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Beauty from Bulgaria: BSU hosts Talley Gallery Exhibit for Bulgarian artist

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BEMIDJI -- As students and art admirers walk about the Talley Gallery in BSU’s Bridgeman Hall, they’re now able to glance first hand the work of renowned Bulgarian artist Dimo Kolibarov.

Although Kolibarov wasn’t at the school year’s opening exhibit Thursday, BSU Art Instructor Natalia Himmirska and Talley Gallery Director Laura Goliaszewski gave a brief presentation during the opening of the exhibit about his artwork and explained how he came to be renowned throughout the art community.

“(He’s) one of the premier artists of Bulgaria, and we’re very fortunate to have his work here,” Goliaszewski said.

Kolibarov works at the National Academy of Art in Bulgaria, where he’s an associated professor of graphic design. Earlier in his career during the 1990s, Kolibarov also studied at the National Academy.

Even getting in the door at the elite school, though, was no easy task. During the exhibit, Himmirska told the story about how the artist attempted to get accepted by the school’s art program for six years before he finally was permitted to join.

As an artist, part of Kolibarov’s work draws on his homeland in eastern Europe.

“His work includes surreal images inspired by literature, myths and his life on the Black Sea in Burgas, Bulgaria,” a press release said. “His compositions are noted for the technical drawing ability, the exhibit, and for their use of complex forms and textures.”

Aside from the specific qualities of his work, Himmirska commented on Kolibarov’s ability to infuse his work with abstract qualities, such as emotions.

“All the works of Dimo are full of love to people, and nature and so on,” Himmirska said. “The human form remains to be the most challenging aspects for many artists’ works, (but) not for Dimo.”

Himmirska said it was a “rare privilege” for the gallery to display a European artist those from Bemidji might not otherwise be able to experience.  

Students from a number of different BSU classes attended the opening, some of which included Intro to design software, printmaking, and typography. The Talley Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.