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A Brief Introduction to the Artist
Petro Markovych, a well-known artist in his native Ukraine, has been creating work in ceramics, in metal, and on canvas for over thirty years. A muralist as well, he designed interiors for the spa which welcomed returning cosmonauts. His extensive training and apprenticeships also found expression as a teacher at several levels, including the illustration of children's books. In the 60's, Petro participated in the movement which rebelled against the "socialist realism" that furthered Soviet propaganda. As a result of his conversion to Christianity in 1976, he was expelled from the Union of Writers and Artists, which prevented him from exhibiting in State-sponsored museums and galleries. The move did, however, launch his career as a sought-after evangelist. In the era of Perestroika and Glasnost, Petro was "rehabilitated" such that major exhibits of his work were covered by State Television and reviewed in collections in Germany and Israel.
Steeped in all of the major schools of art, Petro employs whatever mode is required to give his own interpretation of an experience, event, or idea. Often, he will explore the same motif in various media to see how form and content affect each other. Sometimes, what Petro did and how he did it was determined by political pressure: "The more we were harassed the more abstract our work emerged. As the pressure abated, we became more naturalistic." With other artists, he responded to the specter of Chornobyl. In the United States now since October 1991, Petro, his wife Svitlana and their two children reside in Renton, Washington with other refugees, learning English as the first requirement for a continuing career.
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Last Updated: 02/19/08
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Stephen McCallister & Irene Hrab