Photo Exhibition

портрет україна

[ Portrait Ukraine ]

Capturing faces of resistance amid the chaos of war

Photography by Allan Mestel

UU Arts Council presents:

MARCH 15- APRIL 19, 2024



SUN, MAR 17,  11:30 AM – 1 PM
FRI, MAR 22, 5 PM – 7 PM


TUE – FRI from 10 AM to 2 PM
SUN from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Or by appointment, call 941-371-4974 


Press inquiries and requests for a group weekend viewing, complete and submit the form below.


Embarking on three poignant journeys to Ukraine since the full-scale invasion in February 2022, photographer Allan Mestel presents a collection of images capturing the stark realities witnessed.

The first journey led him to the Ukraine/Poland border, documenting the immediate aftermath of the invasion and the harrowing refugee crisis. A few months later, Mestel returned to Ukraine to document the devastating aftermath of Russia’s military attacks and missile strikes, revealing the profound human toll on the people of Ukraine.

During his most recent journey in September 2023, he traveled to cities and small towns throughout Ukraine, including Lviv, Kramatorsk, Chasiv Yar, and Mykolaiv, where he witnessed the significant impact of the war on the Ukrainian people, civilian infrastructure, and the surrounding landscape. During this trip, he immersed himself in the environments of those affected, taking intimate portraits that reflect the authentic human experience amidst war.

The Portrait Ukraine project is a testament to Mestel’s dedication to documenting history and revealing the truth about the war’s impact on Ukraine and its people. This exhibition features a comprehensive visual narrative, revealing the anguish, courage, and resilience of individuals facing heart-wrenching losses endured by countless Ukrainians. Each image in this collection is a piece of the larger tapestry, collectively weaving an authentic picture of the human experience amidst war.

The significance of the Portrait Ukraine exhibition lies in its commitment to distilling the complexities of war into individual visual stories. Through these evocative portraits, Mestel aims to forge a profound connection between the viewer and the brutal reality of the war, inviting reflection on the shared humanity that transcends borders.

As you embark on this visual journey, understand that it is ongoing. Allan Mestel is not merely presenting a snapshot in time but rather an evolving chronicle. The Portrait Ukraine project continues with another planned trip to Ukraine in the first half of 2024, ensuring that the world remains informed and connected to the ongoing struggles and triumphs of the Ukrainian people.

Follow this link to read more about the Portrait Ukraine project.

Allan Mestel Headshot

About Allan Mestel

Allan Mestel is a photojournalist, photographer and filmmaker based in Southwest Florida. Originally from Canada, Allan spent many years working in the advertising industry in Toronto, directing national and international TV commercials for most of the major worldwide advertising agencies. He received many awards, including the Television Bureau of Canada’s ‘Gold Bessie’ awarded annually for the best TV commercial in Canada. Moving to Florida in 2014, Allan opened a commercial photography studio and began working as a photojournalist and documentary photographer. His work has been exhibited across the US, Europe, and the United Kingdom. He has dedicated thousands of hours to shooting for human rights and social justice organizations, as well as non-profit organizations. His work photographing migrants at the US-Mexico border and refugees in Ukraine has been published in major newspapers and featured on CNN, NBC, PBS, FRONTLINE and many other local and national media outlets. His work has been recognized with numerous awards in portrait and photojournalism categories. Visit to learn more about his background and work.


If you’re interested in arranging for a group viewing outside scheduled gallery hours, please complete and submit the form at right.

Press Inquiries
Members of the press seeking information about the Portrait Ukraine project, please scroll down to access the Portrait Ukraine press kit. If you would like more information or to schedule an interview with Allan Mestel, please complete and submit the form at right.


Shown here are a handful of the images from the Portrait Ukraine collection that will be on display.


Thanks for your interest in the Portrait Ukraine exhibition. Here’s information you can use to write a great story. But if you want more photos, information, or an interview with Allan Mestel, complete the form at the top of this page or email

Portrait Ukraine Exhibition Press Release

Download PDF
148 KB

Portrait Ukraine Exhibition Poster

Download PDF
1.6 MB

Allan Mestel Bio

Download PDF
1.5 MB

Allan Mestel Bio

Download PDF
263 KB

Allan Mestel Headshot

Download JPG
704 KB


Stay Connected: Sign Up for Exclusive Email Updates!

Join our email list to receive regular updates on the Portrait Ukraine Project, upcoming exhibitions, insightful blogs, and the latest campaigns by Spotlight Ukraine.

Don’t worry, we won’t overwhelm you with too many emails.  And rest assured, you’re in control – unsubscribe at any time with ease.

Don’t miss out on the latest news and events. Sign up now!”