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Nikolai Vasilevich Ovchinnikov

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Nikolai Vasilevich Ovchinnikov

(1918 - 2004)

Nikolai Vasilevich Ovchinnikov was born in the Autumn of 1918 in Mizhuli, a region of Chuvashia, in the heartland of Russia. He completed his general studies at Kazan Art College in the early nineteen-thirties and from 1934-1937 studied at Alatyr Art College. In the late thirties he also went on to take preparatory courses at the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. He also studied at the St. Petersburg Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in a time when it was still called the Ilya Repin Leningrad Institute. This indicates his position as a socialist realist painter in the post-revolution art politics of Soviet-Russia. Competition for a place in this vaunted hall of academic art study was extremely fierce, and Ovchinnikov's winning a spot is a tribute to his talent. During his formal art training, Ovchinnikov was briefly interrupted by a six-year span of military service in the Soviet-Finnish War as well as World War II. After graduation he was active in Leningrad until 1959 before moving on to Cheboksary, much closer to his hometown. Ovchinnikov began exhibiting in 1944, and important shows include: "Soviet Russia" in Moscow during 1960. Later, Ovchinnikov became a teacher, training artists at the Repin Institute for a year before becoming a teacher trainer for over two decades. He was also the Chairman of the Chuvashian Artists' Union from 1961-1967, again from 1970-1973 and for a final time from 1976-1979.

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