News & Politics

Artist Unveils Ukraine-Inspired Exhibit Across the Street From the Russian Embassy

Wayne Brezinka's artworks complement a massive blue-and-yellow banner on the side of the Glover Park Hotel.

“Facing War: An Invitation to Reflection on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.” Photograph courtesy of Wayne Brezinka.

A mixed-media art exhibit that showcases a series of Ukraine-inspired works will open Saturday, April 16, at the Glover Park Hotel—directly across the street from the Russian Embassy. The exhibit opens at noon and an evening reception with the artist, Wayne Brezinka, will give visitors the opportunity to ask questions about the series, entitled “Facing War: An Invitation to Reflection on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.”

This won’t be the Glover Park Hotel’s first visual statement aimed at the neighboring building—in early March, it hung a massive blue and yellow banner over one wall, where it remains. The hotel’s parking lot has become a gathering place for pro-Ukraine activists protesting outside the Russian Embassy. 

Brezinka hopes these protesters—and others who pass by the Wisconsin Avenue hotel—will engage with the exhibit’s four pieces, which will be displayed in the lobby windows along with a QR code that links to information about the works. “I hope that people take away an understanding of how we as humans are so connected,” he says. “I hope people walk away with this question of, ‘Gosh, how do I fit into this? Am I connected to this war?’” 

“Even While We Sleep,” one of four mixed-media pieces in the Brezinka’s exhibit.
Quote painted on the back of the work pictured above.

The artist traces his own family history back to the region—his great-grandfather emigrated from Brzezinka, Poland, in 1892. Fifty years later, the town echoed in Brezinka’s last name became a site for German mass murder of Soviet prisoners of war and Jews in the Holocaust. “The lineage and the tie to Poland and to Ukraine and the millions of refugees being welcomed by Poland, made me realize how closely we are all connected,” Brezinka says. 

Brezinka’s Polish great-grandparents, Urban Brzezinka and Anna Pelsick, circa 1870.

The pieces, which will remain on display at the hotel until May 15, will not be up for sale; Brezinka hopes to find them a new home in the capital after the exhibit ends. Saturday’s opening day reception at 7 PM is free and open to the public

Kayla Benjamin
Assistant Editor