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LESIA MARUSCHAK is a photography-based artist with a unique lens on the creation of mobile memory spaces. Born in 1961 in Saskatchewan she spent her childhood on the Canadian prairies, land settled by her ancestors in 1874. . In the mid-1970s she first picked up a camera, to which she did not return until 2016 when a diagnosis of leukemia led her to change her life’s direction and commit to making art. 

Maruschak’s work - a complex exploration of memory and sensual expression - informs and expands what it means to create memorials in an age where the “what and why of museums” is in question. Her humanist approach and abstract sensual representation of modern-day atrocities set her apart from other photographers, at a time when photojournalism and documentary evidence continue to shape the truth-telling and proof-seeking roles of memorial museums.  According to Monica Allende, “Maruschak's work reflects on the visual memory of history, and the role of the artist in the decolonization of narratives which are critical issues in photography debate.”

Maruschak’s projects are produced across platforms such as installations, paper works, books, sculpture and film and in three years have been shown in the United States, Canada, the UK, Spain, Holland, France, Mexico, Greece, Korea, Italy and Spain. Her works are held in private and rare and special collections, and museums such as the Phoenix Art Museum, Stanford University, Athenaeum, Columbia University, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, and the Library of Congress. In 2019 Maruschak seminal project MARIA received the Director’s Choice Award at Santa Fe Center, Grand Prix Award at Kyiv Arsenal Book Festival and was Shortlisted for the Hariban Award, Prix du livre at Rencontres d’Arles and the Athens PhotoBook Festival. 

Maruschak collaborates with recognized international memory museums, lectures at international conferences such as FORMAT 19 University of Derby (2019) and Why Remember? Sarajevo (2019). She makes special guest appearances at photo festivals including PhotoVenezia (2018) and Palm Springs Photo Festival (2017). In 2014, the Governor General of Canada presented Maruschak with the Caring Canadian and Silver Medal Award for her work.

She spends her time between Alvena and Ottawa, Canada.


EDUCATION
2017 Masterclass with Peter Lindbergh, Palm Springs (USA)
MBA, University of Ottawa (CA)
Master’s of Arts, Ethnography, University of Saskatchewan (CA)

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
International Museum for the Victims of Communism, Tallinn, 2021
MARIA, Sarajevo Museum of History, Sarajevo, 2021
MARIA, Holodomor Victims Memorial Museum, Kyiv, 2020
MARIA, Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Boone, 2020
WALKING, Maine Media Art Gallery, Rockport 2018
MARIA, Musée Ukraina Museum, Saskatoon, 2018
KRAÏNA: i am the land, Kharkiv, 2017
KRAÏNA: i am the land, Kyiv, 2017
KRAÏNA: i am the land, Odessa, 2017
KRAÏNA: i am the land, Lviv, 2017
MY CANADA: City of Ottawa, Ottawa, 2017
KRAÏNA: My Canada, CONTACT Scotiabank Photography Festival, KUMF Gallery. Toronto, 2017

COLLECTIONS (select)
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Durham, NC
Green Library-Special Collections. Stanford University. Stanford, CA
Richter Library-Special Collections. University of Miami. Coral Gables, FL
Boston Athenaeum. Boston, MA
Rare Books & Special Collections. Library of Congress. Washington, DC
Davidson Library-Special Collections. University of California Santa Barbara
Butler Library-Special Collections. Columbia University. New York, NY
Hawthorne-Longfellow Library-Special Collections. Bowdoin College. Brunswick, ME
Dodds Special Collections Library. University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT
Olin Library-Special Collections. Wesleyan University. Middletown, CT
Morris Library-Special Collections. University of Delaware. Newark, DE
Aperture Photobook Library. New York, NY
Phoenix Museum of Art. Phoenix, AZ
National Library of Canada. Ottawa, CA
National Library of Ukraine. Kyiv, UA
24 Sussex, Prime Minister of Canada’s Residence. Ottawa, CA

