Welcome To East European Art Gallery MarkovCo!
We are a family Portland art gallery. We immigrated to the United States in 2014 with a dream to meet everybody with unique contemporary Russian artists. Everyone of us in one way or another is working in the world of arts and creativity, from artists and crafters to writers and musicians. In 2016, we established MarkovCo Gallery with a dream to become something special.
Our origins come from northern Russia in the place called Kargopol. In modern days Kargopol is a quiet but historical town adjoining the Kenozersky National Park. It is best known in Russia for Kargopol toys (Kargopolskiye igrushki), which are small, simple clay figures painted in a traditional style. Once it was the most significant trade center of Bjarmaland throughout the 13th and 14th centuries. Situated on the ancient route between Moscow and Arkhangelsk (at that time, the only Russian seaport), Kargopol became one of the most prosperous cities of Russia. There in November 1933, the founder of the art-path of our family was born, my grandmother, Nadezhda Markova.
She was born with endless energy and a desire to explore and discover everything around her. In childhood, she was one of few children to have enough courage and curiosity to travel 4 miles through forest and bogs everyday to go to the school. From 1960 to 1990, Nadezhda worked as a teacher in Arkhangelsk, organized hundreds of expeditions with her students among abandoned villages, collecting ancient craft, folktales and legends which were kept only through word of mouth. She established a museum of folk art and craft and wrote two books. Today she lives in Severodvinsk, a town on the shore of the White Sea, and still she is tirelessly crafting and always learning something new.
Nadezhda’s daughters, Ludmila and Elena, were inspired by her to take the artistic path and both carried their heritage through their lives to pass it on to the next generations. Ludmila, after graduating from the art university, chose to bring more colors to a cold gray military city and founded the first Art school, where she has helped hundreds of children to develop their talents and uniqueness. Ludmila today runs this school. Elena, being a more creative person and much less organized, decided to be an artist and traveled to the Moscow region and attended the Abramzevo Art College which was known as the best College to learn traditional craft, and the most free and open thinking students in late 1980’s in the USSR. There, Elena spent 5 unforgettable years studying ceramic, and then took her own journey to find herself as an artist. From the 1990’s to present, Elena was creating her own universe in her imagination and freezing some moments on the canvases to share her innerworld with people.
From four Elena’s and Alexey’s sons, Trifon and Vasily, сontinued the family tradition of artists and crafters and attended the same Abramzevo College as Elena did 20 years prior. Now we have a dream to create biggest Russian Art gallery in USA and help everybody around the world to meet contemporary russian artists and craftsmen.
Today we are happy to invite you to visit our Portland art gallery “MarkovCo Gallery” as part of the ESL Gallery Association. All of us are very thankful for this opportunity to keep and share with people our history and traditions. In our gallery you will find not only unique art and craft by our family, but also many other modern Russian artists and crafters. We also have art workshops, live music performances, movie nights, and much more coming.
Thank you for your time and interest in our family journey. We appreciate your time.