VILLANOVA, Pa. – Brother and sister Vladimir and Tamara Adashkevich grew up amid the post-World War II rubble of Minsk as gifted art students hoping to become fine artists. With the none to slim likelihood that the destroyed Soviet city could support such aesthetic ambitions, they reluctantly chose more secure career paths. Some 60 years after they painted together as children, they are reuniting in art.
Their first ever joint exhibit opens on October 16 in the university Art Gallery in 'Vladimir and Tamara: Together Again'. A free public reception to meet the brother/sister artists will take place Friday, October 24, from 5 to 7 pm, in the gallery located in the Connelly Center, 2nd floor. Refreshments will be served. Students are always welcome.
Tamara stayed in Minsk, working in civil engineering. Having left a highly technical career, Vladimir would arrive at Villanova in 1992 as tour guide and interpreter for the USSR's Intourist company. He would subsequently enroll in University business and art studies, marry, and go to work for the Art Gallery.
He and Tamara invite those who attend the exhibit to share the sense of the beauty they have sought and found through their art.
In oils and watercolors, Tamara's works include still lifes and scenes of gardens, fields, forests and waterways of her home country of Belarus, which became an independent nation following the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Vladimir's watercolor cityscapes are inspired by his world travels and the milieu of the scuba diver, of which he is an avid one. His sacred icons in egg tempera and fragile gold leaf testify to his faith journey, patient attention to exquisite detail, and admitted perfectionism.
Graduating with his sister from Belarusan Polytechnic Institute, Vladimir went into thermo physics and thermodynamics, continuing his art as a release from stress: “Doing art on weekends and vacations was rest for my soul and an escape from my highly technical occupation,” he says.
Tamara promised herself she would would return to painting when she retired, which she did at age 55. She broke out the oils and watercolors she had set aside more than 30 years earlier,
The eye and hand of a remarkable painter and very serious gardener are revealed in Tamara's floral still lifes. The occasional bent stem and hang-dog pedal lends real-to-life quality to her subject matter, while her depth of color gives her arrangements sharp dimension. A sense of serenity is offered in her deft rendering of a moss-bottomed country stream. The barely rippled reflection of a pale blue sky, and riverbank trees and flowers, are masterly rendered.
Leaving his technical career, Vladimir became an interpreter and tour manager for the Soviet Union's Intourist company, later Intourist-Belarus. His arrival at Villanova in 1992 was as curator for an exhibit of works by Belarusan artists arranged for by Gallery Director Rev. Richard G. Cannuli, Order of St. Augustine (O.S.A.), himself a watercolorist and Iconographer.
When the exhibit left, Vladimir stayed to obtain an MBA, encouraged and guided by Rev. Cannuli. Meanwhile, he found common ground in the creed of enlightenment professed by of the Roman Catholic Augustinian community, which founded and still guides the University. “The Augustinian motto perfectly fit my never ending feeling of curiosity,” he says.
The exhibit continues to December 4. The Art Gallery is open weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm, with extended weekend hours. For that and other information, telephone the Gallery at (610) 519-4612. Selected works for the ‘Vladimir/Tamara’ exhibit may be previewed on the Gallery's website at www.artgallery.villanova.edu.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.