Featured Art

Nina Levy wins TUACA Napkin Art Competition

Nina Levy Featured Napkin Art

Nina Levy Featured Napkin Art

Nina Levy is an artist who lives in New York and recently won the TUACA Napkin Art Competition. Educated at the University of Chicago and Yale University, she has painted over 900 school lunchbox napkins for her 2 sons, Ansel and Archer since 2006! She uses both art and paint markers for her craft.

A post she published on July 10th showcases her work.

Her blogspot, entitled Daily Napkins, chronicles her napkin art.

Her winning entry, “Lions with Liquer” won top prize.

“I was honored and grateful to have my napkin selected for the grand prize in the TUACA napkin competition.”

The top image below (Two Lions Walk into a Bar…) was selected. It was the third image out of four that I had submitted. TUACA sent me a very generous check and a box full of TUACA themed swag.

“The kids have already plotted many ways to spend the money. The feel quite responsible for “our” prize as the napkin project overall is theirs. If only they had any sense of financial reality…And if I could just manage to win a napkin drawing contest once a month….I have not heard who won the other prizes, but will update this page when I do.”

Thanks TUACA!” she writes.

On her newer website, she writes some notes on napkins:

“I started out drawing simple pictures in black Sharpie on a napkin for Archer’s nursery school lunches. I wanted to reassure him and to win him some additional attention at lunch- perhaps his teacher would have to read the message to him and then they could talk about what interested him about the character in the drawing. I tried to draw characters from the books we were reading at home, but those were often upstaged by Archer’s obsessions with movie and TV characters and other pop culture detritus. We went thru months of “Draw me driving with Lightning MacQueen!” or “Draw Chicken Little having Gatorade poured over his head!” (Archer’s favorite scene at 3 years old from the widely panned Disney movie)


As Archer blossomed into a boy obsessed with Star Wars and all thing related to guns, fighting, and violence in general, producing an image that satisfied him but would still be acceptable to pull out of a lunch box at a Quaker school became challenging. Luke and Darth Vader embraced proclaiming non-violent conflict resolution and Wolverine used his claws to skewer broccoli florets, but his Pre-K teacher was not fooled. She expressed her disapproval by refusing to read him the text to anything that had even a whiff of pop culture or conflict. She suggested that insects, animals and plants should tell him to have a good lunch, not Star Wars characters.”

Nina Levy is more than just a Napkin artist. She is photographer and sculptor as well. The Family Resemblance Press Release writes “Nina Levy is an extraordinary hyper realistic figurative sculptor whose inventive use of the human form is turned to an examination of the physical and the psychic, often focusing attention to the sometimes mutual discomfort of one with the other. Through precise modeling, skillful use of polychrome, fragmentation, and disjunctive scale, Levy works the volatile side of the mind/body connection. Her well known sculptural installations and photography have explored alienation and loss, identity, and parenthood through a sharply focused, wry and reductive sensibility. It is a strength of her work that a single figure can both surprise and startle while eliciting a strongly sympathetic response in the viewer.”


Nina Levy is a photographer, napkin artist and sculptor who lives in New York.

To see and read more about this extraordinary artist, please visit these websites below.

Current Website for Nina Levy
Archived Website for Nina Levy

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