Maria Maneos


Maria Maneos Brush With the Law Founder

Maria Maneos has spent over a decade using art to advocate for social change and criminal justice reform within the realm of mental and behavioral health. She is a visual artist from the Philadelphia area and the founder and director of the nonprofit organization, Brush With the Law (Community Service/Reentry Arts). She holds a BFA from Arcadia University, and an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Maneos has shown her work extensively throughout the city of Philadelphia, and exhibits in galleries, art centers, universities, and museums nationwide. In 2020 she was awarded the (CFEVA) Center for Emerging Visual Artists’ Career Development Fellowship (2020-2022); a highly sought artist fellowship in Philadelphia. She is a Leeway Foundation for Art and Change (2014) grant recipient, and was named a visionary by the Pollination Project in Los Angeles, CA for her hands on work within the prison system. She received the Outstanding Mentor in Alternative Settings Award from Kutztown University in 2019 for her work connecting with marginalized populations. Her sculpture, 5535-2017 won first place and received the Purchase Prize Award in 2018 at the Art of the State exhibit in Harrisburg where it is now part of the permanent collection of the State Museum of Pennsylvania. Most recently, she was selected to serve as a member of the Montgomery County Public Defenders Advisory Board where she will help provide input on policy, priorities, and legislation that impact the justice system. 


Brush With the Law was built on hope. Hope for better outcomes, better decisions, and more openness to learn new things and imagine bigger. I hope that in some small way, my education in Fine Arts has been utilized and will continue to help causes and people in a productive, positive way. 

– Maria Maneos

Maria Maneos
Visual Artist

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, MFA 2010
Arcadia University, Glenside, PA, BFA 2006

Community Involvement
Public Defenders Advisory Board of Montgomery County, Norristown, PA - current 
PA Academy of the Fine Arts Alumni Council, Philadelphia, PA 2018-2021
Grant Panelist, PA Council on the Arts (Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance) 2015-2018
Docent, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA 2010-2012
Brush With the Law Community Service Arts 2013-current

Solo and Two Person Exhibit
2021   CFEVA, Philadelphia POST, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
2017   The Art of Recovery, Montgomery County Community College, Pottstown, PA
2012   International House, The Woman Represented, Philadelphia, PA

Group Exhibit
2021   Exquisite Corpse for Unprecedented Times: A Socially Distanced Art Project, Esther Klein Science Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2020   Together We Can Make a Difference, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
2020   Annual Distinguished Alumni & Faculty Show, Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA
2019   Fleisher Wind Challenge, 2nd Round Placement, Philadelphia, PA
2019   Bits & Pieces of the Past, Art Association of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA
2019   A Celebration of Art and Life, University of PA, Perelman Center, Philadelphia, PA          
2018   51st Annual Art of the State, State Museum of PA, Harrisburg, PA 
2018   Springtime, After All, Gallery 50, Bridgeton, NJ
2018   Annual Distinguished Alumni & Faculty Show, Montgomery County Community College, Pottstown, PA 
2017   Art at Valley Lake, Valley Lake Art Gallery, Horsham, PA
2017   A Celebration of Art and Life, University of PA, Perelman Center, Philadelphia, PA          
2017   Healing through Art, Studio Montclair, Montclair, NJ
2016   Time After Time: The Incarcerated Female, Gorevin Gallery, Cabrini College, Radnor, PA        
2014   It’s a Wrap, Ground Floor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2013   A Celebration of Art and Life, University of Pa, Perelman Center, Phila., PA
2012   The Woman Represented, International House Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
2012   Backlash, SOHO20 Gallery Chelsea, New York, NY
2012   Her Visual Fix, Chris White Gallery, Wilmington, DE
2011   Projekt 30 Gallery, West Palm Beach, FL
2011   Agora Gallery, The Odyssey Within, New York, NY
2010   Centotto Gallery, Graphologies, Brooklyn, NY
2010   Togo Run, Lilly Oncology on Canvas, New York, NY
2010   Manayunk Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA
2010   Long Beach Island Foundation for the Arts and Sciences, MFA Exhibit, Loveladies, NJ
2010   TBD Artist Gallery, 319 N. 11th St., Philadelphia, PA
2010   PA Academy of the Fine Arts, 109th Annual Student Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA
2009   128 Gallery, North Broad & Cherry Sts., Philadelphia, PA
2008   Green Exhibit, City Hall, Philadelphia, PA
2008   Atmosphere, Salon Des Amis Gallery, Malvern, PA
2008   Manayunk Arts Show, Philadelphia, PA
2008   Art Matters, Villanova Conference Center, Radnor, PA
2008   Emerging Artists, Artists’ House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2008   Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
2007   Fifth Stone Studios, Philadelphia, PA
2007   Mixed Media Art Gallery, Doylestown, PA
2006   Overland Park Convention Center, Overland Park, KS

2019 Outstanding Mentor in Alternative Settings, Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA
2018 Art of the State Purchase Prize Winner, PA State Museum, Harrisburg, PA
2018 First Prize Sculpture, Pa State Museum, Harrisburg, PA
2018 First Prize Painting, Ambler Arts Center, Ambler, PA
2017 Kutztown University - Outstanding Mentor in Alternative Settings Award
2015 Pollination Project Visionary Nominee, Los Angeles, CA

CFEVA (Center for Emerging Visual Artist) 2020 Fellow, Philadelphia, PA 

Collections - Private, Public, Corporate
State Museum of PA, Harrisburg, PA
Castle Valley Consultants, Doylestown, PA
Thomas and Sandra Vasoli, Gwynedd Valley, PA
Vincent Fumo, Philadelphia, PA 

2014 - 2022 Pa Council on the Arts Grant Recipient
2014 Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant Recipient
2019 The Pollination Project Grant Recipient

Selected Bibliography
‘Make it more beautiful’: Mural installed at Mattie Dixon Community Cupboard in Ambler
Art and Art Therapy with the Imprisoned: Re-Creating Identity, by: David Gussak, 2019
PA Art of the State Sculpture Spotlights 5535, PennLive, July 13, 2018
Maria Maneos on Incarceration and the Opioid Crisis, by Paula Cahill,, June 2, 2018 
Psychology Today, Art on Trial, Jan. 27, 2015
5535: New Art Installation, PennLive, Harrisburg, PA,, May 25, 2018 
CBS: The Philadelphia Agenda with Brad Segall, Radio Interview,, July 7, 2015 
Brush With the Law, Mural Unveiled at Norristown Police Station, Times Herald, January 05, 2017
Montco Jail Art Class, Philadelphia Inquirer, by: Laura McCrystal,  July 08, 2015 
Woman on Personal Quest, The Reporter Newspaper, December 01, 2013: 
Two at International House, by: CSchwartz,, October 4, 2012 
Studio Visit , Volume 18, June 2012:
Portrait of an Artist, Philadelphia Inquirer, April 14, 2010, 
Salon Des Amis Gallery: Atmosphere,, March 2009, 

Speaking Engagements
TEDx Speaker ‘The Big Idea’ at Arcadia University, Glenside, PA 2017

Professional Experience
2013-Current  Founder and Director, Brush With the Law, a nonprofit community service and re-entry public arts program that serves the metropolitan Philadelphia area, PA
2016-2020   Grant Advisor - The Pollination Project Arts and Culture Division
2017-2018   Mural Arts-Restorative Justice Program at Graterford Maximum Security Prison RobyBuseman
2010-2013   Class Instructor, University of PA Center for Rehabilitation, Philadelphia, PA
2010-2011   Instructor, Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA