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RUSART'S TEAM

Our team of professional artists and experienced instructors

WHY

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AWARDS

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TESTIMONIALS

SAMMY BROWNS
CFO, Perfect Inc.

“Credibly innovate granular internal or "organic" sources whereas high standards in web readiness.

Elena, Nahum Leroy (Perelman)

ART INSTRUCTOR

Elena was born and spent most of her life in St. Petersburg, Russia - a city of artists, ballet and music, or a cultural capital of Russia as most people say. For example, in St. Petersburg it’s a common practice to skip classes being not at club, but in Hermitage or art galleries.

Although Elena was interested in arts from childhood, she got Master’s Degree in finances and built a good career in investment area in Russia: she was an author and an editor of several text-books printed for universities and professional educational centers, had a department under supervision, and was a well-known expert on mutual funds.

However, in 2005 Elena started learning academic drawing and painting and her life started turning into another way. So, in 2009, when Elena moved to Canada and settled in Vancouver, she decided to quit finances and devote herself to the arts. The same year Elena opened an art studio for children and adults under RUSART Fine Arts name.

While Elena likes to take advantages of every medium she prefers painting in watercolours and oils. Since oil is very deep and complex medium, every day Elena enjoys painting and learning something new. Started as a realist she’s gradually moving to surrealism and imagination painting creating her own world full of colours, love and energy.

What is my method of teaching and what to expect at classes with me?

I’m sure that if you decided to take art classes you’re already an artist and my role is to help you to find yourself. Art is not a science and what works for science and math will not work here. Yes, we have some rules to follow and some theory to know, but it doesn’t mean you should always follow the rules. You can find mistakes in master pieces by Michelangelo, Eduard Manet, Edgar Degar and many other famous artists. If you can’t I’ll help to find. Your soul, not rules, brings a picture to life and makes it look remarkable. So, I’m trying to work with everyone individually and help find students their own style and a way of painting.

We choose a project together that matches your tastes and skills and I’ll tell you step-by-step how to start a project and explain basics of composition, perspective and mixing colours.

As nowadays art styles are so different I’ll offer you some that would work better for a chosen project. The more projects you make with me the more styles and techniques you’ll learn. My goal is to introduce as many styles and techniques as possible, so in the future you can choose what fits you better. Even if you find this or that style too challenging or not very suitable to your personality, at least you tried it and made a choice. As everything start with academism (realism), I demonstrate it first.

Sometimes you’ll be asked to start painting or drawing what you see, with no instruction for a short time, but with a feedback from me. I know, it sounds frustrating, but only this helps develop your observation skills, wake up your mind, reveal your artistic personality, and eventually will make you independent from me as a teacher. I’ll explain all mistakes (if any) made and what to pay attention to in the future. If a painting implies repetition you may be offered to do repetitive things at home, if you have time and space for this. Yes, I’m trying to save your classroom time.

I’ll show how to use materials, how to mix colours and how to make your painting look more alive. The more classes you’re taking the more you’ll learn about how colours work together. I don’t overwhelm with mixing colours information at the beginning. As all pigments are different, I’ll show, for example, which red and blue give you purple and which ones give you brown. Also, I’m explaining difference between different kinds of colours (like zinc white and titanium white etc.) and when and how to use them.

I’m not painting for you. If something doesn’t look the way you expect, next time, with more experience, you’ll achieve better results.

All these are the same for both kids and adults. Of course, with kids we do that at their level, but principles are the same.

My students get awards, participate in art shows in Greater Vancouver and even sell their paintings! Yes, you can become a successful artist too. It involves a lot work, but it worth it. I have 8 years of experience teaching classes at different levels and I’ve worked with over 700 adults and children.

If everything sounds like what you're looking for, welcome to my classes in New Westminster and in South Surrey!

Exhibitions and art shows: 2010 - (group) Positively Petite, Place des Arts, Coquitlam
2011 - (individual) Vancouver Media Art, Vancouver
2011 - (individual) New Westminster Cultural Crawl
2011 - (individual) West End Community Center, Vancouver
2011 - (group, juried) Positively Petite, Place des Arts, Coquitlam
2012 - (group) Art Square, New Westminster
2012 - (group) Visual Verse - 2012, New Westminster
2012 - (group) Elemental Show, New Westminster
2013 - (group) Visual Verse - 2013, New Westminster
2014 - (group) New Westminster Cultural Crawl, New Westminster
2014 - (group, juried) Wonderland, North Vancouver Art Council, CityScape Art Gallery
2016 - (group, juried) Van Gogh museum exhibition at Oakridge Centre, 1st place award, Vancouver
2016 - (group) Art Squared, New Westminster Art Council
2016 - (group, juried) Positively Petite, Place des Arts, Coquitlam
2016 - (group) Fall Classic Art Show, Rusart Fine Arts Co., New Westminster
2016 - (group) Slavic Gala, UBC, Vancouver
2017 - (group) Art Squares, Gallery in the Park, New Westminster
2017 - (group) Local Abstraction (Semiahmoo Arts), Surrey
2017 - (group, juried) Below 40 (Federation of Canadian Artists), Vancouver
2017 - (group) Anonymous art show, North Vancouver
2018 – (group) Hycroft Art Gallery, Vancouver
2018 – (solo, juried) Art on Display, White Rock Community Center
2018 - (group, juried) Aquarelle at Pastel (Federation of Canadian Artists), Vancouver
2018 - (group) Local Abstraction (Semiahmoo Arts), Surrey

Margo (Margarita) Poliakova

ART INSTRUCTOR

Margo (Margarita) Poliakova, originally from Kemerovo, Russia, is a professional artist and an interior designer. She loves different mediums, such as oils, watercolours, acrylics, pastels, and pencils. From 2007 to 2010, she was a member of International Art Union � 'Sodruzhestvo', and participated in various art exhibitions.

Having graduated Russian State Professional Pedagogical University with major in Interior Design, she moved to Vancouver in 2010. In 2013, she received a Diploma of Technology in Interior Design at British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Currently, Margarita is practicing interior design and teaches students at RUSART School. She commissions and sells her artworks to colleagues and friends. Also, she enjoys snowboarding, dancing, hiking, and camping.

Joseph D'Silva

ART INSTRUCTOR

Joseph D'Silva is a Vancouver based Watercolour Landscape Artist. He has been drawing and painting for over 10 years and his passion for landscapes is very evident in his watercolour landscapes.

Joseph's love for watercolours began in Goa, India where he studied Art at the Goa College of Art. Prior to coming to Canada in 2005 he spent a few years drawing and painting in Goa where he remembers having fond memories of painting Landscapes in villages with boats and seascapes and the beautiful Goan Architecture in watercolours. He also has experience painting in various other mediums like oils, acrylics, pen and inks but till this day finds himself passionate about watercolours.

Over the years Joseph's work has been actively acquired by buyers from USA, Canada, United Kingdom and France. He has also taught classes to the local community, illustrated one children's book and a cookbook. Joseph also works as a Graphic/Web Designer and Developer for a digital agency and with Art these days he finds himself painting many travel destinations from all over the world in watercolours.

M With all of his experiences he hopes to impart all of his knowledge and skills to other budding Art students here at Rusart. He wishes you to stay passionate about Art and hopes to see you in one of his classes. 

Kira Sokolovskaia

ART INSTRUCTOR

Kira was born in Moscow, Russia. She graduated from Stroganov Moscow State Academy of Visual and Applied Arts in 2011, with major in graphic arts. She moved to Burnaby in 2013 and in 2014 and became a member of Burnaby Artists Guild, where she is displaying her artworks every 6 months.

In 2017 Kira became a member of Pastel Artists of Canada. Kira lives with her husband and two children in Burnaby, BC.

Kira's focus is nature and still lives. Her drawings are full of light, life and colours.

Elvira Kravenkova

ART INSTRUCTOR

Elvira Kravenkova is a Port Moody based Canadian artist, a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and Vancouver Life Drawing Society.

Elvira is a regular participant of Canadian and international juried art shows, and a finalist or a winner of many of them. She got formal education in Fine Arts and Medicine, which makes her a perfect teacher, equipped with knowledge of psychology, the science of education, and developmental psychology and Fine Arts. Elvira’s teaching experience goes back to the 1990s. Her teaching methods arr based on age and abilities of each student. For little kids it is teaching through play, while for older kids and adults it is a structured program, when students work on projects chosen based on their skills, strengths and weaknesses.

