About Abby

Biography

After serving in the Peace Corps in Colombia, Abby married William Rayman of CARE and spent the next seven years living in Turkey, Honduras, and Nigeria. Their two sons, Graham and Joshua, were born overseas.

Returning to the States in 1972, the family settled for a time in Connecticut. Abby entered graduate school at New York University, receiving a Master’s degree in Educational Theater in 1975. 

That same year she returned to acting, which she had done pre-Peace Corps, and played the lead in a production of Megan Terry’s Approaching Simone at the Washington Area Feminist Theater. 

She then began writing on visual arts and life styles for newspapers in Washington, D.C. and suburban Maryland, becoming a columnist for the Montgomery Journal and a modern dance reviewer and features stringer for the Washington Star.


In 1977 she was hired by the Smithsonian Institution to write hometown feature releases on participants of the annual Festival of American Folklife, and that experience, which she did annually until 1984, broadened her understanding and appreciation of America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.

 In 1984 Abby returned to the Bay Area and wrote freelance art and museum reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle and The Museum of California magazine, published by the Oakland Museum of California. She was offered a job writing and editing at the museum in 1986 and soon rose to editor. She edited the magazine for 14 years. Eventually she returned to part-time acting, appearing in A Man for All Seasons at Live Oak Theater in Berkeley, As You Like It in Mill Valley's Shakespeare in Old Mill Park; and in her first film, Rob Nilsson's Collapse, in 2013.

During the Oakland Museum years Abby produced three books: Portfolio: Eleven Native American Artists; Praise, Vilification and Sexual Innuendo or, How to Be a Critic: The Selected Writings of John L. Wasserman, 1964-1979; and The Spirit of Oakland, a multicultural history of Oakland by 13 authors.

In 2011, University of California Press created Boom: A Journal of California, a magazine about the Golden State from many perspectives and on many subjects. As Developmental Editor, Abby worked with each author to hone their articles as needed. This invaluable experience led to her current profession as a freelance editor.

At the same time she was writing and illustrating a whimsical children’s book about a cat, Tosca, and her adopted family. Tosca’s Paris Adventure was published in 2006.

Abby’s most recent publication is Mary Tuthill Lindheim: Art and Inspiration, an in-depth look at an important local sculptor, ceramic artist and activist who helped save the Sausalito waterfront from development. 

In 1988, as a member of the Mill Valley Art Commission, Abby co-founded the Milley Awards for Creative Achievement. The annual awards continue to be given every October to artists in visual, literary, performing and musical arts.  

Since 2002, Abby has served two three-year terms on the Board of Directors of O'Hanlon Center for the Arts in Mill Valley. She facilitates a writing group and exhibits art at the Center. 

Since 2017, she has been a contributing writer to Sonoma Magazine, as well as writing music reviews for the online classical music site, classicalsonoma.org.

She has been editor of the Mill Valley Historical Review, a 28-page, full color annual magazine, for eight years. She lives in Mill Valley with her husband, Potter Wickware.

Contact Abby