Jan's Blog

Russian Artist’s Exhibit at Waterville Valley

May 17, 2013

The Margret and H.A. Rey Center Art Gallery in Waterville Valley opens an exciting new art exhibit on Saturday, May 18, 2013.  The exhibit, “Impressions of the North Country,” is the product of a two-month visit to the U.S. by Russian artist, architect and diplomatic attaché, Boris Oskin and his wife Elena back in1992.

Boris’ watercolors, sketches and personal letters and correspondences will be on display in the Gallery from May 18 to June 22, 2013.  The collection was left behind by Boris upon his return to Russia and is now part of the personal collection of local Watervillian, Chris Larsen, who has generously offered to share its contents as well as his personal stories and experiences with the Oskins.

An opening reception will be held on Saturday, May 25 from 6:30 -8:00 p.m. giving visitors the opportunity to see our landscape through the eyes of a Russian artist and hear the stories of his unique relationship with the late Donald Jasinski of Waterville Valley.  Jasinski was responsible for bringing Boris to the United States.  Come hear stories of Boris’ antics as well as how the trip was made possible only after Oskin left the employ of the Communist Party.

Rey Center Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

About the Artist – Boris Oskin

Boris Oskin was born in Moscow in 1935, but evacuated the city with his family during the German invasion. At the age of 15 he started work as a metalsmith at the famous “Pravda” newspaper plant in Moscow.  In 1952, he graduated from school with a gold medal for his artistic abilities. While his school directors urged him to pursue a career in painting, his practical grandmother persuaded him to become an architect. As an architect, Boris designed and supervised the construction of many important buildings around the world, including the Soviet Consulate in Goteborg, Sweden and the Soviet Embassy in Guyana. Boris’ free time was spent painting and sketching, completing a series of oils for the Gasevadholm Castle in Kungsbacka, Sweden.  Boris enjoyed working in oils, watercolors and sketches in graphite, drawing his inspiration from the local scene, wherever in the world his work and art took him.

Boris Oskin and Donald Jasinski met in 1974 at an architectural convention. After exchanging the traditional niceties of invitations to each others’ homes, Donald and Boris went their separate ways. They kept in touch through letters for a short period of time and Donald would send Boris and his wife cosmetics and toiletries that they were not able to get in their country. At some point, Boris went to work for the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the USSR and was no longer allowed to have contact with his friend Donald, sadly telling him so in a letter. Seventeen years later, in 1991, Boris reconnected with Donald after leaving the Foreign Affairs Ministry and asked for a formal invitation from Donald to visit the United States. The rest is history painted in the watercolors on display in “Impressions of the North Country.”

Margret and H.A. Rey, authors of the Curious George children’s books series and former summer residents of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, were artists and adventurers, historians and naturalists, gardeners and environmental stewards. Today their spirit lives on in the Margret and H.A. Rey Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the Reys’ legacy through art, science, and adventure programs for all ages. For more information please contact the Margret and H.A. Rey Center at 603-236-3308 or visit www.TheReyCenter.org.

About Jan Stearns

I've been living in and loving New Hampshire's White Mountains for most of my life. I moved to Waterville Valley in 1981 and quickly realized why it was dubbed a Yankee Shangri-la. Once you’ve experienced Waterville Valley, you’ll want to call it yours. The great team of Realtors at Waterville Valley Realty can help you find a Waterville Valley home that fits your lifestyle and budget. 1-888-987-8333.

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