Farewell, Vadim Bora

From Russia with love: Originally from the Caucasus Mountains, Bora moved to Asheville in ‘93 where he became a passionate advocate for the arts.

We at Xpress are deeply saddened by the loss of local painter, sculptor and gallery owner Vadim Bora.

The artist passed away on Jan. 6, following a massive stroke in late December. He was 56 years old.

A little bit about Bora, from his own website: "Unlimited in his ability to create in any media, master sculptor and painter Vadim Bora is owner and principal artist of Vadim Bora Galleries & Studio in Asheville. Originally from the republic of North Ossetia in Russia's Caucasus Mountains, Bora creates work that reflects the high standards found in classical and contemporary European techniques and traditions."

He had lived in Asheville since 1993, and his contributions to the local art scene included “Cat Walk” for the Asheville Urban Trail, “On the Mend” (a 10-piece life-sized figurative sculpture) for Mission Hospital’s Reuters Children’s Outpatient Center and, most recently, “Cornelia and Cedric” — a bronze sculpture of Cornelia Vanderbilt and Cedric, the Vanderbilt family dog — which was installed at the Biltmore Estate’s new Antler Hill Village visitor area and dedicated this past September.

Bora's paintings are no less impressive, as anyone who stopped by his Battery Park studio (open since 1998) could attest. Round figures and equally soft landscapes in earth tones are both whimsical and folkloric. Religious themes — angels, clergy — are tempered with warm humanity; the most mundane events — picking apples, keeping chickens — are heightened to golden moments, the paintings seeming to glow from within.

Bora himself seemed to glow, greeting visitors to his studio, generously pouring wine, encouraging us all to enjoy. At the final downtown art walk of 2010 (Friday, Dec. 3), I arrived at Bora's gallery to find it sparsely populated. Hearing voices from across the hall, I peeked into Bora's studio (which occupied the other half of the upstairs space at 30 1/2 Battery Park) and found that that's where the party was happening. Local artists and art enthusiasts crowded the space, talking, drinking wine and looking at Bora's works in progress. The artist himself was holding court, offering wine and trying to adjust the heat. There was nothing particularly special about the evening, and yet it felt like a grand celebration — a testament to the artist's all-too-short, but vividly-colorful life.

Vadim Bora leaves behind his wife, local journalist and author Constance Richards, and son, local artist Georgi Bora. He will be greatly missed.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

2 thoughts on “Farewell, Vadim Bora

  1. We moved Out ‘n About from 30 1/2 Battery Park to 28 1/2 Battery Park and Vadim moved into 30 1/2 when he first came to this country. We had the pleasure of knowing him and watching him grow as an artist. Once our son, Zach, was born, naturally he spent most of his younger years up at the office with us. When he began to toddle around, Vadim would come get Zach and take him over to his studio:

    “I’ve come to get Zackie to play. Zackie, you come play with my clay,” Vadim would announce, both of them happily skipping across the hall into Vadim’s wonderland of art. Two hours would pass and Vadim still had Zach in his studio. We’d go check to see if Vadim was ready to send the very active toddler back to us. “No, no, Zackie is fine. He’s doing art with me.”

    Sure enough, there’d be several pieces of squeezed clay or painted box tops that Zach had created under Vadim’s watchful and playful eye.

    Rest in peace Vadim. You will be missed.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.