GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Detroit-area sculptor and 10-time ArtPrize participant is honoring her Ukrainian heritage during ArtPrize.
“When the war hit in Ukraine, it really affected me. I did research, more in depth, about my family and realized how amazing and how strong they have been,” Melissa Machnee said. “I wanted to do something to honor them.”
Sanchira, which is named after Machnee’s great-grandmother who immigrated from Ukraine, is shaped like an Easter egg, a common image in Ukrainian culture. Cut out of the egg is a coat of arms.
“There are a lot of very, very old symbols actually used in Ukraine, but the one I chose is a coat of arms that you’ll see on the Ukrainian flag very often. I thought that was important to put on this egg,” Machnee said.
Around the bottom of the sculpture are hearts that Machnee said represent her love going to those who have been “treaded on” in Ukraine, as well as her family.
“I inlaid glass. It’s a very thick three-quarter-inch plate of glass (shaped like a tear drop), in the egg and it’s red to represent the blood that has been lost as well as my blood being Ukrainian,” she said.
Machnee’s “Sanchira” was displayed outside of the Gerald R. Ford Federal Building U.S. Courthouse for the international art competition. She has a sculpture park on private property of which she gives tours. For more information, click here.