own experience.

Kovalchuk has participated in an array of shows in the USA and internationally:

Group show “Jigsaw Snap” (Gallery Starta Arta, New York, April 2022), solo show “Making Fools Pray to God” (Gallery 456, New York City, 2022), group exhibitions “Perfect Day: Drugs and Art” (White Box Gallery, NYC, 2021), “America the Beautiful: The Real and The Imagined” (Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, 2021), “The Sky Continues Beautiful” (Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, NYC, 2021), Intimists 7 “From Earth to Sky” (La Fenice Gallery, Hong Kong, China, 2020), “Dialogue with artists in Northeast China” (Lankai Art Gallery, Anshan City, China, 2020), to name a few.

In 2021, Oxana Kovalchuk’s artwork “Diary of Memory” was purchased for the collection of Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, NYC by its founder and curator Yoko Nii.

Now Oxana Kovalchuk is working on her next solo show in the historic Harlem, New York City, planned for Fall 2022.

In search of her ‘perfect place’, Kovalchuk lived in four countries and traveled to more. She was born in Kazakhstan – a former Soviet Union Republic where her grandparents were forcefully displaced as a result of discriminating Soviet politics. The family history did not make Oxana feel at home in Kazakhstan. She decided to study in Russia and later in Europe.

It was her 2-year residency in Oxford, UK, that impacted her mindset and influenced her later lifestyle. After having lived in the non-democratic Kazakhstan and Russia, she was surprised how open Europe was. In the UK, Kovalchuk was influenced by the diverse information to make up her mind about the crucial world events. There was always a political bias in the former Soviet countries. In Europe, she was in awe to have a chance to learn from an array of sources covering the terror attack in Russian Beslan, an immigration crisis in Europe, and other groundbreaking events. In Europe Kovalchuk felt truly cosmopolitan. She adhered to critical thinking and learned what diversity means – she traveled through almost the entire Europe to get acquainted with all its diverse culture.

Kovalchuk’s dream has always been to pursue an artist career. When a child, she was a student at a local art school that taught her not only how to make art but also how to survive in the era of the deficit. Children learned how make salty dough to substitute modeling clay, how to boil a starch paste to substitute glue, and so on.

There was something truly peculiar about that art school – an opportunity to collaborate with theater. This is when and where Oxana started appreciating different art forms, learned how to make props and thus how to mix different mediums to achieve her creative goals.

The collapse of the Soviet era was quite a tough time for all citizens – hardship, deficit, starvation. She had to opt for receiving a degree in Psychology and Economy having postponed her artist career. But she has never abandoned an idea to become a professional artist.

When she became pregnant at a very young age, she started painting again. And later, already in New York City, she fulfilled her dream to pursue an art degree. At the present time, Oxana Kovalchuk combines her artist career and motherhood quite efficiently. She does not see any controversy between family values and an artist career, vice versa – her children are her inspiration.

When a student at the SVA, Oxana was provided with a personal tiny studio at the school’s Manhattan campus. That space turned to be her creative hideaway. Mingling with professors and students was very enriching: “It was definitely a time of re-exploring and reconsidering myself as an artist, as a New Yorker, as an immigrant, and as a mother. These angles of my personality were all overlapping”.

At SVA, Oxana’s thesis – a series of glass collages entitled ‘The Illusions of Reality’ – was about the way our memory grasps and keeps the experiences of our lives “As we move around the globe (in the pre-covid times), as we grow and evolve, and our surroundings transform, memory is the main platform we can rely on, and it triggers us. The ways our memory works and creates reality is a topic I’ve been exploring in my art pieces for some time”.

Among her areas of artistic exploration there are topics of self-reflection and self-identity. Having been a resident of four countries until this point, Kovalchuk is personally familiar with the mental, psychological, and social challenges associated with immigration.