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Artist offers traditional egg decorating workshops to benefit Ukraine

This year, Maria Sheets is using her Easter egg art class as an opportunity to help Ukrainians who have been forced to leave their homes.

EVERGREEN, Colo. — Typically this time of year, Evergreen-based artist Maria Sheets hosts a class on traditional Ukrainian pysanky Easter egg decorating. This year, she's using that class as an opportunity to help Ukrainians who have been forced to leave their homes.

"I'm half Russian," Sheets said. "I come from families that were displaced. My mother grew up in a displaced persons camp for the first three years of her life."

"It is a very heinous thing that happens to you in that circumstance when you have absolutely no control," Sheets said. "I grew up with people who had a sense of gratitude about coming from that and surviving that."

Natalie Rinow, who took a pysanky class Monday, said her grandparents on both sides were from Ukraine. 

"They were always scared," she said. "It was just really hard times for them."

"It does bring back a lot of memories," Rinow said about the class, where she decorated an egg in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. "It's pretty neat." 

Sheets will host classes at Valkerie Gallery and Studio in Lakewood through April. The classes are raising funds for International Rescue Committee, which helps families who are displaced by the Ukrainian crisis. Visit valkariefineart.com for more information.

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