Born on a pastoral wheat farm in the outskirts of Cungrea, Romania, Alexa helped her parents from a young age in the planting and harvesting of their crops. This introduction to the natural world quickly grew into a deep appreciation for the seasonal cycles of her homeland and the drastic changes in color that come with these transitions. At the age of six, she received a set of pastels and an elaborate sketching pad by her mother and set out each day for an hour at lunch to render a different corner of their farm on paper. Her talent quickly flourished, and her intrinsic knowledge of light sources and color subtleties distinguished her from other art students all throughout her adolescence.
Kelemen began her formal art education at the Institute of Art in Constanta. With a concentration in both realist landscape and abstract figural painting, she attained her art degree with highest honors in 1965. The culmination of her studies came when three separate local galleries agreed to represent Kelemen's work in annual one-person shows.
With unique talent, Alexa quickly built her reputation throughout Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria, where numerous exhibitions of her works were held. In 1983, she chose to continue her training at the School of Popular Art, this time focusing solely on the art of the still life. Completing her formal training in 1986, Kelemen moved to the United States with her husband and son where she immediately entered the Deljou studios. She has since received commissions by the well-known Romanian artist Valentin Popovidi and is in the private collections of Olympic gymnast Daniella Silivlas and Nadia Comanici.