Emilie Fantuz

Emilie Fantuz, artist


Throughout my artistic practice, art has been a two-sided portal for me — simultaneously being a place I can enter when the darker parts of life leave me craving a moment of optimism and also a vessel through which I can add beauty to the world for the moments when others may need it. Art has been in my life since I was a child, making it the most natural sense I have for understanding both my outer and inner world. Introspection and perception are the qualities that allow me both to find something beautiful in everyday moments for myself and create something beautiful on canvas for others.

Observing the world is part of an artist’s role, but what that artist chooses to share from those observations is the result of their unique perspective. My art is a call to optimism. Through depicting the beauty in everyday moments — the hazy glow of moonlight on a darkened city street, the endlessly intersecting squares and rectangles of shop signs in the distance — I highlight the beauty that sits ready and waiting for our eyes if we should only choose to look. The subtle visions of optimism in our lives inspire me the most; these scenes remind us that beauty is always near, even in the moments it seems most far.


I’m an artist living and working in Vancouver, using oil paint and palette knives to create art that preserves a glimpse of beauty in the subtle scenes we often overlook.


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 of 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 lHeure de Paris in Detroit, Michigan, and from the City of Howell Public Art Project in Howell, Michigan, and belongs in collections within the United States, Canada, Netherlands, Caymen Islands, and France. 

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