Iris Kelmenson was born in Brooklyn, New York. She earned a Bachelor’s degree at Brooklyn College, and a Masters at Hofstra University. During her teaching career at Wantagh Elementary School, she pursued her passion for painting and drawing, spending her evenings studying with many prominent artists on Long Island. Upon retirement, she attended the Art Students League of N.Y. full time, studying painting and drawing with many renowned instructors, including Michael Burban, David Leffel, and Harvey Dinnerstein.
Iris won a merit scholarship at the Art Students League of N.Y. and the Scottsdale Artist’s School of Arizona. She has won many awards in New York Shows, including Allied Artists of America, the Pastel Society of America, American Artists Professional League, and the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club. She has won numerous awards in art shows on Long Island, including The Art League of Long Island, Firehouse Gallery of Nassau Community College, Suburban Art League and Islip Arts Council. She was a member of the Chrysalis Art Gallery in Southampton until it closed in December, 2016. Her flower paintings are in many private collections. Her painting of William Casey, director of the CIA under President Reagan, hangs in the Casey building at Molloy College.
“The small universe in which I live provides me with infinite subjects. From conception to execution, the journey may be frustrating at times, but it is always all consuming and exciting”.