Kursk Art Auction Raises Over 5,000 to Fund International Projects

March 09, 2010

The Kursk Art Exhibit and Online Auction, “Russian Landscapes #2,” that featured 35 paintings by artists from Kursk, Russia raised $5,870 to fund future international art projects at Mount Union on Thursday, March 4.


During the reception, hors d’oeuvres were served and live music was provided by students of Dr. Elaine Anderson, associate professor of music. The Sigma Nu fraternity at Mount Union, which has been working with the Ponery Regional Orphanage in Ponery, Russia for the past five years, provided valet parking service during the auction reception and accepted donations to purchase art supplies and educational materials for the orphanage. The 70 to 100 children at the orphanage come from the northern part of the state of Kursk, Russia and have a variety of special needs.

Kursk Art Exhibit and Mount Union

In 1997, Dr. Frank Triplett, Mount Union professor of foreign languages and Dr. Donald Buckey, professor emeritus of religion, traveled to Kursk, Russia and participated in the Russia Initiative of the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church. The purpose of this visit was to establish contact with the faculty and administration of Kursk State Pedagogical University to explore the possibilities of future exchanges and joint projects with Mount Union.

While on that trip, Triplett was intrigued with a few of the paintings in the university art gallery and purchased two of them. Subsequent trips to Kursk resulted in a deeper interest in the works of local artists from the Kursk region. In 2000, Triplett, with the cooperation of administrators and faculty members of Kursk State University, organized a competition of local Russian artists for a future exhibit at Mount Union. Two private donors provided the necessary funds to purchase the exhibit and had it shipped from Russia to Ohio. Subsequently, officials at Kursk State University announced the competition and 80 artists submitted 120 paintings.

In May of 2005, Dr. Triplett, accompanied by Robert Buganski, chair of Mount Union’s Department of Art and other faculty members and students, returned to Kursk and chose 50 paintings from the competition. The first art auction at Mount Union in 2006 proved to be a success. Thanks to the proceeds from the first auction and donor support, in May of 2009, Triplett, Margo Miller, assistant professor of art and director of the Crandall Art Gallery and other faculty members and students, returned to Kursk and chose 35 paintings for this year’s art auction.

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