Maria Maneos


Maria Maneos Brush With the Law Founder

Maria Maneos is an artist and the founder of Brush With the Law. She became acquainted with the harsh realities of incarceration in the U.S. when her son’s co-occurring disorder and addiction to heroin/fentanyl inevitably led to his arrest for a non-violent offense.

Visiting him in jail brought to light  the lack ofand for the most part nonexistent—rehabilitative programming. These programs are absent within most of our country’s overcrowded and overburdened prison system. She soon learned that the inmates for the majority of the day have few emotional, educational, or social outlets. These are needed to help alleviate, and lessen feelings of self-defeat, depression, and cynicism.  All of which ultimately further entraps people in a cycle of crime and drug addiction.


About 15 years ago I took my son and daughter to visit Eastern State Penitentiary for the first time. We went to see how and where some “bad guys” were once sent to live. We spent the afternoon going from one cell to another and stumbling upon various artist installations that were on display. Not once did we think that any one of us would eventually be a person to sit behind bars.

Sadly, since visiting Eastern State Penitentiary my son has been in and out of the Pa prison system due to nonviolent crimes committed to fuel his addiction .  I remember him calling me the first time he was booked in our county jail and his insistent begging for me to come and bail him out. News that your child is in jail is probably the second-to-most dreaded phone call a parent can receive. Until his call that day, I’d never really known anyone who’d been in jail, and honestly, until that point I didn’t think I’d ever want to know anyone that was.

Since then I have learned a lot ~ not only about addiction ~ but also our American prison system, drug rehabilitation facilities, assessments, behavioral and mental health facilities, co-occurring disorders, homelessness, 302’s,  and the list goes on.

 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 the 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
Solo and Two Person Exhibits
2016   Believe in Me 2, Art Gallery, Maple Glen, PA
2012   International House, The Woman Represented, Philadelphia, PA
Group Exhibit
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   Annual 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   The Art of Recovery, Montgomery County Community College, Pottstown, 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 2015   A Celebration of Art and Life, University of PA, Perelman Center, Philadelphia, PA          
2014   Leeway Foundation, Art and Change Grant Recipient, Philadelphia, PA
2014   A Celebration of Art and Life, University of Pa, Perelman Center, Phila., 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   Fall for the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
2007   Fifth Stone Studios, Philadelphia, PA
2007   Mixed Media Art Gallery, Doylestown, PA
2006   Overland Park Convention Center, Overland Park, KS
2006   Arcadia University Senior Thesis Exhibit, Glenside, PA
2004   Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA
2014 – 2020 Pa Council on the Arts Grant Recipient
2019  The Pollination Project Grant Recipient
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
2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 – PA Council on the Arts Grant Recipient
2014 Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant Recipient
2003 Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society
Collections – Private, Public, Corporate
State Museum of PA, Harrisburg, PA
Robert and Nadine Haines, Collegeville, PA
Castle Valley Consultants, Doylestown, PA
Thomas and Sandra Vasoli, Gwynedd Valley, PA
Vincent Fumo, Philadelphia, PA
HealthSpark Foundation, Lansdale, PA
Selected Bibliography
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
Speaker/Panel Member for Undergraduate and Graduate students as well as Faculty of Cabrini College involved in the education and learning of the criminal justice system – Cabrini College, Radnor,  PA 2016
Professional Experience
Current          Director, Brush With the Law – ReEntry Arts Program, Montgomery County, PA
Current          Board Member, PA Academy of the Fine Arts Alumni Council, Philadelphia, PA    
Current          Grant Advisor – The Pollination Project Arts and Culture Division
2015-2018     Grant Panelist, PA Council on the Arts (Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance)
2017-2018     Mural Arts-Restorative Justice Program at Graterford Maximum Security Prison RobyBuseman
2010-2013     Instructor, University of PA Center for Rehabilitation, Philadelphia, PA
2012-2015     Web Design, ArtBiz, Toronto, CA
2010-2011     Instructor, Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA
2010-2012     Docent, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
2008-2010     Teaching Assistant, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA