Marion Coleman

Artist Statement

As a fine craft artist my work is inspired by people, history, social/cultural events and their impact on our individual and community relationships. My work explores traditional and contemporary techniques related to quilting and fiber collage. I am particularly interested in narrative projects using technology combined with vintage and found materials. My work has its foundation in traditional quilting and shares roots with women who have used sewing and other needle arts for artistic expression and social community through generations. Although there are many similarities between my work and other African American narrative quilters I have been striving to expand my range as I use a wider range of materials including plastics, whole garments, paper and just about anything that will enrich the art and story I presenting. I am most pleased when the viewer can identify with or is emotionally moved by the art I create. My goal is promote discussion about the topic at hand whether it relates to the definition of beauty or human rights. As an artist I want to encourage appreciation of and respect for textile arts. To do this I remain grateful for the influences of quilters such as Harriet Powers, Nora Ezell and my great aunt, Corine Porter Miller.


A native of Texas, Marion Coleman has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for over thirty years. As a youngster she learned to sew from her grandmother and is from a family of quilt makers. During the past twenty years she has steadily shifted her quilting style from work for the bed to wall art.

Coleman combined 30+ years of counseling experience with her art to create work that addresses family, history, nature, culture traditions and social themes. These pieces utilize color and figurative imagery to educate, entertain, inspire and stimulate ideas and discussion.

Coleman’s work has been exhibited in the United States and internationally. She has numerous private commissions and has completed public art commissions for North Berkeley Branch Library, Berkeley, CA, Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, San Leandro, CA, Castro Valley Library, Castro Valley, CA and the Richmond, CA Civic Center. Projects for Hunters Point Public Art Project, San Francisco, CA and the Ashland Youth Center, San Leandro, CA are in the fabrication stage with installation expected in fall 2012.

Her work has been presented in several publications including 500 Art Quilts, Patchwork Tsushin, Textile Forum, Art Quilting Studio, American Craft, Quilting Arts Magazine, Altered Couture, Creative Quilting, Crafted Lives, Textural Rhythms: Quilts in the Jazz Tradition and Journey of Hope.

She has served as president of the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland, CA and was awarded the 2009 Arts Leadership Award by Alameda County.