“All of these paintings have never before been put on display. They are all pieces that came from me and three other local private owners,” Billingsley said.
Billingsley went on to say that another unique aspect to his particular showcase was that, “many of the pieces have been restored while others are in various stages of disrepair.”
After the short introduction, Billingsley and Hempel invited those who attended to walk through the exhibits, listen to the audio recorded history and try some of the Russian refreshments.
“[The event was] a really cool experience,” said UVU student Haley Houston about her experience. “I didn’t stay at one painting very long, but I liked walking through and seeing some of the culture differences.”
The art that is on display is from 18 different artists, ranging in a time period between the 1940’s and the 1980’s. Most of the pieces came from the Republic of Georgia, Ukraine or Uzbekistan. The oldest piece is a series of paintings called Portraits of an Army Friend, by A Kurennoi. These portraits were created by a soldier that served in WWII or as the Soviets called it, The Great Patriot War. The portraits are of him and his unit. These painting have not yet been restored, but the wear that appears on them gives a realistic feeling of time.
One of the youngest paintings that is on display is titled, Oil Refinery, Batumi, by Joseph Zurab Tevzadze. This painting was created sometime in the 1980’s and helps to capture the impact industry.
Another feature that the Woodbury Museum currently has in honor of the Global Spotlight of Russia is an interactive mural. The purpose of the mural is to have the public help recreate Andrei Lysenko’s painting, Into Space. This painting is on display at the museum with the actual signatures and stamps of approval from the government allowing the artist to paint that specific picture. To do this the museum is renting out crayons to anyone that wishes to help replicate the painting. They then can choose one of the squares on the grid and attempt to duplicate the square from the original painting onto the mural.
“I think it’s just a great way for the public to get involved at the museum,” said Museum employee Larry Revoir. “It also helps draw attention to the original painting.”
For anyone interested in attending the second part of the Global Spotlight of Russia: Military, the pieces will be on display at the Woodbury Art Museum until March 2, 2013. For more information contact the Woodbury Art Museum at: www.facebook.com/woodburyartmuseum.