COLLECTIVE EXHIBITIONS (select)
Fotofilmic18, The Reference. Seoul, KR 2020
Reclaim Photography Festival, Imperfection in Beauty, Light House Media Center. Wolverhampton, UK 2020
Fotofilmic18, SF Cameraworks. San Francisco, USA 2020
Le Plac'Art Photo at Rencontres d’Arles, Galerie ISO. Arles, FR 2019
Objectif FEMMES, MARIE 9th. Paris, FR 2019
ParisArtistes, Bastille. Paris, FR 2019
Center Award Winners Exhibition, Picture Gallery. Bloomington, USA 2020
An Eye For Beauty, The PhotoGallery. Halmstad, SE 2019
Fotofilmic18, Polygon. Vancouver, CA 2019
Altered Realities, PhotoPlace Gallery. Middlebury, USA 2019
12th Pollux Awards Collective. Barcelona, ES 2019
12th Julia M. Cameron. Barcelona, ES 2019
Post Conflict Reframing A Dialogue, Getxophoto, 2018
Censored Exhibition, Copenhagen Photo Festival. Copenhagen, DK 2017
Photobooks, Phoenix Art Museum, Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography. Phoenix, USA 2017
Reclaim Photography Festival, Wolverhampton Archive Center. Wolverhampton, UK 2018
Concours international de Beaux-Arts de Chelsea. Agora Gallery, New York, USA 2016
Photography: A Contemporary Point of View. Site: Brooklyn, Brooklyn, USA 2016

AWARDS & GRANTS (select)
Canadian Recognition Fund, Project COUNTLESS, 2019
Project MARIA Shortlisted Hariban Award 2019
Shortlisted Prix du Livres, Rencontres d’Arles, 2019
Recipient Experimental Book Award, Kyiv Arsenal International Book Festival, 2019
Recipient Grand Prix, Best Book Award, Kyiv Arsenal
International Book Festival, 2019 Shortlisted Athens Photography Book Festival, Athens, 2019
Recipient Director’s Choice Award, CENTER Review Santa Fe, 2019
Recipient Artist in Residence Maine Media Workshops and College, 2018
Recipient Silver Medal Tokyo International Photo Awards, 2018
Curated ARCHIVO PLATFORM, 2019
Recipient 12th Pollux Award Human Rights and Segregation, 2018
Recipient Fotofilmic Top 30, 2018
Finalist Critical Mass International Photography Competition, 2018
Shortlist Getxophoto Post Conflict Reframing A Dialogue, 2018
Shortlist Hariban Benrido Collotype Shortlisted, 2017
General of Canada’s Sovereign Medal, 2016
General of Canada’s Caring Canadian Award, 2014

FILM
THE DIGGERS, George Hupka, 2019 (coming soon)
RHYTHMOS, 2017

 

BOOKS
TRANSFIGURATION, Self-published, Limited Edition Art Book, 2018
MARIA, REDZET LLC, 2018
KRAÏNA: I am the land, Self-published, 2017.
WOMAN. Ottawa: Limited Edition Art Book, Self-published, 2017

PUBLICATIONS & INTERVIEWS
Why “MARIA” Is The Most Beautiful Book of the YEAR, Chytomo, 2019
Catching A Fire, Dofoto, Clare Estes, 2019
MARIA: LENSCRATCH, 2019
MARIA: ARCHIVO PLATFORM, 2019
KRAINA: i am the land, Lviv, 2019
Walking, Fotofilmic, 2018
YOGURT MAGAZINE, 2017
Lesia Maruschak, Kyiv Museum of History, 2017
KRAINA: i am the land, DODHO, 2017
WOMAN, DODHO, 2017

LECTURES & WORKSHOPS (select)
‘Will You Remember Maria?’ Library of Congress, Washington, 2019
‘Will You Remember Maria?’ Why Remember? Sarajevo, 2019
‘Will You Remember Maria?’ FORMAT19, Derby, 2019
‘On MARIA’ Musée Ukraina Museum, Saskatoon, 2018
‘The Language of Creativity’ Master Class Gary Bowman Gallery, Lviv, 2017
‘The Language of Creativity’ Master Class N-T Gallery, Odessa, 2017