Artists in Residence

Oksana Yushko and Arthur Bondar

The Paducah Arts Alliance (PAA) is pleased to announce that Oksana Yushko and Arthur
Bondar, from Moscow, Russia, will be the next participants in the Artist-in-Residence Program. On the heels of the Olympics, Yuskno and Bondar will arrive in Paducah on Monday evening, March 3, for a month-long residency. Yushko is a freelance photographer who has been working in professional journalism since 2006. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Mare Magazine (Germany), Guardian (UK), Russian Reporter, Esquire and Financial Times to name a few. Bondar has been working as a journalist since 2007. He exhibits his work worldwide, and was named “Best Photographer of the Year in Ukraine” in 2013.

The pair is planning to create a collaborative photo documentary during their residency in Paducah. “We plan to shoot a project about the river and junction of lives, feelings and forces of people who live and work near the rivers,” notes Bondar. PAA will present an exhibit of this work as well as an artist talk and display of some of their personal documentary photography projects. (Dates and locations for the exhibits/talks will be coordinated with the artists during their stay and will be announced.) “We hope our experience will be interesting and useful for other people,” said Bondar.

Though the subject matter of many of their projects are of a serious compelling nature and relate to their travels and personal histories, Yushko and Bondar aspire to cross over to the light side and organize a small presentation for Paducah about
“clowning.” “We are volunteers and friends with Dr. Patch Adams and Gesundheit! Institute in West Virginia,” explains Bondar. Gesundheit! Institute is the visionary project of Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams, noted American physician, social activist, clown and author. Each year Adams organizes a group of volunteers from around the world to travel to various countries where they dress as clowns in an effort to bring humor to patients and orphans. “Last year we exhibited our project ‘Ward Number Laughter’ in Moscow,” notes Bondar. A musician friend, a violinist who also worked with Dr. Patch Adams, is hoping to join them in Paducah for the clowning presentation.

While working on their Paducah project, internationally renowned photojournalists Yushko and Bondar will be building personal and professional relationships and experiencing the artistic assets of the UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art as part of this cultural exchange. They will be visiting the museums and galleries, attending cultural events, and sampling American cuisine and the local flavor of Paducah’s unique dining establishments.