Rest in Peace: Arline Jacoby, Artist and Teacher, 1924 to 2022


One of Roosevelt Island’s most treasured residents, Arline Jacoby, died late last week. Our memories of her are vivid, and her influences will long be felt within the community. A memorial service – on Zoom, so all can attend – is set for Tuesday.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Arline Jacoby

I don’t know what happens when people die
Can’t seem to grasp it as hard as I try
It’s like a song I can hear playing right in my ear

But I can’t sing, I can’t help listening

Jackson Browne – For a Dancer
Arline Jacoby, busy creating visual images, Roosevelt Island Fall for Arts Festival, 2019. Arline was 95 at the time.

I first met Arline was in late 2009. She was opening a solo show at the Octagon Gallery, and I got the assignment to cover it. Creative to the core, she was mounting a long row of small paintings around the gallery with a specific, one of a kind theme. They were small, she said, because she wanted to stress their affordability. Original art should be affordable for anyone.

Then, we sat on a bench, and she told me about her career, her ideals, her teaching and her love for Roosevelt Island while I typed furiously on my laptop. With Arline, there were always enough notes for filling the word count on any article… with plenty left over.

Arline Jacoby teamed with AnneMarie Dannenberg, Fall for Arts 2019.

Arline and Gallery RIVAA

One of Arline’s proudest achievements was founding the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA) with fellow artists Tad Sudol and Esther Piaskowski with an assist from attorney Phil Groner. They set the Island of Art tone that’s favored the community with countless exhibits and permanent installations.

At dozens of shows, the gallery lit up when Arline arrived. She was just one of those people. And while she always added artwork for every group show, her solos were the finest, her art refined and evolved. Fully realized pieces filled the space.

Made in America

Her show, Made in America, in 2010, burned with informed patriotism. Here’s the draft of the article I sent to my editor about it.

But you had to be there…

Arline Jacoby Legacy

For me, it’s personal. Arline and I were friends but no more so than many others on whom she shined her light and much less than many. But even when it was nothing more than helping her carry groceries from the bus stop to her apartment, you felt she was doing you a favor.

And she was, treating you with inspiration she radiated like a small, subtle but intense star. From RIVAA forward through the many affected by her work and teaching, she will be remembered.


Arline’s granddaughter Jaiva Larsen invites everyone to a memorial service on Tuesday, March 1st, at 6:30 p.m., EST:

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 883 4183 1039
Passcode: Arline

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