Farewell, Vadim Bora

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

An announcement was made this morning, by his studio, that the artist passed away following a massive stroke in late December. He was 56.

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, NC. 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 the Vanderbilt family dog Cedric — 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 darting around, 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 food writer 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.

13 thoughts on “Farewell, Vadim Bora

  1. reasonable

    So long, Vadim, my friend. You will be sorely missed by all who knew you and your infectious zest for living and life. I’ll always cherish each piece of your work and never forget you. The world is a far better place for having you in it.

    ?? ????????

  2. contentpersephone

    rest in peace, Vadim. You lived an amazing life and left so much behind for us to enjoy.

    Deepest condolences to Vadim’s family.

  3. CAAF

    I was shocked and saddened to learn this news. Downtown won’t be the same without Vadim. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

  4. lovethebard

    What a beautiful legacy Vadim left behind for the rest of us to enjoy for years to come. All love and condolences to Constance and family.

  5. ashevillain7

    Is the “Cat Walk” Urban Trail sculpture the one on Wall Street? That has always been one of my favorites.

  6. James P. Fisher

    Vadim was a fixture downtown, a graceful presence, a truly talented and accomplished artist and friend to all. My deepest condolences to Constance, family and friends.

  7. Joseph Malki

    ??? ????? ??????! My deepest condolences to Constance, family and friends.

  8. Susan Andrew

    He was a true talent. I’ll always wonder what fine thing he might have created next…can’t help feeling like his muse still lingers right around the corner…

  9. Sue Pritchett

    Vadim took me on as a student when I moved to Asheville several years ago. What a precious, meaningful, helpful and fun time that was. I feel sure that he as already transformed his next world.

    Thank you Constance for sharing his memorial service with all of us.

    Sue Pritchett

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.