Victor's Story

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PEAKS ISLAND - Victor Romanyshyn died on May 28, 2016, in his home on Peaks Island surrounded by his family. The cause of death was bronchiectasis. He was born June 3, 1958, in Bangor, the son of John and Annie Romanyshyn.

Victor was an artist who combined painting with photography to create photography still lifes. His often referenced the 17th century Dutch masters with his use of light and objects against the abstract backgrounds he painted. Books were a favorite subject of his, as were the tools and materials of craftsmen and artists.  He was also a nature photographer rising every day well before sunrise to walk the back shore and woods of Peaks Island. A life-long scholar, he taught himself Ancient Greek and wrote out passages from the Odyssey into his paintings. He was the narrator in Ancient Greek of a Toy Theater production of the Iliad. His life revolved around his work, his books and his family and friends.

Victor grew up in Orono and Portland, where he attended the Webster School, Waynefleet School, the New School Workshop and the Portland Street School. A lover of food as a young chef, at age 12 he was an assistant to the pastry chef at the Gas Light restaurant on Exchange Street in Portland.  He studied Italian and Art History at the University of Perugia, Art Criticism at the New School for Social Research, drawing at the Art Students League and drawing and painting at the School for Visual Arts in New York. 

In 1996, he moved to Peaks Island where he spent the next 20 years working in his studios there and in Portland. He was a leading member of the photography, painting and printer's collective, Addison Woolley Gallery. His Maine exhibitions included exhibits at the UNE Art Gallery, the Island Institute, the Jewish Museum and various galleries throughout the state. The last exhibit before his death was entitled, Bird Architecture, at the Library Institute Gallery at Yale University.

Victor is survived by his mother, Annie; sister, Coralie; brother, Michael; niece and nephews, Liana, Auley and Maurice; great-nieces and great-nephew Chloe, Sophia, Olivia and Gabriel; brother-in-law, Charlie; and sister-in-law, Susie. He was predeceased by his father, John; and sister Kathryn. 

An exhibit including an array of his work from the thousands of prints and photos he produced during his life will be on display for Portland's First Friday Open Studio event, Friday, July 1, from 5 a 9 p.m. at the Bakery Studios on 61 Pleasant Street. A memorial gathering will take place on Monday, August 1, at the 5th Maine on Peaks Island at 4 p.m. For more information, please contact the family at mike.romany@gmail.com.
Published on  June 24, 2016
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