New Exhibit @BMPC (625 Montgomery Avenue, Bryn Mawr - Ministries Center)

bmpc-exhibit-a-marketing-card        After a very long hiatus, and still working on the update of my website and a few very exciting projects, I come back to present a exhibit of small works. 


These small paintings - nine - were created based on the poetry of a young Spanish poet, Victor Martin Iglesias. I chose poems and verses from his second book published in 2014 and transformed words and their meanings into an artistic expression that reflects the struggles that young adults often experience. Yellow, in all its hues, symbolizes the sunshine of a young life, while the threads represent the struggles. The gauze cloth represents care applied to the imaginary wounds and their treatment with soft, ethereal tender comfort. The last two works in this series, “Selección de Poemas” (Selection of Poems) and a portrait of the poet,  represent a departure and the need to move on.


 These three works , from my Invisible Cities series, are a small sample of my current work.   I digitally manipulate images and drawings and laser-print them on Plexiglas that I later color. Using LED lights, I try to bring the invisibility of certain parts of cities to the viewer’s attention.


OPENING RECEPTION- SUNDAY,  DECEMBER 11 @5 pm ( right after the Christmas Concert)

Exhibit @ VenturefOrth Extended until AUGUST 17th

Exhibit at Venturef0rth. EXTENDED UNTIL AUGUST 17TH If you did not have a chance to visit you can now go until August 17th

This is a a show of my new media work - LED Drawings

@ Venturef0rth Philadelphia Ventureforth is located at

417 North 8th street, suite 201, Philadelphia, PA, 19123.(@ Willow Street. One block North of Callowhill Str. )

New Exhibit at Venturef0rth. Opening reception Thursday May 28 @ 6 PM

LED Drawing on Acrylate Please Join me in this fun opening this coming Thursday This is a a show of my new media work - LED Drawings

@ Venturef0rth Philadelphia

Line and Color

Opening Reception:  Thursday, May 28 @ 6pm

Come and visit until June 26.

Ventureforth is located at

417 North 8th street, suite 201, Philadelphia, PA, 19123. (@ Willow Street. One block North of Callowhill Str. )


You are Invited ... New Exhibit @ Rowan University Gallery

Simulate/Permeate @ Rowan University

LED DRAWINGS The Squash Players

Laser Print on Polycarbonate

Rowan University Art Gallery

Westby Hall, 237 Mullica Hill Rd Glassboro, New Jersey

January 20 – March 7 Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Wednesday, February 11, 5 – 7pm

LED drawings

As a counterpoint to the intangible nature of the digital and video art on display at the gallery and throughout the University campus, Maria Schneider’s LED drawings are deeply rooted in their physicality. In fact, they harken back to the most basic art practice of drawing. Schneider begins with a pencil on paper drawing, which is then scanned and laser printed onto layers of polycarbonate and illuminated with LED light. The drawings evoke a common experience and a familiar medium, but are transformed by the technological process to become something new.

A group exhibition of artists working with technology that explore the role of materiality, experience, and authorship in art.


Photography- Finding beauty in every day things

image image imageI have always being interested in photography and even attempted to get serious by taking a couple of classes at IIP in New York. There are centain photographers that I admire like Henry Cartier-Bresson or Diane Arbus or the photo-journalists of Agency VII, but I will never be able to emulate them. For me, photographs have another dimension, less grand and more intimate. They are the view of the unusual, surprising and beautiful things around us. I have been collecting a few of these. I try to have have my camara ready, not only on vacations but just around here, tripod and all. It takes time, and effort because there is always something more urgent to do, but....the results could be rewarding. None of the pictures are retouched, just cropped to focus on a detail.


A year's effort will be on Exhibit

The email came over the spring break. I was thrilled. Eileen Tognini, the modern art curator, had selected two pieces of my new work to be exhibited at the Main Line Art Center Exhibition Galleries from May 9 to June 6. Eillen Tognini is one of the most forward thinking curators in the Philadelphia area (CFEVA Board of Artistic Advisors; Drexel University.). It has been over a year of hard work for me. An idea that came to mind at a visit to NextFab many months ago, finally came to fruition. My brain is in constant search mode. Ideas come to mind at rapid speed, and that is what happened that Philadelphia summer. The laser printer and the electronics' lab I saw at NextFab seemed really interesting to go unnoticed. A rush of ideas and possibilities came to mind. But making those ideas reality was not easy by any stretch of the imagination.

