Irina is still Professor of Drawing at the Repin Academy, which is housed in a magnificent building on the Neva River, and named after Ilya Repin, the 19th century giant of the Russian arts world, who helped bring his country’s art into the European mainstream.
Irina joined in 1969 the Leningrad Union of Artists, now known as the St Petersburg Union of Artists, whose many members are noted for their prolific output of Russian scenes of everyday life. The artists’ unions of the USSR had tough entry rules, but offered patronage to enable their members to make a living from their art work – that prop was knocked away with the onset of full-blown capitalism. extract from "All About Shipping, UK," Unstoppable Russian artist Irina Kovaleva…by James Brewer, Jan. 24th, 2015
See Exhibition Catalogue from Paintings Selected from the Studio of Irena Kovaleva, held in 1989