Author | Artist | Hairdresser | Maker of Things

Bethany Grenier has been making art in multiple mediums for over 35  years but always focuses on archetypal imagery and women’s issues.

Bethany uses hearts and skulls throughout her art to explore ancestral connections, and generational traumas, with an overarching theme of  healing.

Her visual art has been featured in group and solo shows, receiving regional honors and competing nationally as early as high school. She has been a part of ArtPrize twice with solo entries and once as a participant in a group entry.

In her novel Heart of Ember, Bethany continues to use personal experience as a catalyst for creativity. Focusing on the truth that where and who we come from is less important than our own choices, Bethany creates a magical world for the main character to learn this lesson throughout the story. 

Bethany began studying the arcane in her late teens and utilized her knowledge, heritage, and skills to set the stage for Heart of Ember. She has created several accessories to coordinate with the book, including a knitting pattern featured in the novel, followed by multiple jewelry lines, candles, and Tasseomancy (tea leaf reading) kits. She is expanding the signature candle scent into a perfume oil  and continues to develop new knitting patterns inspired by the book.

“Art, regardless of its form, is always born of personal experiences and requires courage to share it with the world. In doing so, we give others permission to do the same. We hurt and heal in turn through connection with one another.”


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Artist Statement

 I work with the imagery of archetypes. For thirty-three years, I’ve explored everything from pyramids and sacred geometry to skulls and Christian religious symbols. Still, there has been no single iconic image more important to me than the heart and all of the complexities associated with it. For me, the heart is the perfect metaphor to express the experience of life. When I began working with this iconic image, I didn’t realize that I was beginning a journey into art as catharsis or how important it would become. As a result, I’ve often combined heart imagery with my own exploration of women’s issues.

Additionally, I’ve worked extensively with skulls, frequently combining them with hearts.  For if hearts are the perfect metaphor for life, then skulls are the obvious symbol of death. Working with this taboo image, I’ve realized they are as much a part of life as they represent death. Making skulls into objects of beauty and ancestor honoring has truly connected life and death for me, becoming a catalyst to fully live and express that fullness of life in my art.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Selected Group and Solo Exhibitions

-2019 Dia de Los Muertos Ofrenda — Frederik Meijer Honors College, Grand Valley State University for the Latin American & Latino Studies program, Grand Rapids, MI                                                                                                                                                                  -2018 ArtPrize 10, Beauty in the Broken #metoo — Bitter End Coffeehouse (partial exhibit), Grand Rapids, MI             

-2018 Beauty in the Broken #metoo (full exhibit)—Nomad Gallery by Richard App, Grand Rapids, MI                                                                                                                                                                         –2018 For the Love of Art — Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI
-2017 Dia De Los Muertos — Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI
-2017 Ancestors and Archetypes — Michigan Fibre Studio, Grand Rapids, MI
-2017 Valentine’s Day — Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI
-2016 Dia De Los Muertos — Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI
-2016 ArtPrize 8, Baptism by Fire: An Allegory of Transformation —City Water Building by Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI
-2015 Dia De Los Muertos — Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI
-2014 Dia De Los Muertos — Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI
-2013 Dia De Los Muertos — Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI
-2010 Cirque A Circa — Destination 1111, Grand Rapids, MI
-2010 ArtPrize 2, Cirque A Circa: A Circus Out of Time, collaborator—Grand Rapids Press Lot, Grand Rapids, MI
-2009 Sings With Stars, Book release and art event — Literary Life Book Store, Grand Rapids, MI
-2005 Women’s Art Show — Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI
-1996 Women’s Art Show — Whole Art Theater, Kalamazoo, MI
-1995 Pneuma 4, Solo Show — Sharvea, Kalamazoo, MI



-Blake, Neil: “See 12 haunting pieces from ArtPrize 2016”, MLive September 2016
-Marcus, Two Eagles for Women’s Lifestyle Magazine, Photos of Baptism by Fire; An Allegory of Transformation, ArtPrize 2016 feature.
-WZZM TV 13, Photo featured in a video montage for ArtPrize 2016 of Baptism by Fire: An Allegory of Transformation.
-Matt Milhouse, “The Best ArtPrize Venue You Haven’t Seen,” The River 100.5 website. October 2016 ArtPrize Venue feature, including Baptism by Fire



Chic University, Grand Rapids, MI
American College of Beauty Culture, Kalamazoo, MI
Art and Interior Design, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI


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