Painting in the studio, Portugal, 1969, and Trip to Oregon, 2008





Artist’s Statement

         My creative process has always jumped intuitively from theme to theme, medium to medium—within one day, one hour, and sometimes within one work. My stylistic approach often varies drastically from piece to piece.

         Certain themes have been constant throughout my life’s work—interpretations of natural phenomena, issues around social justice, dreamlike or sub-conscious revelations that have been referred to as visionary, theatrical narrative presentations, and portraits and self-portraits of persons, creatures, places, and objects. And though I am better able to play out complex subject matter on over-life-size and at times monumental canvases and papers, I work as well on a drawing board scale and at times, pieces no bigger than my hand.

          Throughout the years, my work has consistently reflected the myriad dimensions of my daily experience. I love and trust completely this exhilarating process. It keeps me moving and continues to serve me well.

—Marilyn Reynolds



2018   BLUE MARBLE ARTS, Solo: Studio & Exhibitons, Stone Ridge, NY.

            Permanent installation of COMPOSITION IN THE ROUND and other works

2013  Performing Arts Center, High Meadow School, Stone Ridge, NY.

             Solo: COMPOSITION IN THE ROUND: 30th Anniversary Exhibition

2005  Hudson Opera House, Hudson, NY.

            Solo: Life Lines

1998 Merchant Ivory Foundation Galleries, Claverack, NY.

            Solo: Marilyn Reynolds: Selected Works

1998  EXPO 98: A Walk Through the Century, Lisbon, Portugal. International group show

1998  Tivoli Artists Coop, Tivoli, NY.

             Solo: Marilyn Reynolds: Selected Works

1997  Henry Street Arts For Living Center, New York, NY. Stitches

1996  Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, Portugal.

             Traveling international exhibition

1996   Exit Art Gallery, New York, NY. Counterculture:

             Alternative Information from the Underground Press to the Internet

1996   The Drawing Center, New York, NY. Cultural Economies: 

             Histories from the Alternative Arts Movement

1996   Santarem 2, Lisbon, Portugal. Political Posters

1992   University Of Saskatoon, Saskactchewan, Canada.

             Solo: The Human Rights Work

1992   The MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH. Residency presentation

1991   Thorpe Intermedia Gallery, Sparkill, NY.

             Solo: Exhibition of Recent Work and COMPOSITION IN THE ROUND

1991   Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.

             Solo: Marilyn Reynolds

1989   Henry Street Arts For Living Center, NY. The Spirit Within

1988/87/85  Artists Space, New York,NY. Artists from Studio in a School Association

1986   Kenkeleba Gallery, New York, NY. Fetishes, Figures, Fantasies

1986   P.S. 1 / Institute Of Contemporary Art, Long Island City, NY.         

             Solo: The Rescue and other work

1985   Indianapolis Museum Of Art, Indianapolis, IN. Annual Fall Exhibition

1985   Galeria Alternativa Zero, Lisbon, Portugal.

             Solo: New York Artist: Marilyn Reynolds

1985   Henry Street Arts For Living Center, New York, NY.


1985   Henry Street Arts For Living Center, New York, NY.

           The Gathering of the Avant-Garde, Lower East Side, NYC,1940–1970

1983  Thorpe Intermedia Gallery, Sparkill, NY.


1980  State Museum Of New York, Albany, NY. Selected CAPS Grant recipients

1980  Fashion Institute Of Technology Gallery, New York, NY. Selected CAPS recipients

1978  Noho Gallery, New York, NY.

            Solo: Death Paintings and other recent work

1977  Noho Gallery, New York, NY.

            Solo: Extraordinary Ordinary Women

1963  Harry Salpeter Gallery, New York, NY. Group Show



2001-1992   In-School Residencies / Multi-Cultural Programs,

10 grants from WOODSTOCK PERCUSSION, Garry and Diane Kvistad

1998   NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts), Special Opportunity Stipend Grant

1997   Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

1992   The MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH. Residency grant

1987   Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

1986   Artists Space Exhibition Grant, New York, NY

1985   Athena Foundation Grant & Residency, Mark DiSuvero’s studio, Long Island City, NY

1985   Indianapolis Museum Of Art, Awards for paintings in exhibition

1984   Artists Space Exhibition Grant, New York, NY

1983   New York State Council On The Arts Grant (through Thorpe Intermedia Gallery)

1978   Money For Women Fund, Inc., Grant for painting

1971   Creative Artists Public Service (CAPS) Grant

1963   Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation for painting



1993-2010    Director of Education: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Inc., Katonah, NY

1992-’95        Dutchess County Arts Council: Arts-in- Education Coordinator

1992-’95        Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum: Consultant. Recipient of four New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) grants to design and create multi-cultural installations through school residencies

1993                Touchstone Center, NYC: Consultant, Artist residencies

1993                Ulster County BOCES: Instructor: variety of workshops including those on Howard Gardner’s theories of Multiple Intelligence