Using traditional drawing techniques, I take my pencil drawings and transform them by laser printing them on transparent polycarbonate sheets, lighting them with LEDs, making the images glow. The images acquire a different dimension. I draw images that are familiar to me and my daily life? That was the start. You see some of them here. At the same time, I have always been fascinated by layers, real and abstract, and how layers change everything and add complexity to any work of art and situation. A light projected on an image creates a shadow. The shadow grows and changes depending on our position and the position of the light. Our perception of things changes the same way.  I print different layers on the sheets and these different layers create a perception of depth. The LED lights make the image float in space. In addition, when a light is projected on the image, this outside light creates shadows of the image on the wall. The perception changes as the light or the viewer moves.  Our perception of things changes as we look at situations from different angles.

You may wonder what happened with the bulls, my mixed media works.... They are still part of my exploration and my regular work. Holding a brush in front of a traditional canvas is still a wonderful struggle for me. But more about that in the next post.

On view at The Main Line Ar Center ( May 9- June 6.




As I roll Up My Sleeves

It has been a long time since my last post as life and the urgent daily tasks have taken over the important things I like to do. These past nine months have been filled with experimentation of new techniques, ways and visions. I have been trying out new ways to express myself, new ways to present the ideas that get may mind so excited and happy to be alive. These ideas come quickly, but the nitty-gritty of making them work is what takes time. Last summer, I went to see the Bruce Springsteen Exhibit at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia at the urging of a great friend visiting from Germany. I walked through the exhibit taking in the history, just curious about it. However, the experience changed when I sat to listen to a recording of a Springsteen interview in which he explained his thought and work process. I was suddenly transported to my own reality. What takes time is making those ideas work. The rolling up of the sleeves, getting a painting, or a print or a metal sheet be what I wanted, is what takes the most time for me and for him as he explained so well in this interview. This is what has taken most of my time these past few months. The few hours I had to spare were used making those ideas work. I am still doing that. And one day, in the not too distant future, the song will be written and the images will all come together. The volcano brewing inside will make its showing. And you will be the first one to know. Thank you for being there and encouraging me. It is a lonely place many times.

Interview with Diálogo 365

My interview with the curator of Diálogo 365, Anabelle Rodriguez-Lawton, has just been published.

Maria Schneider (Spain)

October 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment

Just Go (to the Unknown). Mixed Media on Canvas: 30 in x 34 in, 76.2 cm x 86.36 cm, 2012.

In this work, I explore the importance of the evanescent moments and what seizing the day means now. “If not now, then when?” Burlap and gauze cloth symbolize the fragility and roughness that surrounds certain decisions in our lives.The crumbling buildings and teared financial newsprint pages, symbols of a uncertain world, cover pictures of people leaving. It is now, or maybe never – one has to seize the moment and just go.

AR-L: How long have you been painting and how did you develop your abstract style?

MS: I started painting about 15 years ago, but it has been in the last 10 years when I really felt I just had to paint.  I was in the corporate world, from banking to consulting.  I started attending local art centers and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts –Painting, drawing, color….Then I moved to New York and registered at the Art Students League.  It was a new, marvelous world to me.  There were people from all walks of life and a common theme:  Art. I loved it. I decided then I really wanted to paint. It made me feel so alive! Art became my self-expression.

My abstract style developed from my years at the Art Students League, my influence from the corporate world, and my deep interest in world events- current and past, and our perception of those events.  My first paintings of bulls started with the classical drawing and painting- line, color.  But suddenly, I felt that all the images conjured into my subconscious – financial events, economic symbols, iconic images from history – were rushing out.  I was also influenced by Roland Barthes idea of different layers of meaning.  The bulls are not just bulls but symbols that convey different meanings.  It was like a pour of words without talking.  Ideas brew in my mind and rushed onto the canvas.  I am open to all mediums, because all of them are valid ways to express.


