Ukraine’s Voloshyn Gallery Is Headed to Miami in a Vote of Confidence in the Market Hub Outside of New York
The gallerists who were initially stranded in the U.S. have decided to make the American city their second home.
The Kyiv-based Voloshyn Gallery is opening an outpost in Miami, the gallery’s first branch outside Ukraine.
The gallerists hope that opening a full-time U.S. outpost will mean that Voloshyn Gallery will have to rely less on art fairs for international exposure. Just last year, the gallery took part in nine art fairs in addition to nine collaborative exhibitions when its Kyiv space was not accessible because of the war.
“Art fairs last for a short period of time but require substantial expenses, and there’s no guarantee of returns. Additionally, with our main gallery space that was inaccessible and in a risky zone, covering expenses became a monumental challenge,” Max and Julia Voloshyn, the gallery’s founders, told Artnet News.
The gallery will continue to take part in fairs in Europe and the U.S., but will be more selective. “While we previously leaned heavily on fairs for visibility and sales, we’re now prioritizing our gallery programs, cultivating deeper relationships with artists and collectors,” they noted.
Set to open on October 7, Voloshyn Gallery’s new Miami home spanning 1,400 square feet is located at 802 NW 22nd Street, just a stone’s throw away from the Rubell Museum and near the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami in the Design District. The premise is a single-floor warehouse, and Andrew Reed Gallery, which is also inaugurating its new space on October 7, is Voloshyn’s new next door neighbor.
The Voloshyns’ stay in the U.S. was rather unplanned. The wife-and-husband gallerists were initially on business trips in the region nearly two years ago. When the war broke out, the couple were in the U.S. and unable to return.
Like their stay in the U.S., opening a second space in Miami was not part of Voloshyns’ original plan either. Their initial idea was to open a space in New York while reviving their Kyiv space, which was temporarily converted into a shelter before it reopened in April. But finding a space in New York, together with costs including rent, renovations, and accommodation, proved to be challenging. When an opportunity to open a gallery in Miami presented itself, “this felt like the right move,” the Voloshyns said.
In fact, the Voloshyns are no strangers to Miami’s art scene. They began exhibiting at Miami art fairs in 2016 and have since been introducing Ukrainian art to a wider audience at fairs and pop-up shows. Over the past year, the couple has further established these connections in Miami, which turned out to be a viable location for the gallery’s future plans. The fact that the city sits between North America and Latin America, with warmer weather, and being home to Art Basel Miami Beach and many art events, has been a draw to collectors and art world players.
The Ukrainian gallery plans to adopt an “institutional approach” for its Miami operation, showcasing Ukrainian and Eastern European artists while developing programs to foster a dialogue with their counterparts from the Americas.
“By showcasing Eastern European and European artists in dialogue with American and Latin American artists, we seek to blend diverse cultural narratives and artistic expressions. We are determined to maintain a continuous dialogue that tackles issues prevalent in both the Eastern European and U.S. contexts, fostering a mutual understanding and shared vision,” the Voloshyns said. “We are proud to operate galleries in both Kyiv and Miami.”
The space will be inaugurated with exhibition “No Grey Zones,” set against the backdrop of the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine. It features artists including Hungarian artist Adam Albert, the Sarajevo-based Bojan Stojcic, K. Yoland, who lives between London and the U.S., the Tel Aviv-born, New York-based Dana Levy, as well as Ukrainian artists Mykola Ridnyi, Lesia Khomenko, Nikita Kadan, and Oleksiy Sai, currently featured in the gallery’s Kyiv space. While addressing the complexity of geopolitical narratives, this politically-charged show also represents the gallery’s stand “against moral ambiguity in statecraft and warfare, while advocating for clarity and precision in discourse,” they added.
“Over the past few years, we’ve observed a growing interest in Eastern European artists, especially those from Ukraine. This interest has surged not just among private collectors but also among institutions and galleries in North America,” noted the Voloshyns.
The gallery is also setting up artist studio spaces with an aim to bring Ukrainian and Eastern European artists to Miami for short-term residencies to create new works inspired by the local environment. “Our ambitions extend to collaboration with U.S.-based artists, creating a space where organic partnerships can emerge,” the Voloshyns said.
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