Biography
MYCKHAILO BILAS

Awards: National Artist of Ukraine

Known for: art of textiles,  exhibitions, fashion (Art-Director of fashion houses in Lviv, Kharkiv, Kyiv)

 

His art pieces are in museums and private collections in Ukraine: Kyiv, Lviv, Truskavets, Kaniv, Kolomyia, Drohobych; abroad: USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Mongolia, India.

Myckhailo Bilas was born 1 August 1924  to the family of the forester Yakym Bilas and Maria Bilas (Pozhakivska), in the village of Krekhovychy of the Dolinsky district in Stanislav region (now – Ivano-Frankivsk). From childhood his parents raised and prepared little Mykhailo for the  priesthood.

1928 – his family moves to the village of Medvezha in Drohobych region, where the artist’s childhood passed and he graduated from elementary school.

1939 – 1948 – studied at Drohobych Gymnasium.

1944 – 1948 – worked for the theatre studio, served as an actor in the Drohobych Regional Drama Theatre.

1948 – 1952 – studied at the vocal class of the music school of Lviv, Ukraine.

1952 – 1953 – studied at the Lviv School of Applied Arts (now – Ivan Trush Lviv State College of Decorative and Applied Arts), Lviv, Ukraine.

1953 – 1959 – studied at the Lviv State Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts (now – Lviv National Academy of Arts), with specialization in Art Textiles. Thesis «Decoration of the public interior with fabrics» (Three carpets). Leader: I.K. Vtorushin, assessment – excellent.

1959 – appointed as Designer, later Art Director at the Lviv’s Fashion House.

1960 – 1965 – gained wide recognition for the fine design of important trade and industrial exhibitions and national exhibition pavilions in Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, and Moscow.

1964 – admitted to the Union of Artists of the USSR, Lviv’s Branch.

1965 – appointed as Art Director of the Kharkiv’ Fashion House.

1966 – created a museum  exhibition at the State Museum of Ethnography and Artistic Crafts of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (now the Museum of Ethnography and Artistic Craft of the Institute of Ethnology of the NAS of Ukraine), Lviv, Ukraine.

1967 – created a museum  exhibition at  the State Ethnographic Museum of the Estonian SSR (now the Estonian National Museum), Tartu, Estonia.

1971 – 1973 – worked as Art Director at the Kyiv Fashion House. There he created collections of clothing during this period, which were exhibited in the cities of Liege (Belgium), Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Moscow (USSR) and at another 12 foreign exhibitions.

1970 – 1972 – created a new modern Exhibition at the Kolomyia Museum of Folk Art of Hutsul Region (now – Yosafat Kobrinsky National Museum of Folk Art of Hutsul and Pokuttya Region), Kolomyia (Ukraine).

The exhibition  was timely for the museum, which is now recognized by experts as one of the best museums of the USSR and Ukraine, and attracts visitors from all over the world today.

1973 – returned to Truskavets, where he continued to work actively in various styles and techniques on the subject, thematic, ornamental tapestries, creates many  tapestries, embroidery (panels, tablecloths, napkins, pillowcases, etc.), unique doll sculptures, appliqué panels flowers, graphics, and so on…

Mykhailo Bilas is the author of many personal exhibitions of Art Textiles, among them:

1967 –The first solo exhibition of Art Textiles at the State Museum of Ethnography and Artistic Craft of the USSR Academy of Sciences (now the Museum of Ethnography and Artistic Craft of the Institute of Ethnology of NAS of Ukraine), Lviv, Ukraine.

1971 – Exhibition in the Hall of the Union of Soviet Artists of Ukraine (now – Exhibition Hall of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine), Kyiv, Ukraine.

1972 – Exhibition at the Kolomyia Museum of Folk Art of Hutsul Region (now – Yosafat Kobrinsky National Museum of Folk Art of Hutsul and Pokuttya Region), Kolomyia, Ukraine.

1977 – State Museum of Ethnography and Artistic Crafts of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (now – Museum of Ethnography and Artistic Crafts of the Institute of Ethnology of NAS of Ukraine), Lviv, Ukraine.

1978 – Museum Drohobychchyna, the city of Drohobych, Ukraine.

1978 – Kolomyia Museum of Folk Art of Hutsul Region (now – Yosafat Kobrinsky National Museum of Folk Art of Hutsul and Pokuttya Region), Kolomyia, Ukraine.

1978 – National Museum of Taras Shevchenko, Kyiv, Ukraine.

1978 – Taras Shevchenko Kaniv Museum, Kaniv, Ukraine.

1992 – National Museum of Taras Shevchenko, Kyiv, Ukraine.

1992 – Museum of Ethnography, Arts and Crafts of the Institute of of Ethnology NAS of Ukraine, Lviv, Ukraine.

1999 – Andriy Sheptytsky National Museum, Lviv, Ukraine.

2014 – Andriy Sheptytsky National Museum, Lviv, Ukraine.

1992 – The Museum of the Artist Mykhailo Bilas is in the city of Truskavets in recognition of his special merit – the first museum of a modern artist in the history of independent Ukraine to be established for a living artist.

1995 – Obtained the title of honour «People’s Artist of Ukraine».

He has devoted his last years to  Graphics, and left some wonderful pastels, sketches of new ideas and designs.

January 25, 2016 – died at the age of 92, buried in the city of Truskavets, Ukraine.