Shay Rieger
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1923 - 2015
Shay Rieger died on Jan. 7, 2015 in Manhatten. Born in NYC in 1923, she was a prominent sculptor and painter, who lived and worked in her beloved Greenwich Village garden aptartment for 45 years. Her artistic passion was animals, and her gift was in bringing them alive in her abstract realism. Her work is represented in numerous public and private collections. Her animal and bird sculptures have been displayed in community centers, public parks, corporate buildings and private homes. Her city park display was chosen for The City Beautiful Award in New York Magazine. She Studied at the Arts Students League, and has exhibited in New York galleries and museums such as the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. In recent years her life-size "Bronze Farm" animals were displayed at the Presbyterian Childrens' Hospital in NYC; she wanted her animal sculptures to be touched, climbed on and enjoyed by everyone. Her experience as a sculptor has also been recreated in several books: The Bronze Zoo; The Stone Menagerie; Animals in Wood, Animals in Stone; Our Family; Gargoyles, Monsters, and Other Beasts; and The Secret of the Sabbath Fish. Her films included the award- winning film," The Bronze Zoo", The Clay Circus, The Good Omen, Holocaust-4 Films, The Farm, and The Moon and the Willow.
Shay never stopped creating. In her last year, she was working on a book of original childrens' poems and paintings called "Animals with Attitude."
She was a singular talent, a woman who knew who she was and what her gifts were, and pursued her journey of spirit and self expression.
She will be sadly missed by her brother Charles Preston and his wife Linda Wolf, formerly of Cambridge Ma, now Sarasota, Fla. She will also be missed by her nephew Tony Preston of North Carolina, her great niece and nephews, and especially by her 2 nieces, Pamela Preston of New Mexico and Melissa Fountain of Massachusetts, who were especially close to her.
Through her 91 years as a New Yorker, Shay had many friends in the art world and beyond. They join us in remembering a wonderfully vibrant and gifted artist and woman, an artist who lived through the turbulent changes of almost a century of American art.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in New York Times from Jan. 21 to Jan. 22, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Pamela Preston
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6 entries
July 15, 2018
I just was saddened to learn of Shay Rieger's death. It has been almost forty years since I last saw her, but the beauty of her Judaica art continues to infuse a spiritual dimension to my home and office. What possibly is most remarkable is my memory of her warm prince after all of these years.
Lenny Gerson
June 28, 2018
I met Shay probably in 1980. She was a talented artist. She was always pleasant, even tempered, and great conversation. She patronized a business I worked in Greenwich Village. We lost contact, but eventually found one another years later at a different business. Shay always related to me on a friendly level and not just a service worker at a salon. A co-worker, that knew her for near 40 or 50 years, and I once witnessed some documents for her. She afterward invited us to her studio/home and gave us each one of her paintings. It hangs in my apartment and reminds me of Shay every day . A wonderful artist, friend, and woman.
Bartholomew Termini
January 7, 2017
The second anniversary of your departure from this world and you are more alive to us than ever. Your sculptures are successfully distributed with care and love by Melissa and the essential nature of your art animals live within the homes of those who can appreciate what you have left to us. Shay, I feel you quite alive and you continue to support, protect, and teach. Though your niece, I am in spirit and art, as you know, your daughter. Pamela
January 22, 2015
Gone but will not be forgotten, memories live on in the hearts of love ones, as she rest peacefully take comfort in knowing that the hope of endless life in paradise is extended to all those asleep in God's memory John:3:16
January 22, 2015
Lissa, thank you for showing me Shay's wonderful bronze animals. She was a talented and dedicated artist and I am glad to have had a chance to spend some time with her works.
Andrew Weiner
January 21, 2015
our home is gloriously filled with your animals and and paintings and spirit and Love! We miss you so!
Lissa, David, Caleb and Sam
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