Faculty and Staff Directory
|Title:||McMaster Gallery Director
|School of Visual Art and Design|
Olga Yukhno is the McMaster Gallery Director. She is a practicing artist, originally from Pyatigorsk, Russia. It was in Russia that her passion for art began. Inspired by the culture of her home country, she started by working with batiques, stained glass and enameling. She studied under the world renowned enamellist, Nikolai Vdovkin, for several years to hone her skills before moving to the United States in 2008.
In the US, she no longer had access to the tools needed to continue with her enameling, and quickly started expanding into any and every new medium she could get access to. What she fell in love with was ceramic sculpting. It allowed her to experiment, and fuse together old-world artistry with her skills and abilities across a wide variety of art forms to create totally new and unique mixed media pieces.
Over the years, Olga has traveled to over 40 countries across Eastern and Western
Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and visited museums ranging from the world famous
Louvre in France, to the smallest unnamed art displays in towns and villages few outsiders
have ever seen. It is in these travels she gets the most inspiration, drawing on the
uniqueness and culture of every new place she visits, she finds ways to incorporate
those cultural nuances into each new piece she makes. The colors, shapes, and ideas
of everything from tribal masks to modern street art can be seen woven into her work.
She loves juxtaposition in her art, old and new, lustrous and weathered, and it’s
in these contrasts she finds beauty.
Currently her work is a mixture of three dimensional ceramic and mixed media wall pieces, figurative sculpture, and larger scale installation works. The process used to create many of her signature looks is achieved by hand pressing each individual impression into the clay using small custom made metal tools. She hand makes all of these tools herself out of repurposed architectural metal scraps. She also loves to incorporate found objects, as well as utilize techniques from other art forms she’s studied and practiced, such as weaving, encaustic and metal working. The result of this process, different incorporated elements and techniques are what create her unique and visually interesting personal style. Her degree in psychology shapes the ideas and concepts behind many of her pieces, with the intention that observing her work encourages the viewer to think more about what they’re seeing, and the emotions it evokes.