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Olexa Bulavitsky (1916 - 2001)
Olexa Bulavitsky was born on October 8th 1916 in Uman, Ukraine. He received private tutoring under Professor Yarovy, one of the areas master painters. Bulavitsky attended the Odessa Art School, the Kyiv Art Institute and the Leningrad Academy of Art. Prior to World War II, he worked in the Kyiv Movie studios and in theatres where he designed sets and painted backgrounds for operas and the world famous Bolshoi Ballet.
After the Germans invaded his country, he was sent to a prison work camp. After several years, as the war was winding down, he decided to escape. In full view of his guards he walked out of the potato field where he was working, toward a row of trees, expecting to hear the shot of a rifle and feel a bullet tearing into his back. He had seen other prisoners killed. But the shot never came. He walked away.
After the war, his paintings were exhibited in Ukraine as well as in Munich, Regensburg, Elwangene, Paris and Amsterdam. He emigrated to the United States in 1950, settling in Minneapolis. At first he worked for various architects doing renderings of building projects. His superb sense of color and impressionistic brush strokes gained the admiration of many collectors and fellow artists.
He exhibited in New York, Detroit, Winnipeg, and Toronto as well as Rapid City, Moorhead, St. Paul and Minneapolis. Olexa Bulavitsky died in Minneapolis in 2001.