Mykola Ivanovych Tseluiko
was born on July 3, 1937 in the village of Slatino, Dergachi district of Kharkiv region. He was the youngest child in the family, the third one. After his father had gone missing in the war (1944), his family moved to Lviv, where they lived on Parkova Street.
From 1959 to 1965, Mykola Tseluiko studied in Lviv Institute of Applied and Decorative Art (Lviv State Institute of Applied and Decorative Art), specializing in artistic design of fabrics. Immediately after graduation, he was appointed to Kherson, where he continuously worked 42 years up to his death first as a fabric pattern artist and then as a leading artist at Kherson Cotton Combine, the most powerful textile enterprise in the USSR. He "created patterns for jacquard curtain and drapery fabrics making creative use of the Ukrainian folk art motifs and sketches from nature", says the Dictionary of Ukrainian Artists. Production application of patterns was possible only after they have been reviewed and approved by the artistic council first in Kyiv in Ukrainian Institute of Light Industry and then in Moscow in All-Union Institute of Light Industry. Such reviews took place three times per year. During the time of his work at Kherson Cotton Combine, Mykola Tseluiko created hundreds of square meters of sketches; hundreds of thousands of square meters of fabrics were made according to them. These works by Mykola Tseluiko participated in domestic and international exhibitions and were marked with awards:
1975 – Republican Exhibition New Samples of Folk Decorative Art for Mass and Serial Production, Kyiv.
1977 – International Industrial Exhibition of Fabrics, Leipzig (German Democratic Republic).
1978 – Honorary diploma of the Ministry of Light Industry of the USSR.
1981 – International Industrial Exhibition of Fabrics, Brno, (Czechoslovakia).
1981– 1st prize at the Republican Competition Dedicated to Kyiv's 1500th Anniversary.
1987– International exhibitions of textile products in Czechoslovakia, Libya, and France. Mykola Tseluiko was a member, permanent participant, and winner of competitions held by Textile Industry Scientific and Technical Community. He was among those who initiated the development of sport souvenirs for the World Student Games and the Olympic Games in Moscow in 1980. Mykola Tseluiko’s works were published in scientific literature, namely:
Ukrainian Art Studies-Kyiv: Naukova Dumka, 1968.-p.115, 117.
Modern Ukrainian Artists- Kyiv: Naukova Dumka, 1985.-p.29, 51.
In 1960-1980s, production facilities of Kherson Cotton Combine were very large: the combine’s products covered the requirements of the considerable part of the country. Mykola Tseluiko used to joke that whatever city or village he came to there was always an exhibition of his works there.
Mykola Tseluiko combined his work at Kherson Cotton Combine with teaching: he was pregraduation practice supervisor for students in Lviv State Institute of Applied and Decorative Art; in the second half of 1990s, he was the chief lecturer of Weaving and Design Department at Kherson State Technological University. He taught Basics of Composition and Drawing and Textile Products Design.
Mykola Tseluiko’s creative heritage is not limited to his works as a textile artist only. All his life he gathered ethnographic materials subsequently used by him in fabric patterns development; weaved thematic Gobelins, particularly handmade carpets Tavrian Legend (1968), Flaming Years (1970), and decorative panel Musician (1969) mentioned in the Dictionary of Ukrainian Artists; painted pictures and drew sketches.
Paintings by Mykola Tseluiko stand brightly from his heritage. He painted with tempera and water-color on paper. Most his works were painted from nature: he took a sketchbox, a board, and papersheets and went sketching. He painted in a very quick manner at one scoop. He often went to creative duty trips: he was in Crimea (Sudak, Feodosia), Carpathian Mountains (Yaremche, Rachiv), Sedniv of Chernigiv region, Caucasus (Baku, Sukhumi), Central Asia (Samarkand, Bukhara), Baltics (Tallin), Moldova (Strasheny, Soroky), Russia (Suzdal, Totma). He used to return with new impressions and works. Sometimes he made author’s replicas of his own works in the workshop.
Paintings and graphic works by Mykola Tseluiko were exhibited at the following art exhibitions:
1968 – 2nd Exhibition of Cotton Combine Artists, Kherson, Culture Palace for Textile Industry Workers. Among the works presented by him were Gutsul Motif (paper, tempera), In Mizhhirria (paper, pastel), Rachiv Beneath (paper, tempera), Gutsul Woman in the Mountains (paper, red felt pen), Lviv. Near High Castle (paper, pencil).
1974 – 3d Republican Exhibition of Watercolor, Kyiv.
1987 – Anniversary personal exhibition, Kherson, Kherson Cotton Combine.
1997 – Anniversary personal exhibition, Kherson, Kherson Cotton Combine.
1999 – All-Ukrainian Exhibition of Amateur Pictorial Art, Kyiv, Ukrainian House.
M. Bazhan, V. Afanasiev, P. Biletskiy Dictionary of Ukrainian Artists– Kyiv: Main Office of Ukrainian Soviet Encyclopedia, 1973.-p.245.