Irene Sheri

Irene came to the art world as an excited, inspired and generous artist. Even as a child, her observation turned into embodiment. The ideal way to describe her love of the world was through art.

Irene was born in Ukraine and even from her childhood her passion was painting.

Her art career started when Irene's older brother Vasily, then 9, was given as a birthday present a set of paints. Irene was told NOT TO TOUCH THEM! Those paints became an object of desire for her, almost an obsession. She stole them, mixed them, painted on paper, walls, on her dress and on the bodies of her friends. She was 4 years old.

At age 9, with thousands of paintings behind her, Irene started her art classes at the Belgorod Art School for gifted children, and at age 15 graduated valedictorian both from her junior high and art school.

Rather than going to High School like most teenagers, Irene entered Grecov College of Art in the city of Odessa, Ukraine. During her first year in college, she entered and won "Young Artist of the Year" at citywide juried exhibition. In all, Irene entered and won fourteen juried exhibitions, and at the end of her second year, received a special "excellence in art" award from the Mayor.

At age seventeen, Irene was accepted into the prestigious Serov School of Fine Art in St Petersburg, Russia. All paintings and sketches that she created during her three years of study at the college are now used by the faculty as samples of brilliant academic achievement.

In 1988, a year after she moved to St Petersburg, Irene was enrolled in a summer practice at the Museum of Wooden Architecture. On the last day of the practice, all of the students went to the museum to show their work to the public before delivering them to their school for grading. The museum curator told tourists that they could purchase any students' work they liked. An hour later, all twelve of Irene's pieces were gone. Not one piece by the other students was purchased. Angry and envious, they told Irene that she was supposed to turn her twelve paintings in to her professor, and that the money she earned will certainly be the last she would ever make. Two days later Irene submitted twelve more paintings and was the only student to receive an "A" for this practice.

In 1990, Irene graduated valedictorian from the Serov College and was asked to stay at the School of Fine Art to teach gifted children. She received an apartment for her outstanding achievement and a studio to work in. Two years later, she entered one of the most prestigious art schools in the world, the St Petersburg Academy of Art.

Her graduation artwork was accepted into the permanent collection at the Museum of Academy Art, and a year later, the same painting, "Early Snow" (78" x 80") received the highest honor an artist can receive in Russia, the "Russian State Award for Outstanding Achievement in Art or Entertainment."

Irene's works are now in the collections of such prominent collectors as musician Mstislav Rastropovich, ex-St Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, oil tycoon Leo Vaisberg, just to name a few.

Irene was invited to take part in an all-Russian juried exhibition, "Youth of Russia," and again, she received first prize and special commendations. Her artwork is sold and presented by galleries and dealers in France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Russia, Ukraine, Finland, and the US.

Irene has a daughter who is already showing early signs of a very talented artist.