For some, Easter eggs are brightly colored hard boiled eggs that are eaten. But for Mary Kuchera, a Ukrainian American woman, they are an art form.
The ninety-three year old Oriskany resident has been decorating Ukrainian Pysanky for fifty years. The daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, Kuchera is keeping Ukrainian culture alive by making traditional Ukrainian pysanky.
Affectionately known as the “Egg Lady,” Mary has close to one thousand intricately decorated pysanky in her home. She loves to demonstrate how to make them and speak of the rich traditions regarding the symbolism of each line and design.
The elaborately designed eggs form a part of the centuries-old celebration of the Christian Easter in Ukraine.
Through the wax and dye process, eggs are transformed from their natural state into decorative works of art. A simple design may take two hours to complete but an intricate design can take several hours. Kuchera works on chicken, duck, goose and even ostrich eggs.
Her exhibit will include several eggs from her collection. She will be available to explain the symbolism of the lines of a design as well as explain other styles such as the pre-Christian era.
Kuchera’s works of art will be on display at the Oriskany Museum (420 Utica St., Oriskany) from March 14 until Easter. An extended exhibit will run on Saturday, March 23 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. with a short lecture at 2 p.m. Regular hours for the Oriskany Museum are 1:00-5:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.