The work in Sylvia Maier’s “Currency” series initiates a conversation about individual value and our sense of self worth. It explores how seeing ourselves in a positive light can increase our value as helpful members of society. The work poses several questions. Can achieving our highest self be our maximum currency? Can everyday life be thought of as spiritual currency?

“Currency” consists of over 30 (and growing) coin paintings, 11×14″. Each painting is a portrait with a coin drawn around it with the words of our familiar 1, 5, 10, and 25 cent coins. Painted in oil on wood or copper panels, all paintings are in gold floater frames to make it appear that each face, each individual, is commemorated on a US coin. The words “Liberty” and “In God We Trust” line the walls along with everyday extraordinary humans­ – and animals – for the viewers’ contemplation.

The faces are of different nationalities, ethnicities, ages and histories attached to our country. It’s a reminder that we are all worthy of commemoration for our own innate uniqueness. “Currency” reflects on equal worth, the unique in the ordinary – and the abundance that every single one of us deserves.  One of her Currency paintings is now part of the Lee Daniels TV show “Empire”.

Sylvia Maier attended the School of Visual Art, The National Academy of Design and the New York Academy. She studied at the Art Student’s League with Ron Sherr and Harvey Dinnerstein, and is a recipient of the prestigious Greenshield Award and numerous merit scholarships.

Her paintings have been shown at the Parish Museum in South Hampton, Rush Gallery, The Corridor Gallery, Lincoln Center, solo shows at the Forum Gallery in Frankfurt, Germany, and in numerous other solo and selected shows throughout the U.S. and Germany.

She has worked with the US State Departments’ Art in Embassies Program. Her paintings have been to several “art for life” events, organized by Russell Simmons to bring art to underprivileged urban kids. Her work was featured in the Wall Street Journal. Her client list includes Mars (the candy company) and M&M’s has commissioned her several times for the Super Bowl events, commercials. Her clients include Jeep, the TV show “White Collar”, Art For Films, and the “Dan Zanes and Friends”. She has worked with Spike Lee on an exhibition of paintings as well as on a public service announcement/commercial to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – for which Spike chose 30 of her paintings.

Sylvia Maier is a native of New York City and her work is very much influenced by her experiences of growing up biracial on the Upper Eastside of NYC. She has been drawing since the age of 7. Today, Sylvia Maier’s art bridges the gap between cultures as expressed in her latest body of work: the currency series and still life paintings.

Sylvia Maier lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.


Sylvia MAIER, New York, New York


Studied with Harvey Dinnerstein and Ron Sherr, 1990-96

Art Students League, 1989-96

National Academy of Design, New York, 1989-96

School of Visual Arts, New York, 1991-92

The New York Academy of Art, 1989-90


Women painting Women, group show to tour US College Campuses and museums 2017

Film on Sylvia’s process for “Hello Beautiful”

Creative Control documentary on Sylvia

“Stations”. Group show depicting the stations of the cross. Traveling churches in US 2015

Painted Portraits, group show, Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn. April 2014

Currency, solo show, Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, November 2013-January 2014

ArtErotica, April 2013, solo show, Brooklyn

Sapphire Bombay finalist, show at Rush Arts Gallery, 2012

Romare Beardan tribute, Danny Simmons, 2012

Gallery exhibition of Ms Brown. 9 commissioned paintings of “Ms Brown (2013)

Where’s Mars – Art inspired by Spike Lee (June 2009)

5 in 105 – Fort Greene Brooklyn (February 2009)

Russel Simmons “Art for Life” East Hampton Benefit (2005, 2006, and 2007)

Tabla Rasa Gallery, Brooklyn “music to my eyes” group show (2006)

Rush Arts Gallery, Chelsea, New York – “Seventh Heaven” group show (2006)

Tabla Rasa Gallery, Brooklyn “past and present” group show (2005)

Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, part of juried competition/exhibition (2005)

Fairley Dickinson University, NJ – solo show (Feb 2005)

Rush Arts Gallery, Chelsea, New York – naked-in-waiting, group show (Sept-Nov 2004)

Forum Gallery ─ Frankfurt, Germany, 10 year retrospective (September 2004)

SoHo 20 Gallery, Chelsea, New York (2004)

Forum Gallery ─ Frankfurt, Germany, one woman show (2003)

“New York, New York” ─ Frankfurt International Airport (1999)

Madelon Powers Gallery ─ East Stroudsbourg University of Pennsylvania (1998), 2 shows (solo/group) Touring exhibition of “Artists paint artists”

Cork Gallery ─   Lincoln Center, New York (1996)


  • Hello Beautiful “Kitchen Table” with Holly Robinson Peete, Kisha Cambell and Chef Huda, 2015
  • Empire, TV show on Fox, large Currency painting, 2015
  • Coca Cola commercial about Sylvia’s process with large commissioned painting, 2015
  • Mars/M&M commission of 9 commissioned paintings of “Ms Brown”, 2013
  • Spike Lee PSA for Dr. Martin Luther King 2012 – 30 paintings and drawings
  • TV show: White Collar, 2012
  • Jeep Commercial, 2011
  • Painting “Soul Sister” on loan to US Ambassador to Bangui, Central Africa, with the US State Departments’ Art in Embassies Program, Washington, DC 1999-2002
  • Peter O’Toole, The Chris Rock show, and many other private collectors


Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation Scholarship

Merit Scholarship, Art Students League

Lloyd Sherwood Scholarship, Art Students League (three years)

Eda Mirsky Award, National Academy of Design