On Oct. 2, students, faculty and residents of Winchester, Virginia, gathered around Andrei Kushnir, renowned oil painter, to welcome 18 of his artworks on display at Shenandoah University. Kushnir also joined Professor of Art Geraldine Kiefer, Ph.D., in teaching three of her classes.
Kushnir’s paintings, which are on long-term loan to the university, hang within the Davis Hall Board Room, joining a copy of his book, “Oh, Shenandoah: Paintings of the Historic Valley and River,” which features 263 of Kushnir’s paintings.
Professor of History Warren Hofstra, Ph.D., is a longtime admirer of Kushnir’s work who developed a friendship with the artist after being asked to write the introduction to his book.
I have a deep and abiding love of art. I find him to be just a master of the medium. His work is very exciting to me. A university is about gathering and sharing knowledge. That includes art. So, to give students the opportunity to meet with an artist of considerable reputation and recognition, and to discuss that artist’s work, is a big part of what we do. It creates the intellectual ferment that makes this a university.”
Kushnir’s hope is that students, faculty and other Winchester residents will enjoy viewing the artwork and learn more about landscape oil paintings.
I was interested in seeing the artwork. I really love his artwork. If you are on the artistic side, I would highly recommend that you come and see how beautiful and lifelike his artwork is.”
Dean Coker is excited to welcome the artwork into Shenandoah University.
Our partnership with Andrei Kushnir is such a gift to the university community. The display of Kushnir’s paintings in Davis Hall offer exceptional works of art for the campus community, and for visitors, to enjoy. These works also remind us of the magnificent beautify of the region which serves as our namesake.”
Andrei Kushnir Paintings
Andrei Kushnir has spent most of his life oil painting and decided to paint the Shenandoah Valley after falling in love with its landscapes.
It’s difficult to describe what you see in words. Sure, you can say, ‘Well, it’s green.’ But, there are so many shades of green that you won’t know unless you are actually seeing it. It’s like food — you don’t know how something tastes unless you are the one eating it.”
He has painted Valley scenes for 15 years and specializes in “plein air,” or painting outdoors, on location.
The scenery is just spectacular. You get these great, grand views of the Valley and the river with the mountains in the background. Being a lover of landscape paintings, I wanted to do some of that myself. I wanted to present the [Shenandoah] Valley in the best light, as well as in the worst light. You should paint the tree that you see rather than the one in your head.”
Making a living as an artist is not a simple task, Kushnir added.
It’s not for the faint of heart. I broke into it through my love of art and landscape painting. The main thing that someone who would like to get into painting should have is a lot of drive and a love of doing it. If you are looking at it as a job, it’s not for you. It’s really something that should be driven by passion and compassion.”
Written by Rachel Deanne Sherman ’18