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June 18, 2010

PRESS CONTACT:Daniella Elghanayan/Chris Davis, (805) 687-3322

Powerful Exhibition Chronicling Artist’s Poignant Journey to be Held at Hospice of Santa Barbara

Galina Sakharoff-Mashek’s daughter, grandsons hold exhibition in her memory

“Jugoslav Peasant Woman”
by Galina Sakharoff-Mashek (Dec. 12, 1913 – June 2, 2008)

June 18, 2010, Santa Barbara, CA— Three years ago, Hospice of Santa Barbara had the privilege of responding to the wish of a local 93-year-old woman: in anticipation of the end of her life, Galina Sakharoff-Mashek asked to be consecrated and blessed in the church where she spent much of her life. In collaboration with a Russian Orthodox Priest from Los Angeles, the Santa Barbara City Fire Department and EasyLift Transportation, her wish was fulfilled.

Today, Hospice of Santa Barbara is connecting with the family once again, this time providing the walls in its Leigh Block Room as an art gallery space for Sakharoff-Mashek’s powerful artwork.

On July 1st from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Hospice of Santa Barbara will host a wine and cheese open house reception for the new exhibit, titled Galina… a retrospective, held by the artist’s daughter, Marianna Mashek, and grandsons Misha and Ben Feldmann, in her honor. The community is invited to attend and view the artwork of Sakharoff-Mashek, as she chronicled her journey from Odessa, Russia to Belgrade, Yugoslavia and finally to Santa Barbara.

The daughter of a Russian Imperial Army officer who was killed in the 1918 revolution, Galina Sakharoff-Mashek fled to Yugoslavia, where she studied for five years at the Belgrade Academy of Art. She was awarded first prize at a show in Belgrade and the next year at a large exhibition in Florence, Italy.

She was sent to a refugee camp in Austria during the World War II Nazi occupation of Yoguslavia, but escaped during an Allied air attack and made her way to the United States in 1947.

During her first year in America, Sakharoff-Mashek exhibited at the May Show in Cleveland, Ohio, and while a member of the Orange County Art Association, her pastels won wide praise, including First Prize at the annual exhibition in 1952. Her paintings have been included in many large exhibitions in Europe. Although portraiture in oil, watercolors and pastels were her specialty, Sakharoff-Mashek also painted remarkable landscapes and still life.

In Santa Barbara, she served as an art instructor and language teacher (she spoke six languages) for the former Montecito School for Girls and Howard School, as well serving as a special education teacher for the Santa Barbara City Schools for 23 years before she retired.

Among the founders of Santa Barbara’s Russian Orthodox Churches, St. Vladimir and Holy Resurrection, Sakharoff-Mashek sang in the church’s choir and her icon paintings decorate the interior of St. Vladimir chapel.  She painted St. Barbara as a gift to St. Francis Hospital maternity ward in honor of her daughter having been born there and the painting hung in the maternity ward for many years.  Her love of the Russian Orthodox faith was expressed through her iconography.

Wine, refreshments and cheese will be provided at the open house reception. Sakharoff-Mashek’s exhibition will be on display at Hospice of Santa Barbara through the end of September.

The mission of Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc. is to provide care to anyone experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness, or grieving the death of a loved one. For more information, please call (805) 563-8820 or visit


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