‘Minnesota Nice’ meets Russian artWhen Yuliya Podlinnova and Artem Moldovantsev visited Two Harbors under a work exchange program in 2003 they were expecting little more than a cultural experience.
By: Holly Henry, Lake County News Chronicle
When Yuliya Podlinnova and Artem Moldovantsev visited Two Harbors under a work exchange program in 2003 they were expecting little more than a cultural experience.
What they got, however, was a second home.
The two Russian artists found themselves embraced by the community, and have felt themselves drawn back ever since.
And, while their teaching techniques are sought after in metropolitan areas such as Chicago, the artists would rather spend the majority of their time in America on the North Shore. The pair recently returned to Two Harbors to spend the summer and teach their craft to area children and adults.
“We have traveled in the United States as far as Chicago and New York,”
Podlinnova said. “Wherever we have gone people say that Minnesota is the nicest state, and we tell them that Two Harbors is the nicest place in the nicest state. We have never felt more welcome or more at home, no matter where we have visited.”
While in Two Harbors Podlinnova and Moldovantsev are staying with Caroline and Harold Brown, whom they’ve developed a close friendship with. They are also making the rounds to eat dinner with other friends, including Gary Docherty, owner of Harbor Antiques.
“We love American food,” Moldovantsev said. “Just real meals though, not what you call fast food.”
Docherty said the Russian visitors endeared themselves to area residents on their very first trip and have been back several times since.
“There were lots of tears when they left
the first time and there was a real uncertainty whether they would ever be able to return,” he said. “We feel fortunate to have them back and to be able to share their culture and ours.”
Podlinnova and Moldovantsev will be teaching their art techniques at the Two Harbors Art Center throughout the summer.
“These classes are for beginners and experienced artists alike,” Podlinnova said. “They offer the opportunity to learn different techniques through a variety of mediums, while practicing the basics of traditional Russian painting schools.”
Adult classes are held Tuesdays from 10 a.m. until noon. Children’s classes are on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until noon and 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Cost is $10. For further information call (936) 371-9397.
Their art is also on display at Harbor Antiques.