Aija was born in Riga, Latvia on the Baltic Sea and lived in Germany before coming to the U.S. She was born on June 13, 1935. She escaped Communist rule with her family in 1950 (WW 2) and they emigrated to U.S. They lived in upstate NY-- Kingston, for several years. She and her parents, Lidija and Pavils Avenins and younger sister, Paija went to Indianapolis, Indiana to live. Paija still resides in Indiana,in Greenwood. Her middle sister, Maija went to Long Island NY and still resides in West Babylon, NY. Aija then went to Chicago, Il after marrying Imants Balodis (@ 1962) Imants passed away in Chicago in 1994. They had 2 children, Daina Ingrida (1964) and Paul Karls (1968).
Aija earned Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Indiana State University. Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Herron School of Art Indianapolis, Indiana and an Associate Arts & Science Degree in Advertising Art & Design from N.Y.S.U. in N.Y. Aija has taught at Vincennes University in In., Jefferson Community College in Louisville, KY. and Bauder Fashion College in Atlanta Ga., Indianapolis Art Center in Indiana. Aija also worked as Advertising Illustrator and Fashion Artist, in NYC and Chicago, Il. She began her career as an Artist with Oils.
Aija also worked as a Fashion Illustrator for Hart Schaffner & Marks, in Chicago, Il. and Wm. H. Block & Co. in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her many exhibits include Hoosier Salon in Indiana (Merit & Purchase Awards), Sheldon Swope Museum, Terre Haute, IN., Indian State Univ. (Dean of Arts & Sciences Purchase Award) and the Indianapolis Art Center, Merit Award in Drawing from Hoosier Art Gallery, Indianapolis, Indiana. Herron Gallery in Indianapolis, In. Garezers Gallery in Three Rivers, Michigan and many other regional shows and also, around the country. Aija won many awards from various exhibits and shows throughout her lifetime.
She was also the Director/Curator/Artist and Catalog Editor/Designer
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