The Russians Are Coming!

By Mickey Myers

March 13th Update!

The Russians are HERE!  A contingent of outstanding Russian Artists are here this week and next painting in and around Jeffersonville. They are joined by dozens or artists from all over New England (and beyond) painting the beautiful Vermont Landscape en plein air (in the plain air).

Viktor Butko, Maxim Mikhalenia, Irina Rybakova, Oleg Zhuravlev are joined by translators and an all-star list of painters. Bryan Memorial Gallery will host a One-Night-Only Exhibition of the work of these artists on Wednesday March 21st from 6-8PM. This is a not-to-miss event. Refreshments will be served and artists on hand, so bone up on your Russian and come enjoy some fantastic art.
More information is below in the original post.

In an Olympics Year Bryan Memorial Gallery is about to participate in a little Detente of its own.  It’s painters détente for which, full disclosure, Bryan Gallery is only one very small part among many who are working to bring about this exchange.

Jeffersonville, Vermont will welcome a group of Russian plein air artists for two weeks in March (9 – 23.)  The list of painters (so far) from Russia include Viktor Butko, Oleg Zhuravlev and Irina Rybakova who will will take up residence on Main Street in Jeffersonville, and be joined by several American painters, painting en plein air throughout the two weeks of their visit in the US.

Their stay will culminate in a one day installation of their paintings at Bryan Memorial Gallery, with a reception open to the public.  The reception is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 (6-8PM) in the evening.

Many of these painters know each other, as the visit is privately organized, part of an exchange that has taken place over the past few years, of Russians coming to iconic New England locations to paint, and Americans going to paint with them each of the last few alternate years.  This is the first time that Vermont has been their destination, and appropriately Jeffersonville has been selected, as it has been a mecca for plein air artists for over 100 years.

American Painters in Russia
American Painters in Russia

We are pleased to know (and display work by) some of the artists who went over to Russia last year, and to hear gratifying stories of their painting together in Kostroma 200 miles northeast of Moscow.   We heard about their final evening’s exhibition at a community center where art was the common language, and we saw painting after painting, posted in social media, that stirred our souls and bridged cultures.

So when Bryan Gallery was invited to host the final evening’s reception, we were happy to say “Da!”  Winter is the Season of the Pop Up Gallery at The Bryan, and what better to offer for a brief but exquisite moment of international understanding through painting.

This story is going to evolve, so you are encouraged to visit the Gallery’s website and this blog often over the next month, as we confirm dates and times and the names of other artists who will be joining us for this time together in Vermont.

In the meantime, here are the bios of the 3 Russian artists we know are coming so far.

Victor Nikolaevich Butko
Victor Butko was born in 1978 in Moscow into a veritable artistic dynasty.  Several generations of family were well known artists, including his grandfather, (both graduates of the Imperial Stroganov Art Schoo,) as well as Honored Art Workers of Russia, and of course his own parents, Nikolai Butko and Marina Chulovich.

Butko
Victor Butko

From early childhood, Butko was involved in the creative work of his family.  His first art lessons were given by his parents.  His grandfather also greatly influenced his work, especially landscapes.  Butko’s still life painting style was developed from exposure to an incredible collection of objects to be found in the family’s studio.  Butko painted from them for his first still life works.

In 1989 Butko entered the Moscow Academy Art Lyceum under the supervision of the Russian Academy of Arts, where he studied watercolor and oil painting.  In 1994 he took part in his first art exhibition, in the Art Lyceum Students’ Exhibition at the Central House of Art Workers.  After graduation from art school, Butko went to Vishny Volochok, where he continued to study painting, especially influenced by the works of Russian landscape masters.   In 1997 Butko took part in the exhibition of the Moscow Art Union at its gallery in Krymsky Val, and afterwards became a union member.  Butko’s works are exhibited at galleries throughout Russia.

