If some artists consider their work to be a mirror of society, the artwork of Emilie Fantuz can be considered a magnifying glass held against the world around her. Born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Emilie began her work in the picturesque setting of Hawaii, where exquisite views to inspire never lack. Her work has evolved over time as her surroundings have, highlighting the beauty in everyday scenes like city streets and mountainsides, as well as her own emotional state, from the brightness of florals to the intensity of abstraction.
It was in Hawaii that Emilie learned the technique that would become her signature method — the use of palette knives. Her adoption of these tools would later spark the introduction between her husband Mike Fantuz, an artist who also utilizes palette knives. Today Emilie’s unique style is a seamless marriage between American realism and the Ashcan School, displaying cityscapes and urban views through a romantic framing that makes even the glow of a streetlamp tread the line between reality and dream.
Her time spent living in different cities, from Kauai to Detroit, honed Emilie’s keen perception of beauty within even the most inconspicuous of details. It’s this observance of subtle scenes that creates the unmistakable imagery in Emilie’s work. She also finds inspiration from a variety of sources, from lighting, contrast, and emotions, to the quaint sight of a busy sidewalk.
Her artwork has been exhibited in both the United States and Canada, including the popular annual exhibition, Bugs, Blooms, Beasts, held at the Scarab Club in Detroit. Her work has been awarded several times, from A l’Heure de Paris in Detroit, Michigan, and from the City of Howell Public Art Project in Howell, Michigan, and belongs in collections within the Netherlands, Caymen Islands, and France. She enjoys reenergizing herself while hiking in the Canadian mountains near her home in Vancouver.