On Friday, October 17th, diplomacy and art joined hands during Yana Yablonovsky's art exhibit, the first public event organized by His Excellency, Slovak Ambassador Andrej Droba at the Slovak Embassy in Ottawa since his appointment. The evening provided the members of Ottawa's Slovak community with a unique opportunity to meet the new Ambassador and admire the work of another talented Canadian-Slovak artist.
Ms. Yablonovsky, a refugee of the Czechoslovak communist regime in the late 1980s, had artistic tendencies – encouraged by her father - in her childhood, when she used to paint with oils. Her fingernails were always very dirty and many people mistook her for a field worker. Fulfilling her mother's wish, Yana went on to become a nurse and decided to channel her positive energy, desire to help others and strong feelings of love for people through this honorable profession. She did not lose her passion for creative work, enrolled in an art school and filled her free time with painting and poetry.
The theme of the exhibit was 'Love that connects us.' Yana gets inspiration from simple exchanges with others, human touch and love among people. Not surprisingly, her paintings incorporate love's signature colour – red, and most of them depict people in a variety of social interactions such as dancing, sports, laughter, and conversation.
Her positive energy and youthful spirit are reflected in her contagious smile and impressive artwork. The Slovak Ambassador admitted he was deeply affected by the exhibit. He said that whenever he found himself in the display area surrounded by the vibrant colors of Yana's artwork, he felt happier as the paintings had a very positive impact on him even on a gloomy rainy day.
Yana is a philanthropist at heart and some of the proceeds from sales of her art were donated to Operation Smile Canada, an international children's medical charity. Yana believes in the best in people and appreciates every encounter with a new person. It was a delight to meet her at the Slovak Embassy and admire her paintings, happy rays of sunshine peaking through the clouds of that dark rainy autumn evening.
You can find more information about Yana's art work on www.yanayablonovsky.com or follow her on twitter at @YanasPaintings.
Text: Maria Habanikova, Photos: Tibor Dej