Iryna was born in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, where growing interest to art lead her to the Children Fine Art School, than to Kyiv College of Industrial Arts and finally to the Ukrainian Academy of Fine Art and Architecture. From there Iryna Karpenko started her own journey in becoming an accomplished artist. In the nineties, she was working as an illustrator and book designer for different publishing houses and children’s magazines in Ukraine.
Iryna’s art work is based on impressions from a mixture of different stories, songs and legends which surround our real and imagined, natural and cultural, historic and prehistoric lives. Some of her subjects derive from Ukrainian mythology and ancient fairytales. Others can be interpreted as an intricate combination of elements from different epochs and cultures.
Arriving in Edmonton and getting used to the new culture and language, little by little, Iryna started to work as a fine artist and designer. Her active exhibition life included Art Walk 2004 – 2011; Edmonton in Bloom 2006, Global Gallery 2007, TU Gallery Show Ukrainian Art and Soul and many other art events. Iryna has completed a number of art projects for Verkhovyna Ukrainian Song and Dance Ensemble, Edmonton; Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta; Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko, Winnipeg and others. In 2008 Iryna’s artworks were selected for a permanent exhibit at The Sir Winston Churchill Square. She has also started a teacher’s career as an art instructor for the Barvy Art Studio where she can teach drawing, painting and composition to the students of different age groups.
Fascinated with many art mediums, Iryna Karpenko always splits her preference between several art techniques such as watercolor, acrylic, gouache and printmaking. Attracted by playing with small elements, she likes to design an elaborate work with a lot of details. Impressed by new opportunities here in Canada, Iryna came up with a new technique – art on glass that allows her to mix what she has learned in etching with her watercolor skills. Developing a new art medium is inspirational and challenging, sometimes unpredictable but so exiting!