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).
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.