Ely Urbanski was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. Her father was a photographer and her mother a dressmaker, influences seen in her works. Ely studied Art at the University of São Paulo, with a focus on printmaking. From 2005-2011 she lived in Suzuka, Japan where she developed monoprints having clothes as matrices. She used her own weight as the pressing instrument. After the earthquake of 2011 in Japan, she returned to Brazil.
Since 2014 she has been developing her art in Snow Camp and Siler City, NC. She continues to develop her project involving clothes, adding natural dyes to the work process to avoid harmful materials. Most clothes are donations and some donors participate in video recordings where they tell the stories behind the clothes. Interacting with the community has been important to her creative process. Her work blouse.blue.R was acquired by the City of Raleigh in 2017 and other works are in private collections in NC, OR and CO. She is one of the recipients of the 2018 Regional Artists Project Grant – Central Piedmont Regional Artist Hub Program, with support of the North Carolina Arts Council and partnering art councils. She was also one of the mentors of 2019 DAG Creative Mentorship Program.