The cover of this year’s VisitGreenvilleSC visitors guide will be graced by the artwork of Vladimir Demidovich, an immigrant who fell in love with Greenville like so many other Greenvillians have.
Demidovich came to the United States with his wife, Elena Kostiukova, in 2004 after winning the green card lottery to leave Kyrgyzstan. They first moved to Manchester, New Hampshire, where they found it was a little cold for their tastes and made their way to Greenville in 2007.
Demidovich has been an artist for his entire career. He attended art school in the Soviet Union and worked on public art projects to create mosaics, murals, and commercial posters. He was forced to push art to the wayside when the Soviet Union crashed, and he focused on business. “After the Soviet Union crashed, nobody needed or wanted art,” he explains.
When they came to America, he worked at a Sam’s Club and continued his art on the side, though he didn’t have much time to focus on art as they acclimated to American culture and worked to make ends meet. When they moved to Greenville, he worked at Walmart for a time, but finally took the plunge to work on his art full-time.
His impressionistic landscapes, portraits, and still lifes show his passion for bright colors and enhancing natural beauty. He primarily uses oils, pastels, and charcoal.
Demidovich didn’t start depicting scenes of Greenville in his work until it was suggested to him by a gallery owner in Greenville, who explained how popular scenes of downtown had become.
“Now I like to paint Greenville because I love this city,” he explains.
After applying last year for the visitors guide and not being chosen, he went ahead and submitted again, at his wife’s suggestion. While Demidovich was skeptical that he had been chosen, Kostiukova explained that an invitation to a VisitGreenvilleSC party was a dead giveaway.
“I’m very happy to have been chosen for this honor,” he says, adding that he doesn’t care too much for the attention and really just wants to focus on his painting. His goals are simple: “to live here and work, and make people happy with my bright pictures,” he says.
Demidovich has a permanent gallery at The Art Cellar in Greenville, as well as Bennetts’ Frame and Art Gallery. He has exhibited at Agora Gallery in New York City as well as other galleries around the Upstate.
Find more about Demidovich’s work at his website: http://www.demidoart.com/.