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Semyon Bilmes is the founder and Master Instructor of the Atelier Maui. Born and educated in Russia, he graduated from the prestigious A. Azim-Zade Academy of Art in Baku. Semyon immigrated to New York in 1980, where he also graduated from the Parson’s School of Design.

His classical education allowed him to rapidly achieve national recognition as an advertising, editorial, and book illustrator. 

Over the years, Semyon Bilmes illustrated campaigns for AT&T, CBS, General Mills, Warner Lambert, Smirnoff Vodka, Citibank, Clairol, Western Union, Alaska Airlines, and Phillip Morris, just to name a few. His work can be found on the covers of many books and periodicals, such as Reader’s Digest and The New York Times. His oil painting, “Lady in a Red Turban,” graced the cover of American Showcase, the annual directory of top illustrators and designers in the country.

As a successful artist, understanding the problems of present-day art education, Semyon founded the Bilmes Art School, where he taught art with a commercial emphasis for ten years.

Eventually, Semyon had a vision of a fine art academy that would continue the best traditional art education, and the Ashland Academy of Art was born. 

After teaching in the academy for seven years, while vacationing in Hawaii, Semyon fell in love with the "Magic Isle," and made a decision to create a smaller teaching studio on Maui, returning to his passion - painting and sculpture. In 2010, Semyon Bilmes moved his family and his best students to Maui's beautiful north shore, birthing the Atelier Maui. 

Semyon's teaching has nurtured a number of successful artists, including his son, Daniel Bilmes, an accomplished artist who teaches at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art. Daniel has won several awards, including the grand prize in the 3rd Utrecht American Artist magazine competition, and the portrait merit award in the Salon International 2013 juried exhibition. He also was named as one ofSouthwest Art magazine's 21 artists under 31 in the September 2013 issue.