Arts and Culture

Telling stories through sketches

Artist Profile: Shanay Manitzky

Story: Nicole Duyst | Photo: Sarah Campbell

Exploring common themes that unite people inspires the work of Fraser Coast Artist Shanay Manitzky. From her studio in Maryborough, Shanay creates pencil and pen portraits which are loosely autobiographical but share both personal and universal stories. She captures realistic, fine details and enjoys playing with surrealist elements that spark curiosity and intrigue.

“My arts practice journals my personal feelings and experiences, but also explores themes that viewers can relate to. Sometimes they are momentous experiences like moving to a new country or battling cancer. Other times they are the everyday experiences, the small but poignant moments.”

After moving from New Zealand eight years ago where she completed her studies in art and teaching, Shanay became an art teacher at Aldridge High School. Shanay’s passion is teaching her students that art can be a positive part of their life.

“I’ve filled my life with art. The entire space of my world is around art. I love being able to show my students that they can break the stigma that artists are poor and struggling.”

Shanay was excited to share her arts practice with both her students and the Fraser Coast community at her first solo exhibition at Gatakers Artspace in 2022.

“Exhibiting at Gatakers Artspace was amazing and overwhelming. I still have people reaching out and saying they connected with my artwork. I’m so grateful for the support of the staff and community, it was a warm and humbling experience. It is wonderful that my students can see me as an artist as well their teacher.”

Shanay is currently working on a new body of work titled ‘Double-sided tape’ and is grateful for the opportunities that have come from her solo exhibition. She is now represented by Aspire Gallery in Brisbane and has also created three murals in Maryborough.

“I’m so glad I moved to Maryborough. I have had opportunities here that may never have happened in a large city. I’ve had so much support and I love the warm, creative community here.”                     

“This is what I dreamed of when I left artschool – and I’m living my dream.”

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