A KEY figure from York's arts scene is on a rescue mission for her elderly mother in her native Ukraine.

Mila Romans, of The Hungry Artist, York, travelled to the country of her birth to find her frail mother when she did not manage to join the hundreds of thousands fleeing Ukraine.

York Press:

Ukrainian-born York artist Mila Romans who has gone on a rescue mission for her elderly mother.

The Russian onslaught has forced two million people to evacuate Ukraine, according to the United Nations.

Others are trapped inside besieged cities where food, water and medicine is running low amid the biggest ground war in Europe since World War Two.

Thanking well wishers for their prayers, sympathy and offers of support, Mila posted a message on social media last Friday, March 4, with a plea for help to spread the word about her search.

"I was planning to add some new exciting items to my shop for a fundraising art sale, but after the latest information, I had to go to the Ukrainian borders hoping to rescue my mam," she wrote on Facebook.

"Some people managed to leave life-threatening Kharkiv but older weak people like my mam who hasn't eaten well for a while, haven't managed to evacuate yet.

"I'm currently near Ukraine trying to connect people, help each other, find suppliers but I have very limited resources (even for a modest stay abroad)."

Mila is well known in York where she and her husband Gary opened The Hungry Artist, in Church Street, York, in 2014, combining a coffee shop with a gallery-style art exhibition space.

York Press:

Mila and Gary Romans, of The Hungry Artist.

Mila was also the curator and multidisciplinary resident artist at the Bar Lane Studios next to Micklegate Social before it closed in June 2019.

As one of York’s last affordable community art spaces, it had enabled local artists to work and produce art within York's city walls for nearly a decade.

York Press: Bar Lane Art Studios Open Exhibition

Flashback: Artists Mila Romans and Chalky The Yorkie with an art coffin to mark the death of Bar Lane Studios in 2019. Picture: Steve Evans

Her work includes photography, 3D art pieces, paintings - including this portrayal of medical staff during the Covid-19 pandemic - and life portraits of city figures such as former Lord Mayor of York Dave Taylor.

Mila invited anyone who wished to directly help 'the real people of Ukraine' to purchase or commission artwork through her Etsy shop.

She said her mother had left Kharkiv for a train to Lviv on Friday, March 4, between 5pm and 11pm.

"Her handbag with passport, mobile, money, docs were found on the train station in Kharkiv around midnight Friday. As no incident has been reported the assumption is she had been pushed on to the train and heading to Lviv."

Mila later reported that her mother had been found in Kovel, a city in north western Ukraine.

"I'm speechless and emotional right now. I will share the details after the second part of this journey. We're all sending you love and thanks xxx," Mila wrote.

It is understood Mila is intending to bring her mother back home under the Ukraine Family Scheme, which will allow families to be reunited in the UK.

Support Mila's rescue mission by purchasing or commissioning artwork at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ArtSpectRoom 

Donations and deposits for a future commission with no time pressure can be made at PayPal.me/miromans

Mila said most of her work, viewable on Instagram @miro_pictorial, could be printed professionally as a matt watercolour, or on metallic paper or canvas, up to 24-inches wide, with a certificate of authenticity.