The Running of the Bull Market is one of those paintings. The bull is such a symbol of Spain, even when many young Spaniards disassociate themselves from it. It was the icon of the Etruscans and the Minoans.  It is the symbol of the male, the noble, earthy animal, and it is the symbol of wealth and good fortune – the bulls of Wall Street, and the craziness of the financial system.  These bull paintings try to conjure it all.  The newspaper stock quotes intertwine into the drawing.  There are also prints of laws and regulations affixed into the oil paint.  The systems run amok.  But the beauty of the bull remains.

AR-L: What has your experience as an immigrant in the United States been like?

MS: My experience has been positive but I had to overcome stereotypes. But my accent always gave me away.  A few years ago, people did not have a clue where Spain was.  They just accepted the media stereotypes.  This is much better now.  However, I have always felt like an outsider. I remember when I was in the corporate world, I really had to pay attention to my accent.  Having grown up in Spain and with a very lousy musical ear, I had to make an effort  to pronounce correctly so that people focused on  my words not on my accent –  If you do not pronounce correctly, many people assume you are not smart or well educated.  Art became a way to express myself.  Accent did not matter so much.

The United States has given me many opportunities.  You can still be in control of your future.  Coming into a different culture opened my mind and made me work harder.  Being out of my comfort zone, I had to overcome higher barriers and work harder, which helps you in the long run – It takes more energy to come in from the outside.

AR-L: How has the Diálogo 365 initiative impacted your career?

MS: It has been a great opportunity and I am grateful for it.  First, the thematic approach pushed me to incorporate new themes into my work.   It is fascinating to see how one theme can be interpreted in so many different ways.  Diálogo 365 exposed me to a wider audience and connected me to many other artists with a common background. It is not easy to find opportunities where our voices can be heard, where the audience is willing to hear a different tone.  Diálogo 365has provided that for me.

AR-L: What are some of your current and upcoming projects?

MS: I am working on a new group of paintings of cities and, in particular, my adopted city, Philadelphia.  I am really fascinated by Philadelphia now.  It is one of the coolest cities in the US, with all the pros and cons.  I love its energy and I want to use the images that come to my mind.  In these paintings I incorporate the layers as social strata as I had done with the bull paintings or my more abstract paintings such as My Thoughts on the Spanish Crisis.   I am also working on conceptual sculptures on the economic crisis.  I have a lot of fun making these sculptures.  They pop up in my mind and I have to execute them.  It is a very down to earth process.

I am also very excited about some new materials I am working with – metal, acrylic – and new printing processes.  I am like a little kid that gets very excited about learning and experimenting with new things.

I am also revamping my web page.  I am including my new paintings and sculptures and giving it a fresh appeal.  I will keep on blogging too.  But I want to concentrate on my painting and sculptures.  I have so many ideas….

AR-L: Please share a favorite recipe with our readers in time for the holidays.

MS: There are two simple dishes that I love to cook over the holidays because they remind me of my home:  Roasted Lamb and Rosemary Yams and Potatoes.

Roasted Leg of Lamb

  • Leg of Lamb
  • 3 or 4 medium cloves of garlic (depending on the size of the leg)
  • ¼ cup of parsley leaves
  • ½ cup virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste

The most important ingredient is a young tender leg of lamb.  We call it “Cordero Lechal” because it is just milk-fed.  The day before, crush garlic and fresh parsley in a mortar. As the pestle crushes the garlic and parsley, start adding virgin olive to the mix.  When there is a fine paste, add more olive oil enough to cover well the leg.  Put it in a tray (not plastic) and covered well with aluminum foil or a lid and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hrs.  The next day heat the oven at 400 F. (roast setting).  Place the leg of lamb into an oven-proof tray (best in a glazed clay pot – cazuela de barro), add salt to the leg and some fresh pepper and start roasting.  When roasted on both sides (about 20 minutes on each side) lower the temperature so that the lamb gets done without getting dry.  Use a meat thermometer to gauge doneness, but do not overcooked it.  Cover it with aluminum foil to avoid excessive burning, if necessary.

