MICHAEL AND INESSA GARMASH
Husband and Wife Team, Romantic Impressionists
It all started in the little town of Lugansk in Ukraine, 1969. An early starter, Mr. Garmash began painting at the age of three. By age six he started his formal education at the Lugansk Youth Creative Center. Recognizing rare, natural talent, his teachers sent his works to a variety of exhibitions in the then Soviet Union.
An award winning artist from the onset, Mr. Garmash received first prizes at several juried exhibitions, including the Lugansk Regional Juried Exhibition—1977 (Best Poster), the Czechoslovakian International Youth Competition—1978, and the Hungarian International Art Competition of Circus Related Art—1978.
After graduating, valedictorian from the Lugansk State Fine Art College in 1987, Mr. Garmash began teaching there the following year. From 1989 to 1991, he served in the army (when he met his wife and partner, Inessa) and in 1992 began studying at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art. Prior to graduating at the top of his prestigious school’s class, Mr. Garmash exhibited in France at galleries in cities such as Paris, St. Etienne, Avignon, Lion and Marcel.
Mr. Garmash also took part in the annual Exhibitions in St. Petersburg, Russia. In addition to painting, he has also excelled in the creation of stained-glass windows and received an honorary medal for his work in the Suvorov Military Museum in St. Petersburg.
Ms. Garmash, born Inessa Kitaichik in 1972 Lipetsk, Russia, has excelled in the arts since early childhood. Proving herself in ballet, gymnastics and music, Ms. Garmash attended classes in all three disciplines and, after graduating from music and ballet school, entered the Lugansk Fine Art School at age fifteen. At seventeen she was accepted as that year's best undergraduate to the Lugansk State Fine Art School.
Today, Mr. and Mrs. Garmash are considered two of the finest Romantic Impressionists of our day. Their incredible talent is only matched by their love and career stories. In similar fashion to the determination of his artwork, Mr. Garmash courted his future wife, after seeing her for but a moment, by painting her image all over her hometown while she slept. She immediately recognized the passion with which this man cared so dearly and married him shortly thereafter.
The Garmashs began their artistic collaboration in much the same way. Several years after their marriage, Mr. Garmash began a painting of their two-year old daughter, Polina, for a project at school. However, Polina found the painting during her father’s absence and decided to embark upon her own artistic career. Ms. Garmash, after seeing what her daughter had done and not wanting her husband to be upset, fixed the painting using her own training, packed it up and gave it to him for submission. Mr. Garmash submitted the painting for review and was praised for completing his best work ever. He was surprised to see the "new" painting and immediately recognized his wife's hand. They have painted together every since.