Virginia Maksymowicz was born (1952) in Bay Ridge and grew up in St. Patrick's parish. She graduated from Bishop Kearney High School in 1969 from what was then called the "commercial" program. Although her typing, Pittman shorthand and office management courses were oriented towards business, she nonetheless received a solid academic education, including four years of Latin. She sang in the Glee Club (under the direction of Paul LaMedica) and was a member of the Art Club (under the mentorship of Sr. Winnifred Eugene aka Sr. Mary Kelly). She was inducted into the National Honor Society, and upon graduation was awarded a Regents Scholarship and the Olivetti-Underwood Award of Merit.
Maksymowicz went on to Brooklyn College where she completed a B.A. in Fine Arts. She worked a year as a secretary (saving money for graduate school), and subsequently received a full scholarship to attend the University of California, San Diego, where she earned an M.F.A. in Visual Arts in 1977.
Since graduation, Maksymowicz has worked as an artist, with a specialty in sculptural relief and installation.
She has exhibited at the Franklin Furnace, Alternative Museum and Grey Gallery in New York, as well as in college, university and nonprofit galleries throughout the U.S. and abroad. Images from her series, “The History of Art,” were included in “Reconstructing the Feminist Past: Art World Critique, 1960 to Now” at the Museum of Modern Art. She is a past recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and her exhibitions have been reviewed in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Sculpture Magazine.
St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Lancaster, PA commissioned Maksymowicz to design and create a sculptural Stations of the Cross. A traveling set of the original Stations has been exhibited at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, and Saint Peter's Lutheran Church at the Citicorp Center in Manhattan.
Her essays about art have been featured in magazines such as New York Arts, Art & Artists, Women Artists News and Heresies, and in scholarly compilations such as Routledge’s Encyclopedia of Sculpture and W.J.T. Mitchell’s Art and the Public Sphere. She is a regular contributor to Sculpture Magazine.
Maksymowicz lives in Philadelphia and teaches at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, where she is Associate Professor of Art. She has been married for 40 years to Blaise Tobia, a photographer, who is Professor of Art at Drexel University.