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Strong & Precious Unveils Stunning Exhibition in Washington D.C.

Ukraine House Hosts Olga Oleksenko and Tiffany Stevens in Conversation on Ukrainian Jewelry Businesses.

Last Thursday, the Strong and Precious Art Foundation hosted an exclusive private jewelry exhibition in Washington D.C., showcasing a breathtaking exhibition of exquisite Ukrainian jewels. The event, attended by local guests and members of the press, featured six remarkable jewels, each telling a unique story of craftsmanship, heritage, and symbolism inspired by Ukraine. Hosted at Ukraine House, the venue is a vibrant hub for Ukrainian culture and hospitality—an event space for a diverse range of gatherings, including art exhibitions, workshops, and culinary festivals. The occasion marks the second Strong & Precious exhibition in the USA, following NYC Jewelry Week last fall at the Mriya Gallery in Tribeca.

In a joint statement, Marianna Falkova, Executive Director of Ukraine House, and Ruslan Falkov, Director of International and Governmental Relations at Ukraine House, state “We express our gratitude to the Strong and Precious Art Foundation and the founder, Olga Oleksenko, for showcasing these six unique pieces to our local community. Each piece carries a rich history, transforming the act of wearing jewelry from a display of wealth to an embodiment of cultural heritage.”

Tiffany Stevens, CEO General Counsel of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) interviewed the Strong & Precious Art Foundation’s founder, Olga Oleksenko, offering insights into the inspiration behind the captivating pieces. JVC is a 107-year-old nonprofit working on ethics and policy in the jewelry industry. Prioritizing consumer protection through advertising, anti-corruption, and anti-money laundering, JVC has recently been working with the government and trade on Russian diamond sanctions and diamond traceability. Olga Oleksenko, the founder of Strong & Precious Art Foundation, is a renowned curator of private collections, a collector and art connoisseur, and was the boutique director for Van Cleef & Arpels for over a decade in Kyiv. As a reaction to the war in Ukraine, she founded Strong & Precious to elevate contemporary Ukrainian fine jewelry design, with a mission of sharing the symbolism and beauty of the Ukrainian jewelry school globally.

“There is international awareness that the war in Ukraine is entering a new stage of escalation. Russia is bombing Ukrainian cities daily, along with the country’s energy infrastructure, civilian objects, and homes. Ukraine is on the brink of another blackout, and we consider it our duty to remind the world about the wonderful Ukrainian people, artists who continue to create, and remind the world of our beautiful, creative nation. Ukrainians deserve a peaceful and better life,” says Olga Oleksenko, Founder of the Strong & Precious Art Foundation. “Not by chance, Washington D.C. has become a new venue for our exhibition ‘How Precious UA’. It is a place where decisions are made that directly impact and support Ukraine. Within the exhibition, dedicated to modern symbols of Ukraine, there are black onyx and diamond Blackout Earrings, which reflect the dark streets of powerless Kyiv during the 2022 blackout. It is regretful that this symbol threatens to become relevant again if aid is not provided.”

Other highlights of the evening include the “Freedom” necklace by Nomis, a masterful composition of black pearls with a cross-shaped pendant. Symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, the necklace features pearls arranged in binary code spelling out the word ‘freedom,’ serving as a beacon of hope in challenging times, and an homage to excellence in Ukrainian computer programming today. Inesa Kovalova’s “Links Brooch” seamlessly blends industrial structures with nature’s beauty, symbolizing the unity between the East and West of Ukraine. Made of titanium, 18K gold, and adorned with natural diamonds and a beautiful heliodor stone, this piece is a testament to the country’s rich heritage and resilience, with both the heliodor gemstone and the titanium mined in Ukraine. The “Kolosinnia” necklace by Yuval’ Studios pays homage to Ukraine’s indomitable spirit, incorporating elements inspired by the country’s diverse landscapes. Crafted with golden wheat ears, symbolic of the south, and a whorl resembling a twisting mountain road in the Carpathians, the necklace is a celebration of Ukraine’s natural beauty and strength. The “Trypillia” necklace by GUNIA Project captivated attendees with its intricate design and historical significance. Handcrafted in 18K gold, this one-of-a-kind necklace features powerful symbols from the Trypillian culture, including the famous Venus figure at its center, representing a modern twist on ancient craftsmanship. The “mUAvement” Ring from Drutis Jewellery draws inspiration from a vision of a tender and intricate world where enduring elements converge to propel humanity forward. Reflecting Ukraine’s aspirations for a luminous future, the ring features a pristine topaz sourced from the Volyn region, symbolizing clarity and purity. Crafted from Ukrainian materials, including steel from Mariupol and nickel, the cog of the ring embodies local craftsmanship and resilience. Encased in 18K gold, the ring symbolizes the cherished unity and spirit of freedom intrinsic to the Ukrainian people.

“In a world where artistry intersects with advocacy, the Strong and Precious Art Foundation stands as a beacon of both creativity and compassion. Through this exquisite exhibition, we not only celebrate the craftsmanship of Ukrainian jewelry but also amplify the voices of a nation in need. It’s a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and a call to action for support and solidarity,” says Tiffany Stevens, CEO and General Counsel of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

The gathering of influencers, media, and government officials underscores the Strong and Precious Art Foundation’s mission to promote cultural heritage and celebrate exceptional artistry through jewelry design. Each piece serves as a reminder of the enduring power of creativity and the human spirit. Strong & Precious continues to support the need for aid for Ukraine and will continue conversations that support local businesses on the ground. 

For more information about the Strong and Precious Art Foundation, partnership inquiries, information regarding future events, please visit https://www.strongandprecious.com/

About the Strong & Precious Art Foundation:

The Strong & Precious Art Foundation is dedicated to promoting Ukraine’s vibrant jewelry heritage and showcasing its designers. Established in April 2022 by art collector and jewelry connoisseur Olga Oleksenko, the foundation emerged from a heartfelt desire to contribute to Ukraine’s positive growth and development. Guided by the belief that beauty can inspire and uplift, the Strong & Precious Art Foundation embarked on a journey to uncover the captivating story of Ukrainian jewelry and art while highlighting the exceptional talent that has thrived for centuries.

The mission of the Strong & Precious Art Foundation is to support the Ukrainian agenda and tell the world about the work of Ukrainian artists. Collaborating with those that embody creative expression, the foundation ensures the preservation and advancement of Ukrainian jewelry design. Through exhibitions and initiatives, the Strong & Precious Art Foundation strives to promote Ukrainian jewelry-making expertise, sharing its roots and influences from ancient times to the present day. https://www.strongandprecious.com/

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