The public is invited to join the Addison Center for the Arts (ACA) and artists/activists Tania Blanco and Jennifer Hereth in the ACA’s fundraising efforts to benefit Ukrainian refugees. There will an art sale and exhibition at the ACA Gallery opening Thursday, May 5, remaining through June 18. The highlight of exposition will be a fundraising benefit reception on Saturday, May 21 from 2-5 p.m. All proceeds from the sales and contributions will be donated to the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee (UUARC).

The UUARC is the organization that helped Blanco’s family emigrate to the US from Ukraine when she was a child. She is living proof of the effectiveness of the UUARC at shepherding displaced families.

“Our hearts go out to all those who have been victimized by this tragedy,” said ACA president Mark Turk. “When disastrous, life-altering occurrences happen, we all wonder what we can do to help. This is your opportunity to do just that.”

About Tania Blanco

“My heritage is Ukrainian. My parents and I evacuated from Lviv in 1944 through Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Germany and finally to the USA,” Blanco said. “I have over 20 relatives still living in Ukraine. Today, we communicate through facebook or Skype.

“Suddenly on Thursday, Feb. 24, the war in Ukraine became the main focus of every day as I followed the news. The way I can cope with my emotional state as I learn of the catastrophic events is through creating art. It has become a way of dealing with the rage, sadness, despair, occasional hope, etc. that I experience.

“The feeling of helplessness cannot overtake my daily life, so I am honored and grateful for the opportunity offered by The Addison Center of the Arts Board of Directors to raise funds and awareness of the crisis in Ukraine. Working with my former professor of art, Jennifer Hereth, is an honor because I have a high regard for her commitment to activism.

“The UUARC was the agency that assisted in supporting my family’s arrival to the United States. They provided resources for us from locating a sponsor for us to monetary support for establishing ourselves in our new home: USA.”

Tania’s submission entitled Reflection received Honorable Mention at the Addison Art Guild’s spring exhibition held at the ACA on Saturday, April 9.

About Jennifer Hereth

The second artist donating her artwork, expertise and efforts to Ukraine refugee relief is Jennifer Hereth, a professional artist and retired art professor who is a compassionate and longtime international refugee activist. Hereth is Professor Emeritus from the College of DuPage and was faculty at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

“As a citizen of the world who has been privileged to teach across the globe from Sri Lanka and China to 4 years in Mexico, I have been very intrigued by this quote,” Hereth said, “’It is this struggle that has informed my conviction that the figure of the refugee is the archetype of the twenty-first century- if not humanity itself.’”

The quote is from We the Refugees, by Yanery Navarro Vigil and Catherine Baillie Abidi and was the inspiration for Hereth’s newest series of paintings titled, The World Is On the Move.

“Currently in Ukraine, my European publisher of The Teenage Archetype Card Deck lives in Kyiv and is daily under attack,” she added. “I am aware of the concerns of refugees trying to get their families safely out of the country. My brave students, from when I went and taught in Kyiv, are staying and risking their lives to counsel and support soldiers.

“I feel strongly that my art needs to help build the awareness that the Refugee is not the Other. We may– or our loved ones may– be called at any time to be on the move because of changes on our planet and global politics. We will need to help.”

How to help

Hereth is the inventor of a therapeutic tool The Teenage Archetype Card Deck and is the author of An Artist Responds to Political Injustice. Both will be available for purchase at the benefit reception, along with Jennifer’s paintings. 100% of all sales will go to Ukraine.

If you are unable to attend the benefit reception but would still like to help, please write a check payable to United Ukrainian American Relief Committee. Checks can mailed to:


℅ The Addison Center for the Arts

213 N. Lombard Road

Addison, IL 60101

For more information, call 630-458-4500. The ACA is located inside Addison Trail High School. Gallery hours are 1-4 p.m., Wed. through Sat.


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