The Art Gallery

The gallery space
functions on many
levels to support
The Cross Border House


It was a simple answer to a question that arose almost immediately. Once the basic provisions were provided, how would the hand of the artist reconcile its loss. Driven from studios, canvas and subject matter, where would this hand find work to heal itself without its materials and tools.

We needed an art room. We needed the concept of the common shelter to summon something more from itself. We needed a space that started to resemble what looked like normal. A classroom, a workspace, a recreational centre.

The room used before the war to host cultural events, with its high-vaulted, skylit ceilings, surrounded by parkland, seemed the perfect place to set up art making.

Three generations of the Pechenizki family, early residents to The Cross Border House, got busy. Paints, brushes, charcoal, pastels, canvases, paper and easels were purchased from the generosity of our donors. Drawing benches, shelves and boxes for supplies were built from scraps of wood found around the property.

The Art Gallery, as we have come to call it, brought with it an unexpected sense of purpose and a passion to all of us. This renewal can be seen most days in the dedicated and optimistic presence of painter, graphic designer, writer and book illustrator Andrii Pechenizkyi, who spends much of his day empowering the Art Spirit of The Cross Border House.

The gallery has been irresitable in its appeal, beyond what we imagined. Under the guidance and devoted care of Halyna Pechenizka, child psychologist, book illustrator and painter, art activities are organized for the children and adults alike. It’s a safe place to gather, where children are nurtured and where all are encouraged to express themselves creatively.

The gallery space functions on many levels to support The Cross Border House community. It is both classroom and art studio. It is the concert hall where we gather for musical performances and a workspace to lay out our set designs for in-house stage plays.

Or it can simply be a place of solitude. The Cross Border House Art Gallery.


The Cross Border House Art Gallery


Artists & Artwork

Andrii Pechenizkyi was born in 1955 in the village Dvorichna, near the Kharkiv, Ukraine. In 1972, he was accepted to Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Fine Arts. After graduation in 1977, he made his profession as a designer of printed publications and book illustrator. Since 2006, he has been working full-time at the publishing house Book Club “Family Leisure Club”.

In 2006, Andrii Pechenizkyi was awarded by the Kharkiv International Festival of Art and Travel for his illustration of the science fiction novel Star Bridge. Over the course of his career, he has contributed illustrations for approximately 500 publications — works of classical literature, fantasy, historical adventure novels, detective stories, and books of poetry. Additionally, Pechenizkyi has authored and published three technical books dedicated to drawing: Drawing Landscape (2011), Drawing the Human Figure (2011), and Drawing Architectural Masterpieces (2013). From 1972 to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Andrii Pechenizkyi has lived and worked in Kharkiv.

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Barbara Kravchenko arrived at The Cross Border House in March, along with her mother and two siblings. During her time with us, she has completed her high school education online and has returned to Ukraine where she passed the required examination for college admissions. At present, she works nearby at a local factory, painting Christmas tree ornaments. She also collaborates with her mother producing handmade, painted bags.

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Halyna Pechenizka is a graduated of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University and received her Master’s degree in Psychology, Teacher. She also holds a degree from the Kharkiv City School of Arts for Teenagers and Adults, named after Anton Lagoshin.

Using her background in art and psychology, she has extensively worked with adults and children, and believes that these experiences have informed her work as an illustrator, particularly children’s books. Before the Russian invasion, she had been working as a kindergarten school psychologist.

Halyna Pechenizka is also a graduate of H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Singing, Teacher. In Ukraine, her passion for music and opera arias took expression in her many performances, both in solo concerts and involvement in choir.

This year both above-mentioned universities and the kindergarten where she worked, like many other educational buildings in Ukraine, were attacked by Russian air strikes.

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Mariia Pechenizka-Tkachova is a high-school student from Kharkiv, Ukraine, with three years of experience in filmmaking, including the directing and writing of her own short films. She has received recognition in both Ukrainian and international film festivals. Her 2020 film Not Toys was nominated in several film festivals such as the 10th international film festival “Cinema and You” in 2021 and “MeetDocs” 4th Kharkiv International Film Festival in 2020. Her film Head was an award winner in the “DYTIATKO” 12th International Children’s Media Festival in 2020. Mariia is also a member of the Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and aspires to become a professional filmmaker. In addition to film, her passion for languages has led her to undertake translating poetry between Ukrainian, French and Polish.

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Yuliia Pechenizka graduated from V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, receiving a Master’s degree in Philological Sciences, Teacher.  Since graduating, she has worked as a journalist and news correspondent for many years, and has been the editor of three newspapers.  Most recently she has focused her attention primarily on filmmaking and photography.

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Andrii Pechenizkyi has a professional career spanning forty-six years, during which he has contributed his drawings and paintings to works of classical literature, fantasy, historical adventure novels, detective stories, and books of poetry. His daughters have followed in his footsteps, making their own careers in the arts. Halyna and Yuliia Pechenizka have been professional illustrators for over eleven years, specializing in graphic arts while also working as painters. They call their father their teacher. This is truly a family workshop, and today Yuliia’s oldest daughter, Mariia Pechenizka-Tkahova, has already begun her own work as an illustrator, translator and film director.

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