Teacher Bogushefsky’s art shown this weekend

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

One of Aaron “Bogy” Bogushefsky’s pieces. He’s set to participate in this year’s Art of Surfing festival at the Music Pier, set to run Thursday, Friday and Saturday. One of Aaron “Bogy” Bogushefsky’s pieces. He’s set to participate in this year’s Art of Surfing festival at the Music Pier, set to run Thursday, Friday and Saturday. OCEAN CITY — As an art student at the University of Delaware, Aaron “Bogy” Bogushefsky tried hard to please his professors. He would attempt to paint the realistic drawings they wanted, but before long he would rebel.  Mixing it up a bit, he’d fuse learned techniques with his sense of whimsy.

His stubborn streak did not impress the faculty, but it earned him a niche in the art world. His curvy, colorful style is a big seller locally and on the web and will be featured at this year’s Art of Surfing Festival, planned July 31 to Aug. 2 at the Ocean City Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace and Boardwalk, 5 until 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Also planned this weekend will be 52nd annual Boardwalk Art Show from Eighth to 11th streets, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

“I’m excited,” Bogushefsky said. “I’ll be at the Music Pier, as you walk in. It’s going to be a really cool setup.”

Bogushefsky, a 2001 Ocean City High School graduate, will showcase the paintings and prints he is known for, whimsical illustrations featuring local scenery and landmarks. He paints in a variety of media, including on surfboards, T-shirts, murals, and paper.

Bogy fans will find the popular “Fish Taco,” “Surfer’s Paradise,” “California Dreaming” and “Gnarly Cross Section,” to name a few. This year, he’s branched out, adding a new twist to the typical Bogy style.

“I have a few different paintings,” he said. “I like to challenge myself.”

Bogushefsky is working on collage art. A painting of a shark is the first in what Bogushefsky hopes will be a series of wildlife paintings.

“I like painting nature,” he said. “I like wildlife.”

Some have called him a “surf artist,” because of his vibrant illustrations of the local surfing scene. Using his imagination, his world has expanded. 

“I’ve watched, observed other artists, looking for inspiration,” he said. “I tend to find inspiration in the strangest places.”

Local artist Kim Weiland once advised him that to be successful, artists must be curious, as a good artist is not so much skilled as they are observant.

“I learned to be more observant,” Bogushefsky said, especially when it comes to nature. An avid angler, he enjoys being on the water and exploring the woods.

An art teacher at the Ocean City Primary School, Bogushefsky said some of his best inspiration comes from his students.

“They are so enthusiastic,” he said. “They come up with some great ideas. A lot of my work is geared towards the young at heart.”

Bogushefsky said he’s always loved to draw, but never planned on becoming an unconventional artist.

“It just sort of worked out that way,” he said. “I always thought I was doing it wrong.”

His artwork nearly came to a screeching halt as college professors had little tolerance for the creativity that was appreciated and encouraged in middle and high school.

In college art classes, professors were seeking a particular style of fine art, and Bogy didn’t see it that way.

“I always mixed it up. I never got particularly good grades in my art classes because I never did what they asked for,” he said.

But Bogushefsky’s penalized art work was selling.

“I would sell the pieces I was working on, so I just shrugged and figured it worked out OK despite the grades,” he said. “I was never a purist. I have to paint it the way I see it.”

Each piece has a story to tell, he said. Just don’t call it “cartoon.”

“Its way more than that,” he said. “I put way too much time and effort into it to call it cartoon.

Success came quickly to Bogushefsky, but he’s worked hard for it. He’s delivered pizza, peddled flowers and veggies and stacked masonry blocks to earn money for college.    

He sold his first painting when he was a high school student. He was visiting his mother, Kathy Bogushefsky, who taught kindergarten, and brought with him a pencil drawing of musician Bob Marley.

“A parent came in and noticed it, and she liked it,” he said. “She asked me how much I wanted for it.”

Bogushefsky found a way for his passion to help fund his college education and set forth to create a portfolio.

“Once I sold the first painting, others were asking me to paint something for them,” said Bogushefsky, whose rates quickly increased to $100. “That was good money to me as a high school student. I was getting paid to do something I really loved.”

He had dreams of painting for a living, but found as he worked his way through college that he wanted to teach.

“I like working with children,” he said. “I like the interaction, teaching and watching them grow. I like to share my experience and I like to learn from the children, too.”

Bogushefsky says his work matured over the years. His early work was mostly utopian scenes, now it has more of a message.

“I see things for what they are,” he said, adding that there’s a little less fun and little more of a purpose in his work. “That’s why I like working with the kids; they help me stay focused and optimistic, youthful. I can see things through their eyes, keeps me in touch with young people.”

For more on the Art of Surfing festival, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or see facebook.com/artofsurfingfestival.

To comment on this story, see oc.shorenewstoday.com.

blog comments powered by Disqus