Exhibitions | Harry Hansen & Olga Yukhno

Artist: Harry Hansen & Olga Yukhno | Location: Columbia, SC

Bridges to Personhood – Works by Harry Hansen and Olga Yukhno

June 21 - August 17, 2024

Retiring in 2003 upon receipt of his diagnosis, not even a decade-long battle with dementia could keep Harry Hansen from creating new works until his death in 2013. His artistic passion didn’t wane during his later struggle with dementia — though it did change. As his abilities and cognizance ebbed and flowed, so did the nature of his work. Through his loss of self, memory, and ability, he continued to work, documenting the changes to his awareness in an archive of work.  Harry Hansen’s wife, Dee Hansen, and her daughter, Susan Hansen, used this archive to found the Immutable Passion Project, which facilitates dialogue about the role that art and creativity play in combating degenerative brain disease. This archive, along with works from earlier periods will be on display at the Jones-Carter Gallery alongside the ceramics, installation, and mixed-media art of Olga Yukhno.  

 

Artist Olga Yukhno has been working for several years on a project focused on Dementia. Instigated by witnessing the heartbreaking decline of a loved one, Olga decided she needed to funnel her grief into a project to help her deepen her understanding of the disease. Her first presentation of this project was an installation for the Cultural Center in Savannah, Georgia, called A Very Long Goodbye. Based on the positive reception, she submitted and presented this specific work to the ArtFields annual competition and festival in Lake City, SC.

 

Join us for Opening Night on June 21st from 6 – 8PM at TRAX Visual Art Center. This exhibition will be on display through August 17th, 2024 and is open Tuesday – Saturday from 11AM to 5PM each day. Admission is free.

Note: This exhibition will begin hanging on June 21, 2024. Please check back soon for additional information.

Olga Yukhno, Untitled

Olga Yukhno, Untitled

Harry Hansen

Harry Hansen

Olga Yukhno, Finding a Way Home

Olga Yukhno, Finding a Way Home

Harry Hansen

Harry Hansen

Olga Yukhno, Forgetting Self

Olga Yukhno, Forgetting Self


Harry Hansen & Olga Yukhno

Columbia, SC

Olga Yukhno is an artist originally from Russia. Her formal education is in psychology and  linguistics. However, she has spent the past decade dedicated to her passion for art. Yukhno has had the honor of training and studying under some of the most prominent artists in the United  States and Europe, focusing on learning primarily ceramics and metalworking. She has participated in various exhibitions across the United States as well as Russia, including 8 solo  exhibitions, and received numerous awards in juried shows. Yukhno’s work and her thoughts on  art have been featured in several radio and TV interviews as well as multiple articles.  Olga Yukhno focuses on creating artwork that has a message to be conveyed or a story to be  told. Her background and outlook on life lead her to create art that has something to say about  social and societal concerns. Yukhno’s education and strong beliefs push her to make work that  speaks of the inner working of the human psyche and helps us understand ourselves and each  other. She enjoys incorporating mixed media elements and exploring unique techniques and  methods to create beauty and tell stories. Yukhno’s new work is pivoting in the direction of  public art which is a tremendously exciting path for her allowing to bring art to shared and  usually unexpected spaces. ___________ Professional Artist and University of South Carolina Art Professor, Harry Hansen, known for his landscape watercolors and abstract encaustic paintings, was diagnosed with dementia in his early 60’s, several years after symptoms originally presented. Discouraged by a lack of motivation to paint, he stopped nearly all creative endeavors for half a decade. His family, seeking to entertain, comfort and re-direct certain dementia related behaviors, offered him numerous opportunities to draw, paint, color and sculpt. These activities were unmoving to the gradually declining artist that had committed most of his life to painting and teaching art. One day, of his own volition, he began scribbling on surfaces found around him, magazine covers, flyers, the hymnal in church. Seizing upon this opening of creativity, his caregivers and family gave him the tools of his craft - paper, pencils, markers, paint, and brushes. The scribbles gave way to faces and landscapes, which at first, emerged from the scribble field of frenetic mark making. A very special caregiver, named Alma-Jean, prodded Hansen to draw a picture of her, stating that she did not believe that he wasn’t able to draw. He drew her over and over again – this resulted in a poignant collection of portraits. Harry Hansen never stopped making art and his family never stopped giving him opportunities of expression. His final work was created the evening of his passing and will forever be a treasured token of his immutable and undiminished identity and creative passion.