December 16, 1980 |
|Education||MFA degree from University of Memphis; B.A. in art from Arkansas State University; National Academy of Art of Ukraine|
|Notable work(s)||The Zone ("2010 Freedom to Create Prize" global touring exhibition)|
|Awards||The 2010 Highly Commended Artists of UN Freedom to Create Prize|
Christina Kushch-Katrakis (Ukrainian: Христина Анатоліївна Кущ-Катракіс, December 16, 1980) — is an American and European artist, art historian, modern art critic, and curator.
Early life and family
Christina Katrakis was born on December 16, 1980 in Kyiv, Ukrainian SSR, former Soviet Union. Her father is a renown sculptor Anatoliy Kushch, the author of many historical monuments around the world as well as various localities in Ukraine (e.g., Kyiv’s Independence Square). Of Ukrainian and Greek ancestry. Her great-great-grandfather Xenophon Katrakis was an icon and church painter from Crete. Her mother Helen Pilkevich Kushch is an ethnographer and an art historian of Polish-Georgian descent.
Christina is a survivor of the Chernobyl disaster. She was 6 when the nuclear reactor failed and staying in a village family's summer home some 15 miles away from Chernobyl. "We were evacuated a week later, but by then I was severely radiated and developed a tumor in my throat. I spent nearly 2 years recovering from the surgery, but the radiation affected my body forever," said Christina. Later she created work "to confront issues that haunt her in memory of that event and the premature death of her first child." Her son Kimon lived only 10 days.
Her father's work brought her to the U.S., and Christina was educated at schools in Washington, D.C. (English International Language Institute, 1992-1993), Maryland (Glen Echo Art School, 1993) and Chicago (St. Nicholas Catholic School, 1993-1994). In 1994-1998 she studied at the Shevchenko State Art School, Kyiv (gold medal).
Then she studied at the renowned The National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture of Ukraine (1998-2000) and at courses on history and archeology (Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv), as well as at various art, art history, anatomy courses in Europe, where she taught drawing, figure structure, watercolor and oil painting (Sorbonne — Paris, France) and Lorenzo de' Medici School in Florence, Italy (1996-1998).
She later earned her M.F.A degree in Studio Arts from the University of Memphis (May 2005, Jed Jackson thesis director).
- Graduate assistant and instructor of painting, Arkansas State University (2002-2003)
- Graduate assistant and instructor of figure structure, University of Memphis (2004)
- Instructor of figure structure, painting, water color and drawing, Department of Art, University of Memphis, USA (2005)
- President and instructor of Art and Art History, Kallista Academy
- Instructor of art and art history, Brooks Museum
- Researcher, editor and illustrator for Chernobyl, a project sponsored by the United Nations Nuclear Security Agency, Vienna, Austria (1999)
- Extensive travel and work in Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland, Georgia, Jordan and Egypt.
- "The Zone" ("2010 Freedom to Create Prize" global touring exhibition)
- "Khartographia: Mapping it Out". Milos Gallery, Milos Island, Greece (2011).
- St. Nicholas Cathedral (murals, forthcoming), St. Nicholas Cathedral, Milos, Greece (2010).
- Christ Pantokator (altar-piece). St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, U.S. (2007).
- Two large panels, commissioned by the Museum of the Ukrainian Orthodox Consistory, Bound Brook, NJ (2002).
- Portraits of Presidents Leonid Kuchma and Leonid Kravchuk, Victor Yushchenko (then Prime-Minister), and other prominent individuals (1998-2000).
- Vatican commission (painting of The Mary of the Lilies for Pope John Paul II), on behalf of St. Alexander's Catholic Cathedral, 1998.
- Murals (fresco) commissions, Ligurian Coast, Italy (1998).
- Give a Voice to Children Charitable Foundation.
- 2013: No Man is an Island, — Lviv, Ukraine.
- 2010: Prism, — Memphis Botanic Garden.
- 2008: Into the Luminous Future, — Washington DC.
- 2008: Ukrainiano vero, — Kyiv, Ukraine.
