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Nicholas Britsky

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Nicholas Britsky

(Weldirz, Ukraine, 1914 - 2005, Savoy, Illinois)

Nicholas Britsky was a Ukrainian-born artist who discovered his passion for art after immigrating to the United States. His father believed that America could provide a better life for his family. Sadly, five years after their arrival in New York, both of Britsky’s parents passed away, leaving him an orphan at the age of sixteen. Even so, he was able to attend Yale University, where he met Professor Rayhbone who Britsky regards as an influential figure in his career. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree as well as studying abroad, he accepted a position at the Art Faculty of Illinois. He was called away to serve in World War II, and resumed his teaching after returning home. As an artist and professor, Britsky received numerous fellowships, prizes, and commissions. His work was often done with oil on canvas, but when it comes to Britsky, it’s more the ‘why’ than the ‘how.’ There’s a story behind every piece of his work. Britsky explains, “I communicate my feelings, ideas, and values about life and try to do it convincingly and originally in my chosen medium.” This is exactly what he did in New Americans. His family had just come from a small, innocent town in Ukraine, and were now entering the frantic city of New York. While he painted a girl, rather than himself, Britsky expressed his memory of starting a new life in America through what he depicts on the canvas. New Americans is only one example of his many successes. He has had 68 major exhibitions across the nation and is represented in 62 collections. His achievements show that Britsky fulfilled the dream his father had for him.

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