KINGSTON — Vyacheslav Shevchenko’s artwork once again is on display at Mainstreet Galleries — it’s his fourth major show at the venue — and every wall seems to showcase a different part of his personality.
Yes, here are the familiar landscapes from Frances Slocum State Park and the Seven Tubs Natural Area, local places Shevchenko loves to visit because they remind the Nanticoke artist of the forests of his native Uzbekistan.
Here too is a celebration of medieval Persian mathematician and poet Omar Khayyam. Shevchenko admires Khayyam’s poetry and has depicted pages of it flying up and away from a book, to show how it has influenced generations of people through the years.
Then there are the playful, dream-like images that seem to reflect, for example, a cloudy sky. Look closely at the wispy, white clouds and you’ll see the graceful heads of running horses emerge.
Equine evidence surfaces in the next painting too. And the next.
“Oh, I see one here,” gallery owner Sally Casey said, spotting yet another suggestion of a horse.
On another gallery wall, a five-painting series called “Love Story” details a journey from “Awakening” and “Stream” through “Passion,” “Tenderness” and “Birth,” culminating in a portrait of an infant.
And you’ll see an explosion of color in abstract pieces such as “Vortex” and “Remembering the Winter” and in semi-abstract pieces such as “Blazing Autumn.”
In his artist’s statement, translated from Russian by his wife, Diana Bekkerman, Shevchenko explains that he painted his abstract series, “Dreams,” when he was enduring “the worst, hardest, physical state I’ve ever been in.”
During an interview at Mainstreet Galleries, Shevchenko, 69, said he is feeling better now, but recently had a problem that involved fluctuating blood pressure.
Despite feeling physically weak, as if he were “between life and death,” he said he felt a surge of emotional strength that demanded to be expressed in his painting.
“I felt that my organism, everything inside me, wanted to live. Strange as it may sound, in that period I felt powerful energy moving through me,” Bekkerman translated for her husband. “Such a paradox — physical weakness and emotional power, power that allowed me to overcome everything.”
Casey, who proudly notes that Mainstreet Galleries is the main purveyor of Shevchenko’s art, said the public is welcome to attend the opening reception for “Dreams: An Exhibit of Abstract and Semi-Realistic Landscapes” from 6 to 9 p.m. today at the 370 Pierce St. establishment.
Shevchenko said he will be delighted to attend and discuss his art, with his wife facilitating the conversations, of course.
“The gallery is not just a place to sell paintings,” Bekkerman translated for Shevchenko. “It is a place of culture.”
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT.