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Talley Gallery Showcases Its First International Artist

By Kelsey Jacobson

The Talley Gallery brought in students from all over campus on Thursday, February 18 to see an artist that isn’t well known to Bemidji, MN. Natalia Himmirska, Associate Professor of Technology, Art, and Design, brought the Bulgarian artist Stefan Markov from Europe to a remote location, our own Bemidji State University, in order to share this with not only students, but the community as well.

“Well, the snacks got me in,” Aric Porter, a BSU senior majoring in Applied Engineering, said as he walked in the hallway of Bridgeman Hall and noticed the refreshments by the gallery. Porter’s curiosity also lead him to wondering what was new in the latest and greatest Talley Gallery.

Sarah Thooft, a BSU sophomore majoring in Creative Writing, stopped in to see the artist’s work for the first time.  Thooft described Markov’s paintings as aquatic based. Throughout the many years as a painter, Markov would hand make his own paper, which has made him become such a unique person within the art field—putting a staple to his name.

Photo by Kelsey Jacobson.
Photo by Kelsey Jacobson.

Himmirska wanted to bring the rich and artistic life of Bulgaria. Markov is the first international exhibition that has come to the new Talley Gallery. “I feel simply happy,” Himmirska said. She went on to say how Markov shows endless imagination within his paintings and has lived on after his death from cancer in 2000.

After viewing all of Markov’s artwork as an illustrator and contemporary artist, Porter was lost in the artist’s meaning. He was amazed by how Markov used precision and detail along with placement and composition within his many pieces of work over the years, which represents Markov’s growing up near the Black Sea and teaching in Bulgaria.

“It is foggy and really different,” Thooft said, as tried to study Markov’s endless beauty of colors and symbols within his paintings. Thooft commented on how his paintings are due to his elusive imagery of the ocean and how beautiful his paintings are at the same time.

Himmirska forgets about music when she looks at Markov’s nostalgic art he has created over the years.  When looking at Markov’s work, he truly was an artist that let his personality shine and reflect back onto the faces of others. Himmirska feels like her mission for Markov is complete.