BA in English and Film
Vassar College, University of Michigan (1978)

Recent Projects

2019-2022    Nomadicube (Chicago, IL)  

Nari’s Garden (2022) @ Mana Contemporary, a collaboration with Jalisa Ford and other mothers from Cabrini Green in Chicago who have lost their children to gun violence. Interwoven (2020), a large scale weaving installation with Julia Blake. The Cube in Chicago, (2019) : HERE (Pilsen) with Undocumented Projects, SOVEREIGN (Bridgeport) with Santiago X, and RUMOR (Chatham) with Aaron Evans and musicians from Paper Cranes. 

Nomadicube is a participatory and collaborative project by Marianne Bernstein. A 10’ cube becomes a roving satellite, living room, radio station, studio, performance space, movie theatre; collecting stories and bringing people together in surprising new ways. The geometry of the cube frames space into a creative free zone; the practice inside is unpredictable, allowing for spontaneous and intimate interactions, often around social justice issues. *Past cubes include: The Welcome House, Love Park (2010) Not a Vacant Lot, Philadelphia, PA (2011), Beyond What Was in New Haven, CT (2012); and in Skagastrond, a small fishing village in Northern Iceland (2014). Over the years the cube has become increasingly minimal and lightweight to facilitate travel but its original function remains the same.

2017         Due South (Sicily) 

Due South was the second project in a quartet of volcanic island explorations exhibited at The Delaware Contemporary in their three main galleries. Each of the works in Due South raises compelling questions about who defines history. Is it artists, because they offer intriguing images of the landscapes and people of Sicily? Do the aristocrats have the ultimate authority because they have the money and land? Or is it the migrants, illegal and legal, who have always come and gone on this exhibition such as this neutralizes the idea of an original people and single authority.
—Stan Mir, Hyperallergic

2014         Due North (Iceland)

A project of Philagrafika, presented in the massive Icebox Project Space in Philadelphia, Due North featured large scale video (projected onto a 120’ wall), prints, and sculpture created by Iceland’s best artists, including Venice Biennale representatives Ruri (2003), Ragnar Kjartansson (2013) and Hrafnhildur Arnardottir (2019) who along with Kolbein Hugi completed residencies at Next Fab to create new 3D works for the show. New works by the participants were showcased as the result of a series of group expeditions and residencies in Philadelphia and Iceland. The exhibition included 26 artists many of whom collaborated together over the course of three years and seven visits. From the frosty expanses of the Arctic, as well as in Philadelphia, the ambitious Due North exhibition appropriately housed at the Crane Arts Icebox space calls on 13 international artists and 13 Icelandic artists for a collaboration of mystical proportions. In this extensive show curated by Marianne Bernstein, artists explore themes including storytelling, travel, nature and climate, humor, and the intersections of many different media. The culmination of a three-year exchange of ideas and the journeys of countless individuals, this show has more than enough beauty and ingenuity to go around.
Artblogreview, 2014

2012         The Playhouse: Beyond What Was (New Haven, CT)

The second installation of the Play House traveled outside of Philadelphia with support from an NEA grant. As a nomadic architectural structure, it was transported to New Haven to activate Artspace’s “The Lot,” while exploring the social and human implication of homelessness and addiction. Artists Darwin Nix and Keliy Anderson-Staley were invited to make work on site within the cube to call attention to this problematic space and the complex social issues within New Haven. Bernstein hopes to spark artists, particularly visual artists, to connect with each other and reach out to the community.
—David Brensilver, The Arts Paper, 2012

2011         The Playhouse: Not a Vacant Lot (Philadelphia, PA)

The Playhouse is a multi-purpose aluminum 8’x8’ cube, a nomadic version of the Welcome House. Ten artist teams were invited to activate vacant lots throughout Philadelphia and create a short film. At night, these films were projected onto the exterior of the cube, which was installed as a temporary video installation and performance venue in a vacant lot on Broad Street. There are 40,000 vacant lots in Philadelphia. The intent was to demonstrate the potential for re-imagining empty space in new ways through artist interventions and neighborhood collaborations. Bernstein is well-known in the art world as a pusher of boundaries.” 
—Nathaniel Popkin, The Philadelphia Inquirer

2010         The Philadelphia Underground (Philadelphia, PA)

A site specific video installation in which eight artists were challenged to create work exploring our neglected subway system and underused public spaces in Philadelphia. The videos were projected onto aging walls for three days beneath Dilworth Plaza: a derelict underground public transit space, in the heart of downtown, adjacent to City Hall. The project also restored a statue that was the centerpiece for the space, engaged the homeless residents of the space to help clean the plaza, as well as provided live music, popcorn, and a red carpet as a makeover for the space as it was reinvented through the videos. We need more temporary public art like this to freshen the city and introduce the public to unusual contemporary art usually not seen by most people because it lurks in galleries where most folks don’t go.

