My name is Rita and I am from Odessa, Ukraine. My family came to New York in 2022 to wait until the war in Ukraine ended, and then we decided to stay here. I enjoy the fact that I have a lot of opportunities here to be an artist and continue what I started in Odessa.  

My path to becoming an artist started because I was inspired by a book about Frida Kahlo’s biography. When I was six years old, I began attending an art school named for the artist Kyriak Konstantinovich Kostandi in Odessa. While in Odessa, I took part in many different art projects at the Odessa Fine Arts Museum, including the museum’s “Kids for Kids” program.  

When I was nine, I created my own start-up. Since then, I have drawn magical creatures on my iPad, printed them as stickers, and sold them. My current plan is to save up money made from selling my art to purchase plane tickets to Odessa to visit my grandparents and pets, and to use some of the proceeds to donate to homeless animals in Ukraine.  

Last year, many of my projects in New York were about art and charity. I created a print for a T-Shirt for the Sonia Deloney Foundation. Then, I participated in a charitable auction during which my artwork “Tears of Ukraine,” was sold for $2000. I also took part in a theatre project called “Teen Ukrainian Theatre,” wherein we wrote our own scripts, and I created a poster for this performance. In light of the conflicts going on in Ukraine, the project was really emotional. 

“As an artist, I feel strongly that there are no rules about art.”


My life is all about creating, mostly through drawing. Last year was very difficult, and when we realized we needed to stay in NYC, my family started looking for an art school where I could continue studying as I did back in Odessa. When we came across the League, I quickly realized it is where I belong. 

As an artist, I feel strongly that there are no rules about art. We should all be able to create whatever we want to, whether it be Pop Art, works that are avant-garde, modern, or in the Surrealist tradition. Personally, I most enjoy drawing magical creatures. During all my free time, I make art. 

I have many favorite artists, and all of them are women: Sonya Delaunay, Yayoi Kusama, Maria Primachenko, and Frida Kahlo. I identify as a feminist and think it’s important that women are represented in the arts.

PS/IS 191 – The Riverside School for Makers and Artists
Speilberger Spanierman Scholarship

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