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National Association of Women Artists, Inc.


Siberian Spirit 

A solo exhibition of the work of  

Irene Nedelay 


April 5-27, 2017

NAWA Gallery
315 West 39th Street, Suite 508, NYC 10018 

Reception: Thursday, April 6, 2017, 5-7pm 



Irene Nedelay's passion for painting is unflinching: "It's not about what you want to do or what you like to do. It's just about what you can't live without." It's precisely that passion and dedication that has transported the artist from her city of Novosibirsk, Siberia to the historic and heady world of St. Petersburg, and finally to the cultural heart of New York City.

After graduating with a Master of Fine Arts from Novosibirsk State University, she would paint long into the cold night while raising her oldest daughter alone. Her early works (1980 to 1990) employed the use of tempera on wood, a traditional Russian technique. Her inspiration came from the simple people of the Siberian villages she knew so well, giving her subjects dignity in the face of extreme hardships. Siberian iconography-angels, animals, and other ancient symbols, played a primary role.

Though widely recognized for solo shows in her native city, she longed for the museums and cultural life that St. Petersburg could bring. Moving to that city in 2003, she was inspired by great architecture and at last the opportunity to view the original works of Rembrandt, Matisse, Picasso and other great artists, not just reproductions in books. More solo and group shows followed. She began painting Greek and Venetian landscapes, and naïve art through portraiture and still lifes. Travel, particularly in Greece, brought a new appreciation for the blues of the sea and sky and the natural world. 


Transformation through her art emerged once again in 2009 when she moved to New York. Far from her homeland, she could begin to tell her family history--a tale of exile under Stalin's regime from Belarus to the frigid and unforgiving Siberian landscape.

Time is of the essence in her work, past and present simultaneously colliding. A mixture of influences hold sway: old Russian iconography, the Russian avant-garde, naïve art and "rayonism." Elements of realism, abstraction and surrealism interplay with one another. In 2015 she began making sculptures using wood and wool, carving indigenous Siberian spirits and gods. Though her background is rooted in Orthodox Christianity, she believes in a shamanistic power of nature to heal. 

Nedelay's talent and dedication to her art has resulted in more than a dozen solo shows and many group exhibits throughout the United States and abroad. A member of NAWA since 2011, she has received several awards, including the JP Morgan Chase Arts in Our Communities Grant, the Audrey Hope Shirk Memorial Award for Works on Canvas, and in 2013, the NAWA Medal of Honor and the Elizabeth Stanton Blake Memorial Award.

A resident of New York City, Ms. Nedelay has a working studio on Staten Island.

NAWA is honored to bring the wonderful creations of this singular artist to public attention. Visitors are invited to meet Ms. Nedalay at her reception on Thursday, April 6, from 5-7 pm. Her artwork will be on view from April 5 through April 27, 2017.

For more information about the artist please go to:

For more information on NAWA, please go to:



Founded in 1889, NAWA is the first established professional women's art organization in the U.S. NAWA's documented exhibitions are archived within The Smithsonian Institution Archives; The Museum of Modern Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; the Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago; the Library of Congress; the National Museum of Women in the Arts; the Frick Art Reference Library; and the New York Public Library.




National Association of Women Artists, Inc., 315 West 39th Street, Suites 508 (gallery) and 1210 (offices/mailing address),
 New York, NY 10018