Isabel Manalo is an interdisciplinary visual artist whose work personally addresses ideas of power and identity as defined by race, ethnicity, geography and class. Combining photography, drawing, painting, sewing and writing, her work embraces visual clues and coding as inspired by the ancient art of Filipino tattooing, maps and the history of cartography while also honoring the genre of abstract expressionism.
She has been showing her work internationally since 1999 and her work is included in a number of public and private collections such as the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, the permanent collections of the US Embassies in Bulgaria, Philippines, Kazakhstan and Nepal. Her work has been shown at the Orlando Museum of Art, Stony Brook University's Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, the McLean Project for the Arts, Arlington Arts Center, Maryland Art Place, the Katzen Arts Center, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art and has been the subject of group and solo shows in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Orlando, New York and Berlin. She was featured in New American Paintings in 2004 and 2006 and was awarded a Fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in 2008, 2009 and 2011 with support from the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation for 2009. Manalo's work is included in the Drawing Center and White Columns curated artist registries.
From 2000 - 2012, Isabel taught at American University's Department of Art both as an Adjunct and Visiting Assistant Professor. After three years in Berlin, Germany, she returned to the D.C. area and is now teaching at both American University and George Mason University where she teaches studio courses as well as a Visual Thinking course (at GMU).
Isabel is the Founding Manager of The Studio Visit (TSV), a collaborative art blog featuring artist interviews in their studios. Her experience as an academic educator inspired the creation of TSV in 2008 which focuses on studio practice and process. This mission was further emphasized through a public art critique series she developed.
She served on the Board of Directors and the Visual Arts Committee for the District of Columbia Arts Center from 2010 - 2012. From 2012 - 2013 she served as a Visiting Artist and Curator at Takt International Artist Residency. Her work is represented in Washington D.C. by Addison Ripley Fine Art where she has had three solo shows in 2009, 2012 and 2016.
Isabel received her MFA in Painting from Yale University, a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. After three years in Berlin, Germany, Isabel currently lives and works in Bethesda, MD.