Potatoes and Yams with Rosemary

  • Orange Yams (2 small per person)
  • Yukon Gold potatoes (2 small per person)
  • Fresh rosemary minced
  • Salt to taste

Once the lamb is in the oven, peel the potatoes and yams and rough-cut them.  Put them in a roasting tray with salt and fresh crushed rosemary sprinkled with olive oil.  Place them in the same oven as the lamb, but not the same pan.  Let them cook together for about 45 minutes.  Turn them once to make sure the roast and do not stick to the pan.

CARPE DIEM: A Latin American Exhibition at Philadelphia City Hall

20121018-114351.jpg "Just Go: If not today, when?" Oil and mixed media on canvas.

One of my works has been selected to exhibit at Carpe Diem

Join me at the Openign Reception, October 18th, 6pm-8pm

Diálogo 365: CARPE DIEM Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero... "Seize the Day, putting as little trust as possible in the future" - Horace

Curated by Anabelle Rodriguez-Lawton

Dialogo365 is the largest exhibition of Latino art in the Philadelphia area. It is organized by Casa de Venezuela to showcase the talent of Latino artists in the Northeast region of the US.

The 4th annual exhibition will take place from October 18th to December 7th 2012 at the Open Spaces of the Philadelphia City Hall

In my studio..those fleeting moments of creativity

I have been thinking about creativity and my art, and how I come to create one image or another, one painting, one sculpture. I work in my studio in the wee hours, as you may know. There is something about these magical hours for me. If I can stay awake, there are no distractions, no pressures, no time. I sit in my studio, sometimes reading, others just listening to music. My mind is quiet, a little aloof. I will be thinking about a painting, a sculpture, all day long - how to change it, how to add something, how to make it as I feel it should be and then a fury of thoughts will rush into my mind, thoughts held from the day, waiting in my subconscious, ready to come out. These creative moments happen mostly at night because it is when I let my mind wonder, out of the mental to- do list. Those are my moments of creation, those fleeting moments where there are no boundaries, no constrains. An idea runs through and you have to grab it! Then, the real work starts. These ideas have to be put into concrete pieces. Crafting the painting, the sculpture, making it work will consume many hours and days. Experimenting, changing, adding, subtracting is part of the art. It is a struggle and I welcome it. It thrills me. Paintings and sculptures will hang in my thoughts all day, at the supermarket, at the pick-up line for school, while driving. [That is maybe why I like driving so much, you can get lost in thought.] And then, go back to the studio.

I have been working in different themes: The Economic Crisis has been a central theme...Se acabó la fiesta (The Party is over), Just Go (Carpe Diem). These are the pieces I have been working on…two of them have been selected to be exhibited at Philadelphia City Hall. More on that in my next post..

New Exhibit at Muse Gallery in Philadelphia

Muse Gallery,  February 3 - 26, 2012

Form the prints of "In Memoriam" to "The Unbearable Lightness of Being", I have been experimenting, following the tradition of the tapestry weavers, working with cloth, threads,oil paints to  capture the tumultuous times of our world.

Opening this Friday at Muse Gallery, Colaborative 34 makes art the with art pieces.  Every artist presented four 12" by 12" canvases to create a collage that transcends each unique image.  The results are stunning.  Come and see for yourself.

Join us for the Artist Reception, Sunday February 12 .  2 to 5 pm.

Muse Gallery 52 North Second Street, Philadelphia, PA

A life without Art?

When I was living in Spain, we used to visit a Lebanese restaurant in the Chamartin District. What I best remember, besides the wonderful mezes, are the brown match boxes - the folded ones- placed on every table.   Inside the flap, printed in blue letters, was a Lebanese saying...." si tienes dos Reales, compra una hogaza de pan para tu cuerpo y un ramo de flores para tu alma"   which roughly translates as "if you have two dollars, buy a loaf of bread for your body and a bouquet of flowers for your soul." This saying had stayed with me, even though, I cannot even remember the name of the restaurant or how it looked like.   It appears from time to time and it is always when I experience beauty around me, and the thought of not having it. Last night, I had the privilege of attending Itzhak Perlman's performance at the Kimmel Center. The beauty of the sounds filled the Hall. I felt how the music filed my mind, transported me, moved me....but then, when it ended I wondered what would happen if suddenly there was not music, there was no art around us. How poor our lives would become!  How gray the surroundings would be without music, poetry, paintings.....without human expressions of beauty.  The music last night filled me with joy.  As the Hungarian Dances were performed, images of gypsies, colorful dresses filled my thoughts.  My mind is already working on my next paintings. Art and beauty feed creativity.

