Natalia Arbelaez is a Colombian American artist, born in Miami, Florida to immigrant parents. Natalia and her mother moved to back Colombia when she was 2 months old where she spent her first four years of life in Medellin, Colombia. Natalia immigrated back to the United States and identifies as an immigrant as she fully experienced assimilation while living in a small blue-collar town of Bristol, CT. Navigating the USA’s education system and learning English caused Natalia to connect to art early on as a way to communicate and feel capable of something. She eventually moved back to Miami, FL at the age of 10 where she began the process of relearning Spanish and reconnecting with her Latinx heritage which had been negated through assimilation. Because Natalia had to actively seek out her ancestry at such a young age, this event changed her life and work where she purposefully used art to uncover her undervalued histories. She has done this by moving through spaces, such as a 2018-19 Resident Artist at Harvard University, where she researched pre-Columbian art and histories. As an Artist in Residence at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City she researched the work of historical and influential women ceramicists of color and continued this research as a 2021 Visiting Artist at AMOCA in Pomona, CA.
Natalia co-founded The Color Network, an organization that aids in the advancement of people of color in the ceramic arts, from the want of helping other artists navigate higher education and avoid obstacles she has encountered, such as writing in English. Her work has been exhibited internationally, in museums, galleries, and included in various collections, such as the Everson Museum, MAD Museum, AMOCA Museum, Fuller Craft Museum, and The ICA Miami. She lives and works in The Mid-Hudson Valley region in NY. She is currently represented by Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami, FL and Galerie Wolfsen in Aalborg, Denmark.