Apfelbaum received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Tyler School of Art in Elkins Park, PA in 1978 and in 1982 she received a Residency Fellowship at the Millay Colony. Other grants and fellowships include a Residency Fellowship from the Ucross Foundation in 1984; an Artist Grant from Artist Space in 1986; a Pollack- Krasner Foundation Grant in 1987; a Residency Fellowship at the MacDowell Colony in 1992-1993; and the John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Fellowship in Sculpture in 1993.
More recently, Apfelbaum received a Residency Fellowship at Yaddo in 1994-1995, an Artist’s Fellowship in Sculpture at the New York Foundation for the Arts in 1995, a Joan Mitchell Grant in 1999, and a Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship in 2000.
Apfelbaum’s style is wide-ranging, encompassing Pop Art to Minimalism. She uses subjects with relativity of time, feminist issues and complexity in what sometimes appears to be simplicity. In 1999, her work was featured at Site Santa Fe in New Mexico.