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SOUTH BEACH: SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

Mission to Show Art by Russian Emigres

October 06, 1998|LINN GROVES

An art exhibit featuring the work of three generations of top Russian artist emigrants began this week at Mission San Juan Capistrano, in honor of its annual Russian Heritage Celebration.

"Russian Spirit" includes work by Nicolai Fechin (1881-1951), who immigrated to the United States during the Russian Revolution.

Other artists in the show include Sergei Bongart (1918-85) and Leonid Steele.

Bongart was born in Ukraine and painted in California in the latter part of his life. Steele lives in Los Angeles and his son, Alexey, also is a painter.

"These are some of the finest Russian artists living outside Russia," said Alexey Steele, a third-generation artist who helped coordinate the exhibit. "Their work represents the magnificent blending of Russian and American cultures."

The exhibit is curated by gallery owner Jeffery Morseburg and is part of the mission's annual celebration that culminates Saturday with Russian dancers and other entertainment from noon to 5 p.m. All of the events are free with admission to the mission. Information: (949) 248-2048.

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