~ Aija was born in Riga, Latvia on the Baltic Sea on June 13, 1935. She and her family emigrated to the U.S. after fleeing, living in Germany, escaping the terrors of Stalin's Communist rule. They finally escaped and emigrated to the U.S.,in 1950. They 1st lived in Upstate NY... Kingston, for many years. After graduating College at N.Y.S.U. with a Degree in Advertising Art & Design Aija went to work in NYC and was a Commercial Artist and Fashion Illustrator, for many years. She then went to Chicago and continued her work and painting. Aija has many talents and has receieved many awards for her art. She was also a Soprano singer, with a Latvian singing group, "Idvasa", for many years. Later, she continued her education and began Teaching various Art and also had private drawing/art lessons and created an Art Therapy studio, which helped many overcome struggles, handicaps through Art and expression. She did this in Indianapolis, In. for many years.
Her Art exhibits are too many to mention, among them Herron School& Gallery, Hoosier Art Salon, Indianapolis Art Center, Indianpolis Art Museum, Shedlon Swope Museum, I.S.U.~ all in Indiana. Garezers Art Gallery in Three Rivers, Michigan, to name a few. Aija's mediums were: Oil, acrylic, pastels, mixed media, collage, charcoal, watercolors. She loved the Impressionists, such as Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Mary Serratt, etc.
She and her Daughter, Daina would go to Art Museums, all across the country to see exhibits and explore art together, as Mother & Daughter. Aija also loved Music, Singing, Gardening and Nature.
Aija was also a Fashion Illustrator & Designer for notable companies in NYC, Chicago, Atlanta and Indianapolis. She loved Fashion, as well. And was always among the "best dressed"
Aija married, Imants Balodis, also born in Latvia ("love at first sight", she told us) in the early 1960's in upstate NY and they had 2 children, Daina Ingrida (1964) and Paul Karls (1968) Both her chil