Marilyn Szalay

(1950 - 2012)

Archived in 2014

Bill Pappas, Marilyn Szalay, Archival digital print


Mysterious, pensive, and technically dazzling, the work of Marilyn Szalay feels just as fresh today as when it was created decades ago. Szalay, known for her flawless draftsmanship, was influenced by her early career as photojournalist for the
Sun News in Cleveland, Ohio. A master of light and shadow, Szalay used contrast to capture the complex psychology of her subjects, staging haunting vignettes which also reflected her own turmoil. As photographer Dave Dreimiller describes, “Lynn was conflicted, and you can read this in her images: sometimes soft and gentle, other times ripped by a feeling of stark grittiness.”

During her 40 year career, Szalay was a life drawing instructor at nearly every major art and educational institution in Northeast Ohio, including Kent State University, Cuyahoga Community College, Virginia Marti College of Fashion and Art, Cooper School of Art, Cleveland State University and Cleveland Institute of Art, where she gained a reputation as a tough, but fair teacher “who didn’t mince words.”

Szalay exhibited widely in such institutions as the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Institute of Art, Butler Institute of American Art, Erie Art Museum, Canton Art Museum, and the Cleveland Clinic. Her work is included in the permanent
collections of MetroHealth Medical Center, Akron Children’s Hospital, The Plain Dealer, The Cleveland Zoological Society, Kent State University, and the Ronald Macdonald House. Szalay’s legacy is lovingly preserved by the AAWR, as well as by her sister, Diane White-Tira, and fellow Archived Artist Judy Takács, who continue to show her work posthumously.