Maureen Riley was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1950. She attended St. Helen’s Elementary Scholl and Bishop Ryan High School in Hamilton. From an early age she exhibited a propensity towards art and literature. The University of Western Ontario is where she earned her BA in Honours degree in English in 1973. At first she was enrolled in the Art Program, but the lack of enthusiasm exhibited by her professors did not inspire her to continue on in that way. It was in the 1970s that she first got involved in the Second Wave Feminist movement. She began to pursue her art more seriously and started to design posters, flyers, etc. for the events regarding the movement. Her first art show was at the Woman Spirit Gallery in London in 1983. The success of the show gave her the motivation to continue on creating art. She began to experiment with different mediums and loved her work to be full of colour and saturation. Today, her work is in collections across Canada and overseas.