Department of Art Hosts Exhibit for Russian Landscapes Paintings

August 27, 2015

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union’s Departments of Art and Foreign Languages and Cultures will host a silent auction for paintings based on Russian landscapes which are now on display in the University’s Sally Otto Gallery in the Giese Center for the Performing Arts.

In the winter of 1997, Dr. Frank Triplett, professor emeritus of French, traveled to Kursk, Russia as a participant in the Russia Initiative of the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church. While on that trip, Triplett was intrigued with paintings in the University’s art gallery and the works of local artists from the Kursk region.

In 2000, Triplett, with the cooperation of Kursk State University, organized a local Russian competition for a Mount Union exhibit. In May of 2005, Triplett, Dr. Mark Himmelein, professor of German and Robert Buganski, associate professor of art, returned to Kursk and chose paintings that were shipped to Mount Union thanks to the generosity of two private donors. The inaugural art auction was held in February of 2006.

In May of 2009, with proceeds from the first auction and donor support, Triplett, Himmelein and Margo Miller, assistant professor of art, along with several students, returned to Kursk and chose 35 paintings that were purchased and shipped to Mount Union. The second Russian Landscape Exhibit was also successful and proceeds from that auction made possible the latest exhibit and auction to be held through September 26.

Paintings for the current exhibition, “Russian Landscapes – 2015,” were selected by Himmelein with guidance from Joel Collins, professor emeritus of art; Buganski and Miller. Carol Opatken, Mount Union gallery coordinator, organized the show and prepared the paintings for exhibition. In addition to the works purchased from proceeds from the last auction, this Russian Landscape Exhibit contains several donated paintings. Proceeds from the sale of the donated works will be used to support the Ponery Children’s Home in Ponery, Russia.

The works presented in this show were taken directly from nature and are infused with a feeling of the open air. These artists paint subject matter not normally seen, everyday things in surroundings common and familiar to them and with the people with whom they share their lives. They came out of their studios into the open air to create their works and present viewers with an opportunity to sample and enjoy a genuine flavor of the Kursk landscape and of the Russian culture.

The paintings may be viewed at and silent auction bids may be submitted at beginning September 15. Guests may visit the Sally Otto Art Gallery located in the Giese Center for Performing Arts during regular hours to view the painting in person. There are minimum bids on all paintings and all paintings are framed.   

A reception will take place from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on September 26 in the Sally Otto Gallery. Bidding will close at 6 p.m. and winners of the auction will be announced at 6:30 p.m.


Russian Landscapes 2015

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