Mandelman’s life was firmly grounded in art with her first receiving training at age 12 at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art. She clearly was influenced by Louis Lozowick’s return from Russia where he visited with her parents and gave news of the Constructivist movement in art there. Much of the aesthetic in the Taos Modern group of which she was a part, has roots in the Constructivist movement.
Mandelman found great freedom in Taos and the ability to enjoy the history and culture of that area and to be able to pursue being an artist. Her husband was artist Louis Ribak and at the end of their lives much of their art and hard work toward the artist community in Taos is evident in the Harwood Museum in Taos and through the Mandelman-Ribak Foundation.