Ukraine is an anomaly; both very young as an independant nation and very ancient. The hilly mount on the Dnieper river now called Kiev was a fortified settlement in 500 A.D.. Unknown to many, Kievan Rus in the 12th century was the birthplace of what later became Russia. It was a son of Prince Vladimir who first founded Moscow as a wilderness outpost of Kievan Rus in 1147.
Since 1992 and the break up of the former Soviet Union, Ukraine has been struggling to evolve from a communist and centrally planned society towards one that is democratic and market driven. It is one of the most abundantly blessed former republics in terms of natural resources and cultural history. The rapid pace of transition has created a society which promises great things in the long term but in the short term has created both economic opportunity and hardship for the majority of the population. The ingenuity required of Ukrainians to survive these changes is particularly seen in the students. My students for the most part, were industrious, curious and anxious to learn the practical applications of computer graphics and web design. Many had an entrepreneurial spirit that will serve them well as they build their own future and collectively bring Ukraine into its own as a prosperous and free nation.
The majority of my students were untrained as artists or web designers before my classes. Their web sites were very inventive however and ranged widely in their size, content and intended audiance. A sample of this diversity includes; sites promoting travel agencies, a Black Sea Resort, the grafitti of Kiev, street racing clubs, a store for stuffed animals, personal advice for women, software downloads for Windows OS, and a study of fractals. Please visit the student web gallery to see some of these. Links to the actual sites will be posted here in the near future.