"The Unbearable Lightness of Being" - A Walk into Abstraction

Some years ago, while I was studying  at the Art Students League of New York, my work was mostly abstract.  Back in Philadelphia, my work became more figurative again, but I never lost the taste for abstraction.  As an artist, it is important, I believe, to move from the comfort zones - what one does well and people like- to other territories where one can grow in unexpected directions.  From experiments in printing this past Spring, ( see "In Rememberance 1 and 2" in previous posts), I became enthuse with a theme that has been in the back my mind...mixed with event of our times. "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"  written by Milan Kundera is the point of departure of this work .  It explores the ethereal nature of our life and circumstances...

All the work is on oil and ink on canvas and incorporates mixed media elements such as cloth.

"Following the Line" at Philadelphia City Hall until Dec 2nd

Following the Line,

an exploration of the fundamental element in art.

at Philadelphia City Hall

October 13th-December 2nd, 2011

Opening Reception: Wednesday, October 19th, 5-7 pm

Curated by Amie Potsic, Director of Career Development at the Center For Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA)

and Ona Kalstein, artist and Board member of the Da Vinci Art Alliance

New Work at Two Exhibits Opening this Month

Dialogo 365,

a Latin American Exhibit,

Crane Arts Building and Crane Old School,
1400 N American Street, Philadelphia, PA
October 7th-25th, 2011
First Friday: October 7th

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 13th, 6-9pm

curated by Annabelle Rodriguez-Lawton and presented by Casa de Venezuela
Three Works created for this exhibition
Bolivar, El Libertador
Bolivar is not represented just as the classic figure but as the embodiment of his proclamations now interwoven in his head from his original writings and the Venezuelan Constitution. The Libertador is sorrounded by images that contrast with the principles established in the Eighth Chapter of the Venezuelan Constitution: the Rights of the People.
Elusive Freedom
Freedom as elusive force is represented by the bulls that seem to desappear running away from a page in the Constitution: The Rights of the People. The red line symbolizes the strugle of the people.
The Bulls of Power – Freedom, Democracy and Independence
My style derives from a constant search. I am moved by modern views of ancient symbols and cultural icons. A source of inspiration comes from modern images that capture life in our times. "Current events" are always present. I infuse my canvases and sculptures with ideas that get intertwine into the work. Financial newsprint pages, handwritten poems, historical writings….are weaved into each piece. I am attracted by textured, unpolished surfaces that reflect primitivism to produce a more visceral reaction.
My second exhibit

Following the Line,

an exploration of the fundamental element in art.

at Philadelphia City Hall

October 13th-December 2nd, 2011
Opening Reception: Wednesday, October 19th, 5-7 pm
Curated by Amie Potsic, Director of Career Development at the Center For Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA)
and Ona Kalstein, artist and Board member of the Da Vinci Art Alliance
In Memoriam 1 and 2 ( Monotypes)

My sculpture "American Dream" will show at Art Prize 2011

Art Prize, a radically open art contest in which people vote for the art,  will start on September 20.  My sculpture American Dream will be standing across from the Grand Rapids Civic Theater close by the Civil War monument.  I will make the trip, a pilgrimage for me, to install it and present at a panel at the Civic Theater.    As I explained in the recording I did for Art Prize, this sculpture made out of wood boxes is the symbol of socioeconomic turmoil around us. Some of the boxes are full, some are empty. For me, and many artists before me, the American Flag is a very powerful symbol. It represents all Americans. All over the world, it symbolizes the American Dream. But what is the American Dream? The sculpture asks the viewer Tweet his/her #americandream.   I have been monitoring and collecting  these tweets since I posted the tag  a few months ago.  The tweets have become much more political in the last two moths.  The phrase is all over now.  The flag is just the icon. You can follow me on Twitter @MariaRschneider.

American Dream
American Dream

The Art Prize contest runs from September 20 through October 9 when the ten winners are announced. Register and vote if you are in Grand Rapids.