Svetlana Rabey was born in Moscow Russia and grew up in Philadelphia, PA and New York, NY. After studying dance in New York, she earned a BFA from Parsons School of Design in 1996. Her intense dance training and the shadow of her Russian emigré heritage recur as motivations and symbols in her work across drawing, painting, and sculpture. 

After the birth of her son, she shifted materials from oils and created a series of large watercolor works on paper. These works led to commissions and reproduction collaborations with IKEA, Urban Outfitters and Sugarlift. She has been a recipient of the NYFA drawing fellowship 2015 and the Chashama Exhibition space residency in 2016 and 2018.

Svetlana lives and works in New York City with her son and husband.