Grace Netanya

15th Annual ARC Salon (2020-2021)

Grace Netanya

United States

Artist Bio: 


Grace Netanya is an artist and storyteller whose art combines contemporary and traditional ideas to create an art fusion that is both Avant-Garde and introspective. 

At a very young age, Grace taught herself to draw in order to communicate stories and characters from her imagination. 

A childhood of homeschooling in Florida provided her with the time and isolation to become engrossed in her imagination, and today she is interested in pulling the magical and surreal out of the ordinary and banal. 

Grace is interested in putting unique spins on existing styles and finding new ways to push a medium past the conceived limit. She prefers to use mixed-media techniques with ink, graphite, colored pencils and acrylics. However, she loves to discover new mediums and is constantly expanding her repertoire.  

Grace’s unique combination of colorful fantasy and realism has caught the eyes of the art world both at home and internationally. She has participated in The Colored Pencil Society’s 28th Annual International Exhibit, the 2020 Colored Pencil Society “Explore This” Exhibit, as well as won The Copic Award Grand Prize 2019. Her award winning work, “The Explorer” was displayed at LAND Tokyo, with the other finalist’s work. 

Her work has been displayed in publications such as Infected by Art Volume 8, and at museums such as MOAS, and The Lighter Museum. 


 Artist Statement: 

 I consider myself a story-teller, and visual art my mode of communication. I create works in a realistic style, but with otherworldly and imaginative elements, in order to more fully visualize the human experience. Like a dream, my works resemble real-life, but with distortion around the aspects that may be difficult for the mind to confront. As with a ancient fairy-tail, a "fantasy" story allows the viewer to process a difficult yet relevant topic in a way that is both honest and entertaining. I am especially interested in discussing the experiences of children. This goes along well with my idea of “visual mythology”, as stories are often used to instill lessons and ideas in children when a more literal explanation may not make sense to them. Children often use imagination in order to fill in the gaps of their understanding. By depicting the fantastical interacting with reality, I illustrate what is in a sense, a more accurate example of a child’s experience.

My process begins with a character. I imagine their story and see a clear picture in my mind of a crucial moment in their story. I will sketch out this picture and as I do this, I often more fully realize the meaning behind this snapshot in the story. If I think of symbols for particular themes in my work, I will make notes of this. I will then take photo references for my work. I will often use at least three different images, and may take more throughout my process.

I then begin the process of creating my work on paper. I draw by sight, observing my images. As the “reality” of my work begins to emerge, I switch focus away from my references and put my imagination down on paper. As I build up the layers of my work, the fantastical elements become more colorful, often slightly textured or reflective, depending on what materials I have chosen. The end result is an image that draws from the tradition of representational art and morphs it into an exploration of the mysterious and intangible.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 15th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.