Vera Nakonechny, 2008 Pew Fellow. Directed by Glenn Holsten.
"All my life, my parents drummed Ukrainian art, Ukrainian this, Ukrainian that. I was always connected. It was home. So when I went to Ukraine for the first time I said, 'Wow, I'm really here. There is a country called Ukraine.'"
Vera Nakonechny (b. 1947) is a Ukrainian embroiderer, bead worker, and weaver. She came to the United States as a teenager and continued studying the various techniques of Ukrainian embroidery her mother taught her as a young girl. She became a part of the Ukrainian-American community in Pennsylvania, where she continued to expand her skills as an embroiderer. In 1991 Nakonechny was able to return to her homeland, where she conducted archival research and studied with master craftspeople. The love for her culture gave her the inspiration to learn all she could about the various styles and techniques so that they could be preserved in their original pure form from different regions of the Ukraine.
In 2007 Nakonechny received a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in Folk Arts. In 2003 and 2006 she received grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts to apprentice with Master Yuriy Melnychuk from the Honchar Museum, Kyiv, Ukraine. She has also studied with Masters Zenovia Shulha from the College of Textiles and Arts in Lviv, Ukraine, and Eudokia Sorokhaniuk and Stephanie Shumska-Mayer. Her work has been exhibited at such places as the Down Jersey Folklife Center, Millville, NJ; the Joseph Kobrinskiy Museum in Kolomyia, Ukraine; the Philadelphia Folklore Project; the Ukrainian Museum, New York, NY; and the Ukrainian Festival, Washington, D.C.