2009         The Welcome House (Philadelphia, PA)

Artist residency by day, video installation by night, The Welcome House, a 10’x10’ transparent cube debuted in Love Park. Working with Interface Studio Architects and Klip Collective, the cube and video projections were designed to transform the structure into a dynamic four-sided experience. Twenty Philadelphia artists created new work inside the cube based on their interactions with the public. Each night Love Park became an open-air lounge where visitors, as well as the park’s homeless participants returned to the space to see themselves projected onto the cube. This is exactly the sort of project I would like to see much more of throughout the city. It is art that is temporary, of the highest quality, wakes people up and confronts/engages/delights them in the course of their daily routine. 
—Gary Steuer, Director of Arts & Culture, Philadelphia

2009     Shelter (Philadelphia, PA)

Conceived and curated a bi-level installation at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia. For six months, fourteen artists were paired with ten Philadelphia families facing eviction to make art dealing with issues of family crisis and homelessness. The photography, painting, video and drawing that resulted are art as social activism by artists known for great empathy in their art.Artblog

2006-08   Tatted (Philadelphia, PA)

A monograph of Bernstein’s photographic work that examines Philadelphia’s legendary South Street tattoo culture. The project incorporated social portraiture with hand written notes in order to explore people’s tattoos as windows into their souls and codes that revel deep personal significance. Marianne Bernstein is the woman behind the lens. Armed with just a camera and a notepad, the 53-year-old Philly photographer asked strangers to jot down the meaning behind the art adorning their arms, legs, and various other sundry body parts.
—Julia West, Philadelphia City Paper


The Earthquake, 2011- Producer (directed by Danielle Lessovitz)

Official Selection of the Torino International Film Festival, Fusion Film Festival,
Kansas City Film Festival, and Milan Film Festival

From Philadelphia to the Front, 2005 (co-director and producer)
Distributed by the National Center for Jewish Film at Brandeis University

The award-winning documentary traveled to 15 film festivals worldwide. I dont find it at all ironic that the single best film in this years New York Jewish Film Festival is one of the shorter ones. Judy Gelles and Marianne Bernstein, the directors of From Philadelphia to the Front, knew exactly what they wanted to say, said it, and got out.” —George Robinson, The Jewish Week


Curatorial Work / Projects

2020    Due East, Taiwan postponed due to Covid-19.

2017    Due South, The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington, DE

2014    Due North, Icebox Project Space, Philadelphia

2012    The Play House: Beyond What Was, Artspace, New Haven, CT

2011    The Play House: Not a Vacant Lot, Broad Street Arts Lot, Philadelphia

2010        The Philadelphia Underground, Dilworth Plaza, Philadelphia       
                  Big Bang, Gallery Joe, Philadelphia  

2009        Shelter, The Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia
17 emerging and established artists created new work in collaboration with local families on the brink of homelessness.

                  The Welcome House, Philadelphia
Artist residency by day, video installation by night, The Welcome House, a 10’x10’ transparent cube debuted in Love Park.

2000        Foreign Bodies: art, medicine, technology, untitled(space), New Haven
Featured 36 works by seventeen emerging and established artists including Joan Fontcuberta, Gary Schneider, and Terry Winters.

1998        Postmark International, Artspace, New Haven
During the International Festival of Art and Ideas, I invited twenty international artists to create a 6’x9’ work on a primed blank canvas (mailed it in identical black tubes around the world) about a place that had personal resonance. Work was hung from the ceiling as flags). 

1997-00  Head of Visual Arts, and Curator, Artspace, New Haven, CT 
Founded, developed and implemented new programming including:

            •    City Wide Open Studios, one of the first open studio programs offering alternative studio spaces, (such as abandoned buildings and empty lots) for artists. Co-founded with Helen Kauder and Linn Meyers.

            •     untitled(space) gallery, presenting new work by emerging and mid-career artists with an emphasis on works in progress, interactive, and site-specific work.

            •     The Lot, a formerly abandoned lot on lower Chapel Street that we redeveloped as a space for temporary art installations.

Solo Exhibitions

2013        The Cube, Public art installation in Skagastrond, Iceland

2009        Tatted, exhibition and book launch, Pure Gold Gallery, Philadelphia

1999        Dream Series, RJ Julia Madison, CT.

1993        5 Portraits/ The Crown Heights History Project, The Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn, NY.

