Andrei Kushnir grew up in Mississippi and Chicago. Always interested in art, he was a cartoonist for The Chicago Illini, the student newspaper of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has been a full-time painter since 1980 with a particular focus on the American landscape rendered en plein air (painting out of doors). He is particularly well known for his plein air paintings of the Potomac River and C&O Canal, both near his Maryland home, but he has also painted throughout the United States, particularly Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and Crooked Run Valley; the shorelines of Maine, New York, Cape Hatteras, and Florida's Gulf Coast; Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona; and New Zealand, Italy, and the Netherlands.
His works have been exhibited widely in numerous juried and invitational shows throughout the United States, often selected by judges who were curators at major art museums. His paintings are in the permanent collections of the Virginia Historical Society, U.S. Coast Guard, University of Maryland, Museum of Florida's Art and Culture, and District of Columbia's Commission of Arts and Humanities, among others. And the artist has had solo exhibitions at the Virginia Historical Society, where he was the first living artist accorded such an exhibit; Taylor and Sons Fine Art, of Washington, D.C.; Rehoboth (Delaware) Art League; Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, VA, where, in 2016, he was the first living artist accorded such an exhibit; Museum of Florida's Art and Culture, South Florida State College, Avon Park, FL; James Madison University's Duke Gallery of Fine Art; and Capitol Hill Art League, Washington, D.C.
Kushnir is a signature member of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, and he is also an elected member of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters, of Washington, D.C., and the Salmagundi Club, of New York City. He is a member of Oil Painters of America and the Blue Ridge Arts Council, of Front Royal, Virginia. He is also an Official U. S. Coast Guard Artist.
Kushnir is the author of seven publications of his work: Oh, Shenandoah: Paintings of the Historic Valley and River (2016), River Visions (2013), Painted Seasons (2010), Potomac River School (2009), Painted History (2004), American Light (2001), and My River (1999). Kushnir's paintings have also appeared in Rock Creek Park (2003) and Along the Potomac: Images of America (2000). Articles about Kushnir and his work have been published in The Washington Times, The Washington Post, The Register Guard (Oregon), The Nature Conservancy Magazine, The Montgomery Gazette (Maryland), The Longboat Observer (Florida), The Journal (West Virginia), Hill Rag (Washington, D.C.), Highlander Today (Florida), The Gloucester Matthews Gazette Journal (Virginia), The Gasparilla Gazette (Florida), and élan Magazine (Virginia), among others.
Edward L. Ayers is the Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities and President Emeritus of the University of Richmond. He is the author and editor of eleven books, among them The Promise of the New South: Life after Reconstruction (1992), a finalist for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize, and In the Presence of Mine Enemies: War in the Heart of America, 1859–1863 (2003), which won the Bancroft Prize.
Dana Hand Evans is Executive Director of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley who, previously, was Executive Director (2002–2011) of the Wilton House Museum and the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Jeffrey C. Everett has been a leading land conservation and historic preservation consultant since 1994 who has researched and documented thousands of historic buildings and landscapes for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, among many other accomplishments.
Warren R. Hofstra is the Stewart Bell Professor of History at Shenandoah University and the author, editor, and co-editor of six books, including The Planting of New Virginia: Settlement and Landscape in the Shenandoah Valley (2004) and The Great Valley Road: Shenandoah Landscapes from Prehistory to the Present (2010).
William M. S. Rasmussen is Lead Curator and Lora M. Robins Curator of Art at the Virginia Historical Society and the author and co-author of eight books, among them Old Virginia: The Pursuit of a Pastoral Ideal (2003) and The Virginia Landscape: A Cultural History (2002).