GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A collection of photographs by Ukrainian photographers has made it into the Top 25 at ArtPrize.

Capturing the emotions of Ukrainians during the war was the goal of the Light in the Dark entry.

The exhibition elicits emotions and does it without showing the war directly. It is viewed by flashlights that people borrow or by the light of their phones.

Oleksandra Mykhailova is the curator of the exhibit and one of the 12 photographers who contributed to the collection in the basement of the ArtPrize Clubhouse.

“We are all from Ukraine and most of these photographers still live there; some of them moved to Europe,” Mykhailova said. 

The idea came out of necessity when a Ukraine gallery’s power went out while Mykhailova was working at an show there during the war.

“We just informed people that we were opening doors of our gallery but probably we won’t have any electricity there at all,” Mykhailova said.   

She said the response they received was something she wanted to recreate at ArtPrize.

“We were really surprised when a lot of people actually came there and they brought a lot of kind of light sources. Everything you can imagine. It wasn’t just a flashlight it was neon lamps, photo lamps, glowing dinosaurs, it was amazingly good and we really wanted to share this experience,” Mykhailova said.

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She put on the entry working with the CultureVerse gallery in Ann Arbor is grateful for making it into the top 25. 

“We are very happy because we put a lot of effort and a lot of love in this project and we really wanted to share this amazing atmosphere of connectedness between people,”

Above all, the support for the Ukrainian artists is appreciated the most.

“War is a huge thing that changed our lives so you can see a lot of thoughts about that,” Mykhailova said. “A lot of people saying like, ‘We’re here with you. We want to support you. Thank you for doing your job,’ so this is amazing.”