1992        A Silver Thread, Small Space Gallery, New Haven, CT

1992        Summer 92’, Rotunda Gallery, New Haven, CT

1985        Veterans, New Haven Foundation, New Haven, CT

Selected Group Exhibitions

2020        Long Time No See, Chicago Art Department

2018        Polaris: Northern Explorations in Contemporary Art, Michener Art Museum  

2017        Due South, The Delaware Contemporary

2014        Due North, Icebox Project Space, Philadelphia
                  Due North, Philagrafika Portfolio, Philadelphia

2011         Dionysia Residency Exhibition, Thingeyri, Iceland

2010        Philagrafika Invitational, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia

2009        Into Your Head,Hopkins House Gallery of Contemporary Art, New Jersey

2003        101 Dresses, Artspace, New Haven

2000        The Cave, untitled(space), New Haven
An installation inside a darkened room with chalkboard paint featuring recorded audio, wall drawings, and projected portraits of the homeless community, including Margaret Holloway, “The Shakespeare Lady”.

1999        Artists in Residence, Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven

1999        Raw Pieces, PABA Gallery, New Haven
The Harbor of the Red Mountains: Contemporary Photographers Look at East Rock and West Rock, New Haven Historical Society, New Haven

1997        Trans-Form, Zoon Gallery, New Haven
Marianne Bernsteins 1998-1999 series of photographs taking off from her own dream journal photographically embody a memory that is more current in the present than in the past, a waking transformation of a psychological truth accessible only through a dream states.
– Pamela Franks

1998         Kiasma, untitled(space), New Haven

1996        Barriers and Enclosures, Artspace Gallery, New Haven

1996        The Virtual Self, The Mill Gallery, Guilford

1996        Reframing Tradition, Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven

1996        Group Show, The Photographic Resource Center at Boston University

1996        Images ‘96, The Mill Gallery, Guilford, CT.

1995        The Connecticut Open,Real Art Ways, Hartford
New Work, Artspace Gallery, New Haven
People and Places, M.F.A.A Gallery, New Haven
Photography, Drawing and Prints, Artworks Gallery, Hartford
Figuratively Speaking, John Slade Ely House, New Haven

1994        Artists in Residence, Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven

1994        About Face, Real Art Ways, Hartford

1992        Reprographics and the Visual Artist, The Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven

1998        Connecticut Women Photographers, Artspace Gallery, New Haven

Awards and Residencies

2020        Artist in Residence at Chicago Art Department

2014        Iceland Naturally Exhibition Sponsorship

2014        Pennsylvania Council on the Arts PPA Project Stream Grant

2014        PECO Exhibition Sponsorship

2013        Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts

2013        Nes Artist Residency, Skagastrond Iceland

2013        I.C.E. (International Curatorial Exchange) at the Icebox Project Space

2012        NEA Artworks support grant for The Playhouse: Beyond What Was

2011         PEW Center for Arts & Heritage Fellowship Finalist

2011        Dionysia Residency, Iceland

2010        Mother Teresa Award

2004    Honickman Foundation Grant

2003        Leeway Window of Opportunity Grant

2001        Honored by John DeStefano, Jr. Mayor of New Haven:
Marianne Bernstein founded 98NH2000, Citywide Open Studios, untitled(space), and The Lot; organized and assisted with dozens of exhibitions, and counseled, mentored, and encouraged hundreds of artistsa leader, true artistic visionary, risk taker and hard worker, who has given love, sweat, and tears to tell the truth about New Haven and showcase the best of what New Haven offers. —John DeStefano, Mayor

2000        Andy Warhol Grant awarded for Foreign Bodies exhibition

1998        Voted “Best Arts Visionary” by the New Haven Advocate

1998        Opening Doors, Opening Minds Award, New Haven Arts Council

1996        Award for Excellence, Women in the Visual Arts, Erector Square Gallery

Publications/Artist Talks, Interviews, and Podcasts



                   INVISIBLE ACTIVITY

                   CUSWF GEN Z FORUM

2017        Symposium organizer/presenter for Due South: “Tumbling the Jewel,” The Delaware Contemporary  

2014        Due South curator talk, The Delaware Contemporary

2013        Islensk Grafik, Artist talk, Reykjavik, Iceland

2010        “Chit, Chat, Change” at AIGA Philadelphia, panel discussion

2009        “TATTED,” monograph published by GritCity, Inc

1999        Yale University Art Gallery, Artist talk

1990        Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, Artist talk

1992        “American Sculpture at Yale University,” Yale University Press, photographer

1983        “New York at Night,” published by Stewart, Tabori, and Chang