Oleg Zhuravlev
Oleg Zhuravlev was born in 1981 in Furmanov, Ivanovo region. In 2009 Oleg was graduated from Ivanovo Art School named after Mark Malyutin and of Moscow State Academic Art Institute named after Vasiliy Surikov.

Oleg Zhuravlev: Fall
Oleg Zhuravlev

Oleg is a member of the Artists’ Union of Russia and the Moscow Artists’ Union, the founder of the art club “Tradition” and a holder of the Ministry for Culture’s fellowship (Russian Federation, 2009). Oleg was awarded silver and bronze medals by the Artists’ Union Russia. In 2008 he was honored by the Central federal district honorary diplomas in the nominations “painting and sculpture”. Oleg was awarded the gold medal of the All-Russian exhibition “Symbols of the Fatherland”. The main theme of the artist’s work is landscape, city landscape. Olegs painting deeply reflects the feeling of environment character and spirits. The artist tries to fix and express surprising nuances of landscape, its scarcely perceptible lights and darks. Oleg is an active participant of various international exhibitions and plein-airs. Oleg Zhuravlev lives and works in Moscow.

Irina Rybakova
Irina Rybakova is a talented realist painter. She was born in Vyshny Volochok, Tver region. She spent her childhood in a village near to The Repin Academicheskaya Dacha. It is the oldest and well-known creative base of Artists in Russia; many famous Russian artists worked there.

Irina Rybakova
Irina Rybakova

When Irina was 5 years old, she began to pose for brothers Tkachov. The first painting by them with Irina was “The Bread of the Republic”. Little Irina wanted to paint too, that is why she set up her own still life in her garden and painted. Once her future teacher L. Ostrova saw that and offered to teach Irina to paint. When Irina was 11, she went to Art School. While studying at Kostroma State University she had many successful shows. Her works can be found in many private collections in Russia, Europe, in the USA, Kuwait. Public collections include many Fine Art Galleries of Kostroma, Mogilev (Belarus), Byalinyichi (Belarus), Vyshni Volochok, Plyos, Tarussa, Kolomna.

And Maxim Mikhalenia (detail to come).

Here is a partial list of some of the American Artists joining them and who will also have selected works on display.

Tom Adkins, Garin Baker, Harley Bartlett, Zufar Bikbov,Kelly Carmody, T.A. Charron, Beaman Cole, Ken Dewaard, Vitoria Doberstein, Michel Gerard Doucet, Hunter Eddy, Ben Fenske, Nadia Geller, Bob Graves, Mike Graves, Moses Hamborg, Stapleton Kearns, Ken Knowles, Renee Lammers, Leo Mancini-Hzerko, Peter Miller, T.M. Nicholas, Rachel Personett, Andrew Orr, Rae O’Shea, Sergio Roffo, Kim Senior, Eric Tobin, Stewart White, Peter Yesis

Full painting by TM Nicholas while in Russia in 2017
Full painting by TM Nicholas while in Russia in 2017

What Makes a Pro?

By Mickey Myers

As Bryan Memorial Gallery firms up its Cabin Fever Series of lectures, workshops and demonstrations this winter, a theme presents itself.  Like last year, when art travel unfolded throughout the Gallery’s events, this year we notice opportunities for professional development unfolding throughout our offerings.

What one understands to be “professional development” varies from profession to profession.  It can be a requirement for maintaining a license or even a job (“publish or perish” comes to mind) or it can be much less definable, such as an opportunity for growth in a practice, a collaborative occasion or technical assistance.

Annelein workshopHere at Bryan Memorial Gallery we aim to help our artists advance professionally.  While acknowledging that some don’t need our help, it gratifying when our artists tell us that something the Gallery did – a program, an exhibit, the specs for a show, an artists roundtable – had an impact on one’s studio practice.  A gallery director lives for that kind of affirmation, while at the same time taking care not to impose one’s modus operandi on others, especially not artists.

