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Artists for Ukraine: Transforming Ammo Boxes into Icons

November 3, 2022 – February 13, 2023
The Museum of Russian Icons is pleased to showcase three icons painted on the boards of ammunition boxes by Oleksandr Klymenko and Sofia Atlantova, a husband-wife artistic team from Kyiv.

The project “Buy an Icon—Save a Life” was developed by Atlantova and Klymenko after the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine when Klymenko encountered empty wooden ammunition boxes from combat zones and noted their resemblance to icon boards (doski). By repurposing the panels, the project strives to “transform death (symbolized by ammo boxes) into life (traditionally symbolized by icons in Ukrainian culture). The goal, this victory of life over death, happens not only on the figurative and symbolic level but also in reality through these icons on ammo boxes.”

Exhibitions of the ammo box icons have been staged throughout Europe and North America to raise awareness of the ongoing war in Ukraine. In addition, sales have provided substantial funds to support the Pirogov First Volunteer Mobile Hospital, the largest nongovernmental undertaking to provide medical assistance to the Donbas region. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 strengthened the resolve of Atlantova and Klymenko to continue painting icons on boards taken back from the frontlines.

Museum of Russian Icons
203 Union Street
Clinton, MA 01510

More information:

Mother of God, Gate of Dawn Sofia Atlantova 2022 On loan from Ruah Donnelly