In Memoriam – Marlene Lewis Weinberger

Marlene Lewis Weinberger in front of her painting Jumping Jubilee at the 2002 Annual National Exhibition, NGJ (Photo: Mark Weinberger)

We deeply regret the passing of artist and graphic designer Marlene Lewis Weinberger on March 6, 2010. Marlene was born in Kingston and lived between Kingston, Jamaica and Newark, New Jersey. She was educated at the Wolmer’s School for Girls, Kingston; Jersey City University (MFA); the Montclair State University, New Jersey (BFA); and the School of Visual Arts, NYC.

Marlene worked as Advertising Art Director at Young and Rubicam, NYC, and Carter Gambrill Robinson Ltd, Kingston where she became the magazine’s first Creative Director and later, through her illustrations and photography, built the iconic look of Air Jamaica’s inflight magazine, SkyWritings, for which she designed the first layouts, cover design and masthead  in 1972. She was also the illustrator for Beenybud books, written by Linda Gambrill.

As a fine artist, Marlene was one of the participants in the landmark Xayamaca workshop, which brought together Jamaican and international artists in an intensive two-week workshop in which experimentation was actively encouraged. In Jamaica, she exhibited at the NGJ’s Annual National Exhibitions in 2000 and 2002 and the National Biennials of 2006 and 2008, and also at the Edna Manley College’s CAG[e] gallery in 2008.  In the USA, she exhibited at the Painting Center, NYC; the Art Omni residency, Ghent, NY, in 2002, and Alijra Emerge  (2002), in Newark, NJ. She was a lifetime member of The Art Students League, NYC. Marlene also taught art at the Essex County College, in Newark and at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, in Kingston.

Marlene Lewis, Separate Realities (2006, detail)

Marlene’s fine art focused on the myth and reality of Caribbean life and paradise, which she explored by means of the playful juxtaposition of  idealized iconic Caribbean imagery and incongruous references to the present-day realities. Her most recent work explored the politics of water access, as one of the main sources of social unrest and armed violence in the contemporary global arena, in works such as the mixed media assemblage Separate Realities (2006), shown at that year’s National Biennial, and the installation Water Worries No 3 in the 2008 Faculty Show at the CAG[e], Edna Manley College, where she also lectured part-time in Painting.

Marlene leaves her husband and companion of 40 years, Mark and their daughters. The NGJ extends its sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Marlene Lewis, Separate Realities (2006, detail)

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7 thoughts on “In Memoriam – Marlene Lewis Weinberger

  1. Wow, I am saddened to read about Marlene’s passing. I had the opportunity to see her work in New York at the Painting Center. It was fantastic, and really contrasted the ideal Caribbean with the real Caribbean in very powerful ways.

    She will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.

    Ben (the Caribbean Amphibian)

  2. I still can’t believe that Marlene is gone. I remember her from the Curatorial Studies class particularly. I think her water worries installation was quite prescient especially keeping in mind the situation today.

  3. I am completely stunned. “miss lewis” was a great inspiration to me as well as a counselor during my confused painting phases. It was always a treat to sit in on her classes just to hear and see her. How does her family handle a loss like this? From “issues in representation” to “curatorial studies”, the memories will ease some of the loss for me, hopefully.

  4. I’m deeply saddened to learn of Marlene’s passing. She was wounderful to work with on the Painting Center project. My time with the EMC allowed me to get to know her much better. Such an amazing up-beat woman.
    Every day is a blessing.

  5. Marlene is a remarkable artist and a great human-being; her art work is magnificent. Her art is outstanding.

    Marlene had a great personality with a large spirit; she was unique. It was a blessing and joy to know her. She was fun to be around, always happy.

    Her art is important. Her art needs to be in museums.

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