Artist Petr Rudnev
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Petr Rudnev, who recently moved to Monument from St. Petersburg, Russia, teaches his acrylic painting techniques at Gallery 132. Every class he’s offered so far has been a sell-out.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Cunningham

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One of the great privileges of owning Gallery 132 is the chance to meet outstanding individuals and encourage them in their talents. One of the latest blessings has been getting to know Kimberly Crosby and her “adopted” son, Petr Rudnev.

Rudnev is a classically-trained artist. I asked him, via Crosby, some questions about bringing his love of art from Russia to the United States.

How were you drawn into the art world?

I loved drawing since early childhood. My parents encouraged me and my mother said I was drawing by the time I was walking. I also explored applied art, working with straw, dough, clay and basically whatever I could get my hands on.

What does art mean to

Russians?

Art is an integral part of life in Russia. It is evident in their clothing and jewelry and hairstyles. The love of art is ingrained in Russians from their early school years. There are many artists there who work on everything from classical painting to hand painting matryoshka dolls for tourists. There are also an abundance of world-class art galleries and museums.

How are you pursuing your art now that you live in the U.S.?

Living here allows me to do what I have always dreamed of doing: devoting myself to art. Presently I am using acrylic paints, but I have plans to branch out into a number of areas I have wanted to explore all of my life. America is freedom for me — freedom to pursue the art that has called to me since I was a small child in a remote village in Buryatia.

Petr teaches acrylic painting classes at Gallery 132, which are both a learning and cultural experience.

Jennifer Cunningham is the owner of Gallery 132 in Downtown Monument, where local artists display, sell and teach their craft. Gallery 132 was awarded The Gazette’s Gold award for 2018 Best of the Springs Best New Store. Contact her with questions at jennifer@gallery132.com.

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