Vadim Bora ©

Vadim BoraVadim Bora

  "In the end, life is quite short. What you leave behind is your legacy, and for an artist -- that is his soul poured onto canvas, sculpted into clay and stone." ~ Vadim Bora

  Internationally recognized sculptor and painter Vadim Bora, who passed from this mortal coil unexpectedly in January of 2011, leaves behind a legacy of masterful art, strength in community, and arts leadership in both his adopted American home of Asheville, North Carolina, and his hometown of Vladikavkaz, Russia.

  His work continues to carry the imprint of his ethnic Ossetian heritage of the Caucasus Mountains, mixed with the vitality and independence of the New World.

Born in Beslan, Russia, in the Republic of North Ossetia, April 9, 1954, Vadim Bora is an artist whose styles and media know no bounds. From oil landscapes, portraits, and allegorical narratives to emotive pen and ink line drawings, from fine silver engraving to monumental sculptures, Vadim's art reflects the multidimensionality of the artist, the person. He imbued even his simple subjects with studied philosophical meaning.

Vadim attended the Art Lycee and College of Art of Vladikavaz, as well as the acclaimed St. Petersburg Academy of Art and became a young member of the Artists Union of Russia. He arrived in Asheville in 1993, later awarded permanent residency by the US government under the coveted status of "Person with Extraordinary Abilities." (And in 2009 he elected to become a naturalized American Citizen.)

In 1998 he opened Vadim Bora Gallery & Studio in downtown Asheville, fostering others artists' careers by hosting local and international artist's exhibitions, some from as far afoot as Mongolia, Russia, Georgia, Bosnia, Cuba, and Italy. He and his wife Constance ran this unique second-floor gallery overlooking one of their town's busiest thoroughfares until his passing, as well as a second Vadim Bora Gallery in the Haywood Park Hotel (from 2001 to 2003). Vadim Bora's son Georgi of New York City and Vladikavkaz is also an artist.

Museums retaining Vadim Bora's paintings and sculptures in their permanent collections are: the Ministry of Culture Collection, Moscow, Russia; North Ossetia Museum of Art, Vladikavkaz, Russia; the Spartanburg Museum of Art, Spartanburg, SC; and the Anderson Arts Center, Anderson, SC.

Corporate collections include: the BBC, London, England; The Financial Times, London, England. Other public and private commissions by the artist are located in: Charlotte, NC; Moscow, Russia; Berlin, Germany; Amsterdam, Holland; St. Louis, MO; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Fort Wayne, IN; Indianapolis, IN; Atlanta, GA; Denver, CO; and Washington, D.C.

His public works of art grace the streets, museums and institutions of Asheville, Fort Wayne, Kansas City, Atlanta, and Vladikavkaz, Russia.

Vadim's last commission was the life-size bronze of "Cornelia and Cedric" on the famed Biltmore Estate, dedicated in September of 2010, resulting in many more significant commissions waiting in the wings. Indeed, Vadim had energy and ideas enough to last two lifetimes. "Cat Walk" on the Asheville Urban Trail, the veteran's memorial sculpture "The Wings of Freedom" at the Asheville VA Medical Center, a crucifix at St. Mary's Episcopal Parish, and a ten-piece sculpture grouping at the Reuters Mission Children's Hospital showcase Vadim's public artworks in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Always the teacher, Vadim instructed privately from his studio, cultivating many a young (and older) artist. He introduced portrait and figurative sculpture to the classical realist school, The Fine Arts League of the Carolinas, as its first portrait sculpture instructor, and there, a scholarship in his name has been established.

An 'exuberant expressionist' in art and in life, Vadim's personality was as vibrant as his paintings. He was a friend and mentor to many, with a big heart, a generous soul, and wise words. A voracious reader, a philosopher, and lover of intelligent debate, he did not suffer fools lightly but welcomed all into his studio ("the artist's kitchen" he called it) for a cup of tea and perhaps something stronger, gifting visitors with conversation and ebullient stories when taking a break from the easel.

A man of the world, Vadim was at ease in many cultures and strata of society, believing that art transcended language and differences. He is missed sorely by his family, scores of friends, colleagues, and many admiring collectors and patrons around the world -- who receive solace in knowing that the artist lives on through his art, in the lessons and inspiration he taught his students, and in collective and individual memory..

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