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A Russian Born Artist

Leonid Shoshensky's story posted by Dina Kaganer on April 22, 2013 at 8:42 pm. Leonid emigrated from Moscow, Russia to New York, United States in 1996

Leonid Shoshensky was a well known artist who lived in the central part of Moscow. During the late 20th century, business was booming for Leonid; he was showcasing his artworks in many exhibitions and becoming more and more renowned throughout Russia and Europe.  Leonid was making enough money to support his family and jubilantly anticipating more purchases of his artworks from buyers. The thought of leaving Russia never crossed his mind.

Unfortunately in 1993 there was a political standoff between the Russian president, Boris Yeltsin, and Russian parliament. When this crisis emerged, Leonid’s wife suggested that they move to America until the crisis was resolved. Moving to America was very wise since Leonid and his family lived in the central part of Moscow where gunshots were heard and fired. It was horrifying to listen to the events occurring in their city. Leonid agreed to his wife’s suggestion for the safety of his family and himself. The idea was to leave Russia for a while and then return to Moscow, their home.  Leonid never even considered making a resume in America because he was doing so well with his career in Russia. He thought he would eventually return home and everything would pick up from where it left off.  The constitutional crisis of 1993, however, made Leonid realize that living in America would be safer than living in Russia. It was hard to come to the decision that the Shoshensky family must leave Russia but they knew that it had to be done in order to have a better future for their son and daughter.

The first thing that Leonid had to do was get a green card, which he was told was not too hard to come by. Leonid had to get necessary information ready, such as different paper work of his art, in order to receive a green card. He traveled back to Russia while his wife traveled to Italy to obtain catalogs and the necessary paper work. The next six months went by very quickly and in no time Leonid got a green card.  

Leonid and his family officially immigrated to America in 1996. It was a relief that they avoided the uprisings and gun shots that took place in Moscow. An inordinate number of Leonid’s friends and family member remained in Russia and it was very onerous to say goodbye to them.

Leonid Shoshensky became an art teacher in New York City and continued to exhibit his amazing artworks in different locations including Rochester, NY, SOHO, Long Island NY. During the last ten years, he has prepared more than 60 students to successful acceptances to the most advanced and prestigious art colleges of America such as Cooper Union, FIT, Pratt University, School of Visual Arts, and Rhode Island School of Design. Leonid lives a peaceful life in the Bronx and occasionally travels back to Russia to visit friends and family. Even though emigrating from Russia was a difficult and an emotional experience, Leonid is very happy where he is today.