Immigrant artist accepted to Art Basel Miami

by Diane Urbani 
Posted 11/29/23


Egor Shokoladov, one of Northwind Art’s local Artist Showcase program participants, has been accepted to Art Basel Miami, the gigantic art fair set for Dec. 6-10. 

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Immigrant artist accepted to Art Basel Miami



Egor Shokoladov, one of Northwind Art’s local Artist Showcase program participants, has been accepted to Art Basel Miami, the gigantic art fair set for Dec. 6-10. 

The south Florida event, considered the leading art festival in the Americas, will show work from 277 galleries around the world. Last year, organizers reported attendance of 76,000 people.

“We are very excited about this opportunity,” Shokoladov said through his interpreter, who is also his wife Alina. Shokoladov applied to Art Basel Miami on the advice of an art curator friend, Yuliya Sysalova, whom he got to know via Instagram. After seeing his work, Sysalova urged him to enter the huge fair. The Shokoladovs are now preparing to go together to Miami to present his artwork in the Synergy exhibition, one of the many shows at Art Basel Miami.

Shokoladov grew up in the small town of Grodno in Belarus, and received his master of fine arts degree at Yanka Kupala State University there. His native language is Russian; he’s in the process of learning English. 

The Shokoladovs moved to Port Angeles in 2020 when Alina, who is a pharmacist, took a position at the Rite Aid there. Alina had come to the U.S. when she accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington State University. 

Soon after arrival on the North Olympic Peninsula, the pair met Ken Hulick, manager at Northwind Art’s Jeanette Best Gallery. After seeing Shokoladov’s artwork — including his hand-colored etchings — Hulick invited him to apply to the juried Artist Showcase program. 

Shokoladov has had his work at Jeanette Best Gallery, 701 Water St., ever since. 

“People stop in their tracks when they see his creations,” said Northwind Art communications manager Diane Urbani. 

“Sometimes they laugh out loud, or they just say, ‘Wow,’ and call their friends over to see it,” she added. 

The Artist Showcase program displays the work of 24 local artists. This is the first time one has been accepted into an art festival on the scale of Art Basel Miami, Hulick said. 

“Egor’s work has an Old World sensibility. Yet the whimsical nature and superb execution stand out and speak to today's collectors,” he noted. Shokoladov has eight of his hand-colored etchings in the Showcase gallery. In the adjacent room, in Northwind Art’s juried show titled “Small Expressions,” he has “Hoo,” his etching of an owl beneath a starry sky.  

“I am particularly inspired by humor,” Shokoladov, 33, said, adding he seeks to “bring positive vibes into the world.” His style “has noticeable European shade, as I am a recent immigrant.”  

Shokoladov pieces on view at Northwind's gallery include “Newton,” his comical image of a worm connected to the apple that helped Isaac Newton discover gravity. Then there’s “Lepidopterist,” a scene of a butterfly collector with a collector of humans standing behind him. Nearby, “Sleepwalker” pictures a figure walking high above a town, the golden crescent moon at his back. 

Hulick, for his part, said he’s delighted to be able to continue sharing Shokoladov’s work at the gallery in Port Townsend. 

"It’s sometimes hard to quantify ‘talent,’” he added, “but Egor is one of the most talented artists I've seen in my decades of gallery work – his vision, technique, and artistic sensibilities are rare today.”