So it is gratifying to us, as we put together the Cabin Fever Series for this winter, to find ourselves providing some specific and clear cut opportunities for our artists to improve their lot and evaluate their studio practice in relation to best practices in the field.

The following presentations are just those opportunities:

March 10, 1 – 4  Talking about Your Artwork with Mary Zompetti

Mary Zompetti is known primarily for her photography, but she has a significant career helping artists, no matter what their medium or the stage of their career.  She’s coming over for a very small and intimate afternoon of talk with the first 6 artists who sign up for this workshop about their work.  The conversation will be exactly that – a conversation among 6 artists about their studio practice – what works and what doesn’t, what happens when one hits a wall, how long can we stay on course and what are the signs we need to shift gears; where do we go to refresh?   Participating artists are asked to bring 3 examples of their work, including a very recent example.

  • There is no charge for this workshop, and it is first come, first served but advanced registration is required.  Register here.

March 11, 9 – 3  iPhone Photography:  Refining Your Artistic Vision with Nan Carle Beauregard

Most of us have iPhones or Smart Phones and many of us are integrating them into our studio practice.  This is where Nan comes in to assist us in maximizing our understanding of iPhotography, in ways that can enhance its role in our studio practice.  The only thing you have to bring to their workshop is your iPhone or smart phone.  Photographer Nan Carle Beauregard is keen on the story of life and how iPhone Photography can help tell one’s story.  Her editing process enhances an already good photo.  She will also work with participants in the creative exploration of new images.


Saturday, March 17, 1 – 3 PM  A Conversation with Katharine Montstream about Marketing Your Artwork

Kath Montstream and TangoKatharine Montstream is one of Vermont’s iconic landscape artists.  From the brilliance of her watercolors to the depth of her oils, from the accessibility of her prints and cards to the expansiveness of her community involvement, Montstream represents the vitality of the arts in Vermont today.

Spend St. Patrick’s Day afternoon with Montstream while she discusses stories from her own career about marketing her art:  how she got started, what she learned early, what has helped her establish herself in the minds of many as “Vermont’s Favorite,” and what she is still learning today.

  • There is no charge for this program, but seating is limited – first come, first served.

Saturday, March 24, 1 – 3 PM Painting Demonstration with Eric Tobin

Eric painting 1 croppedBack again for the third straight year: the gallery’s best-attended demonstration with Eric Tobin, one of Vermont’s most popular artists.   Watch Eric paint a painting from start to finish.  Converse with him about the decisions he makes while painting. Listen to him explain not only his painting methods, but how he organizes and equips to paint outdoors all year round.

  • There is no charge and no advanced registration required.  

Sunday, March 25, 1 – 3 PM  Framing Your Artwork, 102.

Lassie Barile and Fiona Cooper Fenwick of Vermont Frameworks (Waterbury Center) presented Framing Your Artwork, 101 last winter, and despite a snowstorm, those present hung around with many questions.  Barile and Fenwick are returning, and this time are asking those who attend to submit questions in advance, so they can prepare examples of the answers.


April 26 10 – 1PM  The Legacy Workshop with Mary Fillmore and Mickey Myers.

Many of our artists and others around the state have had the opportunity to attend a 3 hour Legacy Workshop with Mary and Mickey under a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation.  This workshop helps artists (and their heirs) prepare for the inevitable – which is to say that time flies when you’re painting, and sooner or later, you find yourself with an abundance of sketches, finished works, drawings, materials, and what to do with it all?  Certainly, it is nothing you want to leave for your family to figure out without your input, but where, when and how to convey that input?  This workshops helps, and further, this is probably the last time it will be presented under this grant at no charge for our members and friends.  For those wanting a sneak peak, go to http://www.bryangallery.org/legacy/.  (This workshop will also be given at River Gallery in Brattleboro in June.  Let us know if you would like to receive further information about the workshop in Brattleboro.)

  • No charge, but advanced registration required before April 15.  Register here.

