Irina Polevayeva was born into a Russian family in the city of Feodosia, Ukraine, located on the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea. Her childhood was spent playing in the sea and under the shadows of ancient architectural ruins that dot the Feodosia landscape. Her artistic interests and talents were evident at a very early age, and at the age of 9 she started her formal art education. After graduation from secondary art school, she was accepted into the prestigious St. Petersburg State Academy of Art and Design in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she earned bachelors and masters degrees in art and interior design. Her education stressed rigorous mastery of classical painting materials and techniques.

After graduation from college, she returned to her childhood home of Feodosia where she began teaching art, painting and exhibiting her work. Her work as a teacher and artist led the Director of the Ministry of Culture of Feodosia to describe her as “one of the city’s great treasures.”

In 1998 she emigrated to the United States, where she has worked as an artist and interior designer, and lives with her husband and two sons in Gainesville, Virginia. In 2002 she completed a second masters degree in Interior Design from Marymount University. Since 2001 she has worked as an interior designer for Fox Architects in Vienna, Virginia.

Her education and training in both painting and interior design give her special insights and ability to create custom artwork that perfectly compliments the client’s interior decor.

As an artist, she works in many styles from classical to modern, and diverse media including oil, acrylic, pastel, watercolors and painting on silk.

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