Like her obsession for art, Sheri's love for Disney began at an early age. As a little girl, she formed a connection with Mickey Mouse and, like many children, thought of him as another childhood friend. "It seems to me that we grew up together," she recalls. "I really believed that we were peers." Despite the strong bond she felt with Mickey, Disney items were hard to come by in eastern Europe during that time period, and the relative scarcity of a Disney memorabilia made them very special items. "When I was young, if you had a sticker with Mickey on it, that was considered something fantastic. It was impossible to find them in our stores," Sheri explains. "The only way to get them was as a gift from friends or relatives who were athletes or sailors, since they were able to travel around the world." Luckily for Sheri (and for Disney fans), her friend's father was a sea captain, who one day brought her home a Mickey Mouse sticker from his travels. It was love at first sight. The perfect gift for a little girl with a big imagination and creative drive. She loved it so much, she would often redraw the Mickey Mouse artwork she saw on her sticker. It was at that point that her love for art and Disney came together for the first time. In a beautiful, poetic return to her own youth, Sheri contributes to the Disney Fine Art collection with her whimsical portraits of children immersed in the joyful exploration of their own imaginations, the way young Irene Sheri once did with her own childhood friend, Mickey Mouse.
Born in the city of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky, Ukraine to Bulgarian and French parents, Sheri discovered her passion for art as a young girl when her older brother was given a set of paints for his ninth birthday, which she was expressly forbidden to touch. Told that they belonged to her brother and that she was not allowed near them, those paints became an object of desire for her - an obsession, really - until finally she stole them from her brother, mixed them, and painted on everything she could find - paper, walls, on her clothes, and on the bodies of her friends. Only four at the time, Sheri had found her true love. In fact, she quickly grew to be recognized as one of Russia's most gifted young artists and has enjoyed a great many successes.
By now, stories of her enormous success have reached mythic status -
By the time she was nine, and with thousands of hours spent with her paints, Sheri started her art classes at the Belgorod Art School for gifted children, and, at age fifteen, graduated as valedictorian from both her junior high and art school. Since that time through the first two years at the Grecov College of Art in the city of Odessa, Ukraine, the artist entered and won over a dozen juried exhibitions, including a citywide juried "Young Artist of the Year" award during her first year at the junior college and a special "Excellence in Art" award at the end of her second. At age seventeen, Sheri was accepted into the Serov School of Fine Art in St Petersburg, Russia. All paintings and sketches that she created during her years of study at the college are now used by the faculty as samples of brilliant academic and creative achievement.
In 1988, a year after she moved to St Petersburg, Sheri was enrolled in a summer practice at the Museum of Wooden Architecture with a group of other students. On the last day of the semester, all of the art students went to the museum to show their work to the public before delivering them to their professor for grading. The museum curator told tourists that they could purchase any students' work they liked. Soon, all twelve of Sheri's pieces were gone, yet not one piece by the other classmates had been purchased. Envious of her success, those students told Sheri that she was supposed to submit her paintings to the school for grading and that she would probably fail the program, if not be expelled from the college, for not turning in her work. The money she earned, they admonished, certainly would be the last professional earnings she ever made. Undaunted, Sheri rolled up her sleeves and went to work, two days later submitting twelve more paintings and becoming the only student to receive an "A" for her efforts. In 1990, Sheri graduated valedictorian from the Serov College and was asked to stay at the school to teach gifted children, receiving an apartment and studio to work in for her outstanding achievement. Two years later, she into entered one of the most prestigious art schools in the world, the St Petersburg Academy of Art named after Repin. In 2000, her graduation artwork was accepted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Academy of Art, and the following year, the same painting, "Early Snow," earned Sheri the "Russian State Award for Outstanding achievement in Art or Entertainment," the highest honor an artist can receive in Russia.
Today her award-winning fine art is collected, exhibited and celebrated in a variety of museums and galleries around the world - including France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Russia, Ukraine, Finland, Russia, and the US - and are featured in the collections of prominent aficionados such as musician Mstislav Rastropovich, ex-St Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, and oil tycoon Leo Vaisberg to name a few. In 2002, Sheri was invited to take part in the all-Russian juried exhibition "Youth of Russia." As has become habit with each time she enters juried exhibitions, Sheri received first prize and special commendations. She appeared at the Roger Yost Gallery in 2008 along with Andrew Atroshenko - another St. Petersburg Academy alumnus - at a special exhibition called "From Russia with Love." Mr. Sheri has a daughter, age twelve, who already showing early signs of a very promising artist.
World Wide Art
World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited editions and originals by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Irene Sheri. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.read more