- 2005: Her Odyssey, World in Monochrome, Dinner with Sappho, Volume I — The University of Memphis.
- 2004: Politically Erect — Delta Axis at Marshall Arts Gallery, Memphis, TN.
- 2004: The Icon, Harvest of Sorrow — The University of Memphis.
- 2004: The Steppe, Book Illustration.
- 2003: Odyssey, 1st Prize, 21st Annual Juried Student Exhibition — The University of Memphis.
- 2003: Eat, Eat!, One of a kind children’s book.
- 2003: Basil, One of a kind children’s book.
- 2002: Katrakis Pot, Cook-book illustrations.
- 2002: Atlantis, presentation: reconstruction of the ancient Minoan milieu: murals, sculpture, ceramics, installation, costumes, dance, music CD, perfumes, and video-documentary, —Arkansas State University.
She worked as a curator with major museums, private art collections, galleries and auctions, such as Christie's Fine Art Auction, the Voronov collection, and the Mironova Gallery. In addition, she has worked as curator of some events and programs at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Chicago UMIA Museum of Modern Art, and Paris Museum of Modern Art. She has also worked with such galleries as Opera Gallery, Ana Tzarev Gallery (NY), Benaki Gallery Athens, and many others around the world. She is a founder of "World Tracker" Global Travel & Philanthropy Blog.
"The question they ask me often when I have shows abroad is, 'Do you consider yourself an American artist or a Memphis artist or Ukrainian, Greek or European?' And I hate that because I think a real artist should belong to the world." – Christina Katrakis.
- 2011-2012: Dark Path Chronicals, film artist, Hollywood feature film and TV series, director Mary Lambert (Hollywood, Los Angeles and Berlin, Germany).
- 2012: Passion Creation, film artist, script, idea, story, short film Italian production by Mauro Calevi (Rome, Italy), director Manfredo Leteo (Milan, Italy), Stefano Bini director of photography (Florence, Italy).
- 2012: Work as a project artist, manager, co-producer with the PBS channel, U.S. and the Renaissance Center.
Comes from a family with a rich heritage and background: maternal grandfather – last king of Georgia and Armenia (Bagrationi and Dadiani royal lines) and royal prince of Lithuania (Yagailo Gedimin royal line) – Simon Bagration Dadiani Gedimin Pilke, his grandmother on paternal line was Isabella of Savoy from royal family of Savoy kings of Piemonte and Sardinia. Maternal grandmother – the countess of Poland and Ukraine, granddaughter of countess Evelina Hanska the wife of Honoré de Balzac.
- 2010 Freedom to Create Prize: Highly Commended Entries
- Christina Katrakis. Freedom to create. Main Prize — Commended 2010
- Freedom to Create. Christina Katrakis. "Chernobyl Harvest" Painting
- "Ukrainiano vero" catalog
- Christina Kushch-Katrakis
- NeoSymbolism: Bridges to the Unknown, May 2010, Published by Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, USA
- Bill Ellis. Touched by tragedy of Chernobyl, artist's work radiates power
- About the artist
- From Hollywood stars to Kyiv, 2011/02
- Give a Voice to Children
- Мистецьке об'єднання Арт Леміш(Ukrainian)
- JanFeb MM 2010 - Midsouth Magazine
- Kushch to present multi-dimensional senior art exhibit, featuring Minoan culture / News from Arkansas State University For Release: July 5, 2002
- «World Tracker» Global Travel & Philanthropy Blog
- Learn more about the artist. Christina Katrakis
- Neo-Symbolism: Bridges to the Unknown at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, by Robin Dluzen - Art Talk Chicago. - 2010/06
- Explosive Talent. A Chernobyl survivor brings her art and insights to Memphis, by Marilyn Sadle. – 2009/12
- best overall / Story By Mike Overall - Jonesboro Occasions. The city magazine - February 2009
- The picture of the world. Free look
- Arts Memphis TV presents Christina Katrakis
- Artist Christina Katrakis dailymotion.com