Elvira graduated Art school in Russia, then studied arts with Anatoliy Badriashwilli, an internationally recognized artist and educator, and later with Mandy Boursicot in her Atelier in Vancouver. She continues learning through different master classes and courses with artists from all over the world, including Art Academy level courses (you can see Elvira’s works on her web page).

Her training in art and medicine helps her use both types of education in teaching. Elvira’s approach to her students depends on each student’s age, experience and personal goals.

For kids, approach is age-based: younger ones are instructed while they work on the project of their choice, for older kids, she uses more structured approach where they start with foundations of drawing and move to more complicated tasks.

For adults, her teaching approach is totally goal-based. If the student wants to have fun or just copy a painting, or use a photo for his/her own painting, it is done with a lot of help and instructions. If an adult student wants to go through traditional training, the program takes him/her through basics and then the student’s skills are developed further to the level of human figure drawing and painting.

Ekaterina Vopiyashina

ART INSTRUCTOR

Ekaterina Vopiyashina was born and grew up in Russia, Volgograd. Vopiyashina studied academic drawing and painting at several art studios in Moscow. She moved to Calgary, Alberta in 2015 to pursue BFA degree from Alberta University of the Arts (formerly ACAD), and completed her studies in 2019 with major in Print Media. Ekaterina works in traditional printmaking techniques (etching, silkscreen, relief, lithography) but also interested in painting, drawing and illustration. Her fine arts prints were exhibited in Canada, USA, Germany and Serbia. Ekaterina currently exploring themes of femininity in contemporary society and relations between personality and appearance.

Education: BFA with Distinction, Alberta University of the Arts (formerly ACAD), major in Print Media, 01.2015-05.2019

Art shows:

  • Hybridization, The Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse, Edmonton, December 1, 2018 - February 3, 2019
  • It never ends, Galerie Gaulin, Calgary, November 3-16, 2018
  • Just some prints, Galerie Gaulin, Calgary, February 24 -March 9, 2018
  • The 9th Annual President’s Student Art + Design Exhibition, AUArts, Calgary, February 2019-January 2020
    Southern Graphics Conference, Dallas, USA, March 6-9, 2019 (New Impressions winners)
  • Sawtooth Gallery in Winston-Salem, NC, USA, Spring 2019 ((New Impressions winners)
  • The Metropolitan State University of Denver, USA, Print Exchange Exhibition, January 2019
  • 3rd Print Biennial Graphic CACAK (Serbia), October 11-November 05, 2018
  • Mini Prints Berlin 2018, Galleri Heike Arndt DK - Berlin (Germany), November 2018-March 2019
  • How to work a room, The Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts, RBC Emerging artists show, Edmonton, August 2018
  • Southern Graphics Conference, Las Vegas, USA, April 2018
  • Sawtooth Gallery in Winston-Salem, NC, USA, April 23-May 24, 2018
  • Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, Print Exchange Exhibition, January 2018
  • Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary, Print Department Exhibition, March 2017, 2018
  • Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary, Show and Sale ACADSA exhibitions, participating and volunteering 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Awards and Scholarships:

  • New Impressions Printmaking Competition 2018, 3rd place in the Screen Printing category;
  • Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) 2018 Art Showcase, 1st place in Sculpture, Textile, Mixed Media, & Printmaking category;
  • New Impressions Printmaking Competition 2017, 2nd place in the Intaglio/Etching category;
  • Participant at 2018 RBC Emerging Artist Project at the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Art Board of Governors graduating students scholarship, Print Media department, 2019

In 2017 Kira became a member of Pastel Artists of Canada. Kira lives with her husband and two children in Burnaby, BC.

Kira's focus is nature and still lives. Her drawings are full of light, life and colours.

Alexander Surkoff

ART INSTRUCTOR

Alexander Surkoff was born in Barnaul, Russia. In 1996 he graduated from Repin State Academic Institute of Painting Sculpture and Architecture. Member of The Union of Russian Artists. Although Alexander is mostly focused on graphics, his painting in his exceptional style is amazing.

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