Married to painter James Kelly
Sonia Gechtoff was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1926 to an art-loving family. Her mother, Ethel, was a gallerist, and her father, Lenoid, was a successful Ukrainian artist. Because of her parents’ involvement in the arts, Gechtoff was introduced to artmaking at a young age and attended schools that fostered her artistic abilities. In 1950, Gechtoff received a BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts before moving to San Francisco. While in San Francisco, Gechtoff took a teaching position at the California School of Fine Arts, where she also studied printmaking. In 1958, Gechtoff and her husband, artist James Kelly, moved to New York City, where she would stay until her death in 2018.