Born in New York to immigrant parents from Austria and Poland, Fejes’ artistic life was forged by the Depression years. She received her art training through museum-based WPA arts projects in Manhattan, intending to work as a sculptor.
Married in 1942, she moved with husband Joe Fejes to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1946 from New Yorks Bronx to a log cabin in a sub-arctic frontier town. She abandoned sculpture as impractical, turning to oils.
For a decade, Fejes painted on a small kitchen table near the cabins wood stove: self-portraits, nudes, the neighbors, scenes from the valley and woods. Local Athabascan and Eskimo women sat for her, and Fejes grew fascinated with their stories and the subsistence life they described far from town.