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					Art League Houston Announces

"Pysanky ...", an exhibition of paintings by Nestor Topchy
On view February 11 - February 23, 2008
Artist Talk Tuesday, February 19, 6 p.m.

For Immediate Release:
Contact: Sarah Schellenberg
713-523-9530 or alh@artleaguehouston.org
Photos and complete biography available on request

Houston, TX - Art League Houston is pleased to
announce "Pysanky...", an exhibition of paintings
and decorated eggs by Nestor Topchy on view at Art
League Houston, February 11 through February 23,
2008. An artist talk with Mr. Topchy will take place
on Tuesday, February 19 at 6 p.m. Nestor will also
teach a Pysanky Ukrainian Egg Decorating Class at
the Art League School, Thursdays 1 - 4 p.m., April 3-
  May 8, 2008. Nestor Topchy's paintings, which are
his own unique take on classical works by artists
such as Botticelli and Giotto, combine two ancient
traditions -- the Novgorod Russian or Byzantine
tradition of icon writing, and Pysanky, also known as Ukrainian decorated eggs.

Mr. Topchy's early childhood experiences of the seemingly contradicting forces of tradition and
modernity (decorating pysanky with family and drawing on reams of scrap computer his father
brought home from work at Bell Labs), as well as his study of sacred art have directly influenced
his artistic and philosophical processes. Following the birth of his daughter Minerva in 1998,
Topchy began observing the mysteries of life more philosophically, which soon led to his own
practice and study of the traditional meditative arts, including Sacred Geometry (1998), Chinese
Art and Calligraphy (2000 - the present), and icon making. Topchy also practices Tien Tao
Meditation/Buddhism (since 1997) and the martial arts of Judo, Aikido and Taekwondo, which he
feels have greatly contributed to his development as an artist.

Working under the tutelage of the Dmitri and Vasily
Andreye at the Prosopon School, Russian Orthodox
Cathedral in New York, Topchy learned to paint icons in
the Novgorod Russian tradition of egg tempera, applying
thin transparent coats of pure pigment suspended in
water with egg yoke and vinegar in three layers. For the
past couple of years he has increasingly incorporated
aspects of the traditional into his own work, including
icon making, as well as abstract and pattern work
containing elements of ancient Ukrainian pattern found
in pysanky and textiles design without ignoring his
existence as an artist working in a contemporary
context.

Nestor Topchy is a painter, sculptor, installation artist
and performance artist who was born in Somerville, New
Jersey in 1963. He has his BFA from the Maryland
Institute, College of Art in Baltimore (1985) and his MFA
in Art from the University of Houston (1987). Topchy
has exhibited and performed his work at a number of
galleries and museums including the Museo de Nacion
(Lima, Peru), The Evergreen Museum, Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore), Arlington Museum
of Art (Arlington, Texas), The Art Museum of South East Texas (Beaumont), The Museum of Fine
Arts/Houston, The Menil Collection, The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, and Project Row
Houses, among others. His artist residencies include The Barn, William F. Flannigan Memorial
Foundation in Montauk, Long Island (1993) and The Banff Center, Alberta, Canada (1999). In
2003, Nestor was a Visiting Artist/Lecturer on Sacred Art and Architecture at Austin College,
Sherman Texas, and in 2005 he presented a lecture, "The Artists Eye: On Ikon Making" at The
Menil Collection. Topchy has his work in several notable collections including the Museum of
Fine Arts Houston, the playwright Edward Albee, and Caroline and the late Walter Hopps.

Pysanky: the Ancient Art of Ukrainian Egg Decorating - All Levels
Thursday, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
April 3 - May 8, 6 weeks
$210 members/ $245 non-members

An exploration of the traditional method of creating the Pysanka, including the historical,
symbolic, sacred and contemporary meanings of this miniature masterpiece of folk art. The
resultant work of art is the product of an intensive personal activity within a shared community
event observed since Neolithic times in a relaxing, meditative and edifying environment that is
challenging, profound, and at the same time fun! This class is open and appropriate for all ages
11 years and up, and all skill levels. For more information or to register, call Art League Houston
at 713-523-9530.


About Art League Houston
Art League Houston is one of Houston's longest operating non-profit visual arts organizations and
was the first alternative art space in Texas. Founded in 1948 and incorporated as a non-profit
organization in 1953, Art League Houston (ALH) was created to promote the public appreciation
of and interest in the visual arts. During the past 57 years, ALH has provided over 760
exhibitions to the Houston community, showcased the work of nearly 22,200 artists, and
instructed over 35,000 students through the Art League School and Outreach Program.

Our Mission
The mission of Art League Houston is to cultivate awareness, appreciation, and accessibility of
contemporary visual art within the community for its cultural enrichment. Art League Houston
provides an opportunity for all members of the community to experience the contemporary visual
arts. We achieve our mission through exhibitions, education and outreach programs.

Art League Houston is supported principally by Houston Endowment Inc., the estate of William G.
Daugherty, Kevin & Laurie Foxx, City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, John P.
McGovern Foundation, Kat Gallagher & Michael Rudelson, Bridgeway Charitable Trust, Bruce &
Jaleh Sallee, Art Colony Association/ Bayou City Art Festivals, and by Andrisin Abbey, Aubrey
and Sylvia Farb Community Service Fund, Susan & Jack Apple, the Ann Bengtson Memorial
Fund, Brad & Leslie Bucher, Cantoni, Marv & Billie Chasen, CITI Smith Barney, Darrell & Peggy
Delahoussaye, Earth Exchange Corporation, Ray C. Fish Foundation, Hugh & Berthica
Fitzsimons, Alice C. Boyd Gano, Nick & Candice Goodwin, James & Ann Harithas, Harris County
Department of Education, International Bank of Commerce, Inversion Coffee House, Kinder
Foundation, Leanna Laster, Mangini/ Lakhia/ Dealahoussaye & Associates, P.A., Kenneth &
Elena Marks, Mark & Gretchen Mazziotti, National MS Society Lone Star Chapter, Marilyn
Oshman, Don & Crystal Owens, River Oaks Dental Arts, Michael G. Rudelson & Co., RWG
Construction Management, Louisa Stude Sarofim, Tahamia Spain, Steve & Susie Streller/
Charter Custom Homes, Texas Art Supply, Top Drawer Lingerie, Kathryn Sherman Ttee, Vinson
& Elkins L.L.P., The Woodlands Development Company, and all of our sponsors, members and
volunteers.
Art League Houston 1953 Montrose Boulevard Houston, Texas 77006
713-523 - 9530 alh@artleaguehouston.org www.artleaguehouston.org

				
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