1991-’92        Ulster County Community College: Painting and Drawing Instructor

1989-’90        Bard College, Edith C. Blum Art Institute: Director of Museum Education

1987-’89        Museum of Modern Art, New York City: Rudin Lecture Series, Visual Literacy Workshops, adult and children; Department of Education Lecturer

1988 & ’89    Lincoln Center Summer Institute: Instructor

1985 & ’88    Children’s Museum of Manhattan: NYFA Residency, Teacher Development Workshops

1983-’88        The Studio in a School Association, NYC: Instructor

1983-’85        Henry Street Arts for Living Center: Visual Arts Assistant





             Marilyn Reynolds was born on February 4, 1940, in Elkhart, Indiana. Her family moved to an isolated lake cottage when she was five. At age six she was raped by a neighbor who threatened to drown her if she told. Her family moved to the inner city in segregated Indianapolis when she was eight. Family responsibility with an often absent father, changing environments, and social awareness played huge parts in her development, and subsequently the emotional intensity of her art work.

             School became a refuge from her financially and emotionally unstable family; she excelled in all the arts as well as academic subjects. Outgoing, she engaged in a variety of activities in different extracurricular organizations, including a progressive church whose minister was a visionary and profound advocate for social justice. As early as in elementary school, she began to speak publicly around issues of racism. Later, she organized interracial and inter-faith study groups around the city. Ultimately, she became a national officer in the youth organization, representing the USA at the World Council of Churches conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1960.

            While still in middle school, Marilyn received a scholarship to study life drawing at a college-level art institute. In high school, she devoted herself to acting, choral singing, writing, and a full range of visual art studies; she was her class valedictorian in a class of 500.

            Attending Earlham College in Indiana on full scholarship, Earlham extended this support for her junior year abroad in Paris. Marilyn engaged in two full programs, one academic at the University of Paris, and a studio art program on scholarship from the Directorship of the Louvre at a State Art School. She worked as a translator and tutor to earn pocket money.

            She completed her BA in French and Art at Indiana University in 1962.

            Moving to the East Coast, she married Peter Rubin, filmmaker, in 1963, and in the same year received her first major grant in painting from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. Her first son, Seth David Rubin (who was to become an internationally known photographer), was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1968, where she and her husband had moved with her husband’s grant to make a film, and from sales of her paintings. He was to leave her and newborn Seth within the first year of his life.

          Upon the return of mother and son to New York City in 1970, Marilyn helped organize artists to work in the women’s prison on Riker’s Island. She received a second grant for painting from the Creative Artists Public Service Program (CAPS, to become the New York Foundation for the Arts) in 1971.

          In 1973, she accompanied her husband-to-be, the prominent civil rights attorney W. Haywood Burns, to Buffalo, NY, during the Attica prison trials. Working with other volunteers, she served as a paralegal aide with defendants waiting in the county jail, and produced publications to help expose the atrocities in that historic tragedy.

           Returning to NYC in 1975, she gave birth to their son, Jeremiah. In 1976, her Manhattan studio was vandalized, and all of the larger-than-life paintings for an important solo exhibition were severely slashed, and files, slides, and many other works destroyed. In the aftermath, she began to work on paper. Around this same time, her second marriage ended.

           She returned to school and received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Brooklyn College in 1983.

           While living in New York City, Marilyn earned their family living as a teaching artist with the Studio in a School program, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Lincoln Center Summer Institute. After moving upstate in 1989, she became Director of Museum Education at Bard College, and then for nineteen years, Director of Education for the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, NY.

            In 1983, she received a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, through the Thorpe Intermedia Gallery, in Sparkill, N.Y., to execute Composition in the Round, a multi-media work on one continuous piece of canvas, one hundred feet long and eight feet tall, which encircled the gigantic gallery space. Traveling from NYC to Sparkill, between a full time job and single parenting, she completed the work—without assistance—in six weeks of part-time sessions, usually during the night.

          Following the untimely death from breast cancer of one of her closest friends in 1988, the Ou Mang series unfolded. These alien-like images seemed to reveal themselves to Marilyn in a breathtaking process, one after another. They demanded original stylistic approaches, and completely new use of mediums.

          She received a residency to the MacDowell Colony in 1992. This period was the only time during her career when she did not have to work, or take care of children, and was awarded the time and peace in which to make art.

          In 1996, film director James Ivory (of Merchant-Ivory Films) selected her to produce faux Picasso drawings after the “Weeping Women” series, for his upcoming film. Her drawings were shown full-screen in the film Surviving Picasso.

         Marilyn continues to paint, draw, and write on a daily basis. Recently, her poetry has been published in three anthologies, and she is working on a major memoir, Paper Thin.

         She works in the woods in upstate New York in her barn-like studio which was funded by the Pollack-Krasner Foundation in their first of two grants to her. She lives joyfully with her third husband, two  cats and a dog.

         Recently, they purchased the Old Stone Ridge Firehouse, transforming it into a museum and gallery not only to exhibit her work, but that of other women over sixty who have not received proper recognition, and other marginalized artists.