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Imitation of life
Barton art student has painting accepted in national exhibit
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"Day and Night" by Barton Community College student Petr Grigorev, has been chosen for inclusion in a national exhibit. Grigorev came to Barton on a tennis scholarship and discovered his love of art. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO


A painting by Barton Community College student Petr Grigor’ev has been accepted for the National Watercolor Society’s 90th Annual Open Exhibition.

The show begins Oct. 30 and continues through Dec. 11 at the NWS headquarters in San Pedro, Calif.

Grigor’ev, 21, was a business major with a tennis scholarship when he came here from Vladivostok, Russia, in 2007. Then he enrolled in one of art instructor Steve Dudek’s classes.

"He just took the class as an extra class, for fun," Dudek said. "He had a lot of talent."

Dudek said Grigor’ev has also taken photography courses at Barton, and has collected a number of American images to incorporate into his paintings. Everything from the architecture of Houston freeways to the natural formations at Mushroom Rock State Park in nearby Ellsworth County may find their way into his paintings.

Grigor’ev has continued to study art at Barton for the last three years. He has been accepted to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, where he hopes eventually to study, but he’s staying in Great Bend for one more semester. Now working as a tennis instructor, he continues to paint and to enter juried exhibitions while working on attaining U.S. citizenship.

His painting that was accepted by the jury of selection for the NWS exhibit is titled "Day and Night." In this surrealistic piece, the sun and moon appear above and below a world of checkerboard floors and other geometric shapes. "It was my first ‘dimensional’ artwork," he said.

Dudek said being accepted for the NWS exhibit is a major achievement. Each year there are about 1,500 entries, and only 100 can be accepted. Along with acceptance in the exhibition comes an invitation to submit additional paintings to be reviewed by the NWS jury. If these works meet the standards of quality and consistency required by the NWS, Grigor’ev will be eligible to become a Signature Member of the society.

Grigor’ev credits Dudek for encouraging and challenging him as his work evolves. "I didn’t do any art before I came here," he said. "Steve Dudek kind of inspired me to do something different. He’s still pushing me."