“I believe that a truly compelling poster has the power to change the world, or so I thought before Feb. 24, 2022,” writes Olga Severina, a Ukrainian-born exhibition curator, graphic designer and lecturer who has lived in Los Angeles since 2010. “Now I just dream that one day I will wake up and the war will end. This is my only dream.”
Severina writes that she thought she knew about the war. That was before the scenes coming from Bucha’s Month of Terror and more that has been recorded in real time.
“I was brought up reading about the Great War—the Second World War—watching movies about it, and listening to the stories about it from those who lived through it. But I only thought that I knew. As it turned out you cannot really know something until it touches you directly, until it affects your friends and your loved ones. And even now, when I talk to my friends every day, after I hear all of their stories about this war, even now I can’t fully grasp the harrowing truth about what the war truly is.”
Severina is organizing poster and graphic art shows at the Helms Design Center in Los Angeles in collaboration with colleagues and friends Angela Anthony and Frances Anderton, “who called me immediately, as this war started, wanting to meet and asking me about what and how they can help.”
During COVID, Helms Design Center hosted poster shows and exhibits promoting local artists and supporting creative community. Now, Helms Design Center, together with PosterTerritory, is adopting a new exhibition format called “Projecting Possibilities.”
At the gallery, visitors can see artworks from the “Stand with Ukraine” poster call launched by the Ukrainian Designers Association The 4th Block. The graphics are about war and love, with words of hope and pain felt by the participants. “Our team is from different countries, but we are all connected by our love of people who are now hiding in bomb shelters in cities, towns and villages all over Ukraine,” says Severina, who declares: “We are creatives standing with Ukraine!”