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Irina Akimova was born in Russia. She graduated from the Moscow State University, department of Mathematics and Theoretical Mechanics. Then she worked as mathematics instructor at the Technological University "Stankin" in Moscow. Though Irina always enjoyed drawing and painting, for long time it was just a hobby for her.
With the husband and two sons, Irina arrived to the U.S. in the summer of 2001 and settled in Blacksburg, south-western Virginia. Being raised on the Volga plains and having lived in the megapolis of Moscow, Irina suddenly found herself in a totally different place -- the mountains of the Blue Ridge, and she loved it. Here Irina started painting more and more -- partly as a way to live through the cultural shock of moving to a new country, leaving behind her parents, friends, job, etc. In 2003 she joined the local artist association. Since then she participated in several group exhibitions, held two solo shows, and was accepted to several juried shows. Irina found her inspiration in the atmosphere of Blacksburg, in its architecture, and in the views of the surrounding mountains. In the summer of 2006 the family moved to the city of Salem, which is just in half-an-hour drive from the Blacksburg. Located in the valley, this new place gives a new perspective on the spectacular mountains around.
In May 2006, Irina received an M.S. degree in Mathematics from Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). The experience of being a science graduate student had an unexpected, though quite understandable in hindsight, effect of strengthening her desire to be a full-time artist.
Summer 2007 marked two important changes in her life, whose effect on Irina’s art is yet to be seen: the birth of a baby girl; and moving to Atlanta, GA, following her husband’s new job.
Besides doing art and taking care of the family, Irina likes playing piano or guitar, knitting and croucheting, or being involved in any other kind of creative work.