Georgia O’Keeffe: Art Image Style

A Bus Trip to The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts
by Mickey Myers

George in capeOn behalf of the Gallery, we’ve got to admit, we’re smitten.  Last fall’s trip to the Chagall exhibit in Montreal proved the grass can be greener, if only for a day.  Travel to art destinations has been a particular proclivity of art institutions for decades, as it combines the expertise of curators who often serve as trip hosts, with specialized viewing arrangements, often organized by those curators.  The romance of an archeological dig, a cruise, a private collection can make a vacation not just any vacation.

When we realized a once in a lifetime exhibit of Chagall’s work was mounted just 2 hours to our north in Montreal, we plunged in, and never regretted it.  We were still talking about the joys of what we saw, and looking for the next place to go. . . when we found Georgia.

41dBhgNHV8L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Georgia O’Keeffe: Art, Image and Style, organized by the Brooklyn Museum, was
opening in Brooklyn, and traveling this winter to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.  It’s a little farther away than Montreal, but it’s Georgia, who lives in our hearts, as the trailblazer for women artists in the 20th century.  Besides, this exhibit was offering a side of Georgia we did not know, as a stylist, seamstress and fashion icon.

So we hereby offer Bryan Memorial Gallery’s second foray into travel.  It’s still only a day trip, and we have yet to spend the night anywhere.  But if the excitement about going as a group of art aficionados gains strength from this experience, we’ve got a few ideas up our collective sleeves for the next trip.

Bryan Memorial Gallery in cooperation with Goodspeed and Bach Travel (of Burlington and NYC) presents Georgia O’Keeffe Art, Image, Style, a day trip to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem Massachusetts for a traveling exhibit of art, photographs and fashion by and about the legendary painter, Georgia O’Keeffe (1887 – 1986.)

O'Keeffe Mountains 2Leaving from four locations in Vermont (Burlington, Jeffersonville, Montpelier and White River Junction) on Tuesday, March 27, the bus will depart in the morning, with Bryan Gallery Executive Director Mickey Myers providing an orientation to O’Keeffe’s artwork on route.  Upon arrival in Salem, Massachusetts, lunch will be served at the iconic Hawthorne Hotel, after which travelers will walk over to the Peabody Essex Museum.

Private guides will lead the participants through the exhibition, the first exhibition to explore the art, image and personal style of one of America’s most iconic artists.  O’Keeffe’s understated and carefully designed garments, many never before exhibited, are presented alongside photographs of her, and paintings by her, illuminating O’Keeffe’s unified modernist aesthetic and distinctive self-styling.

georgia-okeeffeFor more than 70 years, O’Keeffe shaped her public persona, defied labels and carved out a truly progressive, independent life in order to create her art. Her aesthetic legacy — compact masses, organic silhouettes, minimal ornamentation, and restrained color palettes — continues to capture the popular imagination and inspire leading designers and tastemakers of our day.  Organized by the Brooklyn Museum, this multi-disciplinary exhibition is the first to focus on the relationship between O’Keeffe’s art and her personal style, including how she was captured on film by the outstanding photographers of her day (including Ansel Adams and O’Keeffe’s husband, Alfred Stiglitz.)

There will be time to explore the exhibition after the tour, and to visit other parts of the museum, including the Peabody Essex Museum’s famed Chinese House: Yin Yu Tang.  The return trip to Vermont will have participants home in the evening.

Georgia 3Goodspeed and Bach Trip Director Deb Flanders will manage the trip which includes entrance to the Peabody Essex Museum, lunch at historic Hawthorne Hotel: appetizer, entrée, dessert and coffee; private guided tour of the exhibition; ticket entrance to the entire museum; tour host and tour manager, luxury motor coach transportation with departures from Burlington and Jeffersonville; gratuity for bus driver and trip manager.

For those interested in giving this trip as a gift, Bryan Memorial Gallery has specifically designed gift certificates available.

To register, go on line to www.bryangallery.org/events.