Semyon Bilmes

Lady in a red Turban, Oil on Canvas, by Semyon Bilmes

Semyon Bilmes (born 1955) is an Azerbaijani-American painter and the founder and instructor of The Ashland Academy of Art, in Ashland, Oregon, United States and Atelier Maui, in Maui, Hawaii United States.

Bilmes has achieved national recognition as an advertising, editorial, and book illustrator. Bilmes has illustrated campaigns for AT&T, CBS, General Mills, Warner Lambert, Smirnoff Vodka, Citibank, Clairol, Western Union, Alaska Airlines, and Philip Morris. His work can be found on the covers of books and periodicals such as Reader's Digest and the New York Times. His oil painting, "Lady in a red Turban", was on the cover of the annual directory of top illustrators and designers in the country, American Showcase.[1]


Semyon Bilmes was born August 29, 1955, in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR. Bilmes' art education started when he was a child in youth classes where he studied fundamentals of drawing. When he reached the age of sixteen he attended the A. Azim-Zade Academy of Art in Baku (USSR) where he was trained in the Russian Academic System. Bilmes' immigrated to New York in 1980 where he also graduated from the Parsons School of Design.[2]

As a successful artist, Bilmes founded the Bilmes Art School, where for ten years he taught art with a commercial emphasis.[3]

Blimes later acquired and renovated a large building in Ashland, Oregon, for The Ashland Academy of Art. In 2010, Semyon with his family moved to Maui where they opened Atelier Maui. Semyon is currently teaching at Atelier Maui. .[4][5][6]

Semyon Bilmes lives on Maui with his wife and one of his four children.[7][8]

See also


  1. Darrow, Laurel (February 16, 1987). "Artists Don't have to Starve". Grants Pass Daily Courier.
  2. Reiss, Al (September 30, 1990). "Painting a New World". Mail Tribune.
  3. Martin, Melissa (November 23, 1989). "Ashland Illustrator Finds Artistic Freedom in the U.S.". Mail Tribune.
  4. Bousquet, Tim (2006). "Academy goes back to basics". Ashland Daily Tidings. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
  5. Goracke, Suzane (May 31, 1991). "Illustrator Believes Basics are the Key to Success". Ashland Daily Tidings.
  6. Twitchell, Cleve (July 3, 1992). "Fashionably Russian". Mail Tribune.
  7. Silow, Frank (March 19, 1992). "Working for Yourself". Mail Tribune.
  8. Kettler, Bill (November 29, 1998). "Finally Chasing Their Dream". Mail Tribune.
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