May 1, 2019

Marion Coleman (center) at the National Heritage Fellowship award ceremony in Washington D.C., September 2018.

It is with a very heavy heart we share the difficult news on the passing of 2018 NEA National Heritage Fellow and California quilt-maker Marion Coleman. Marion has long been a part of the ACTA family, and her impact on the field of African American art, culture, and storytelling has resonated nationally. Trained in quilt-making by her great aunts and great grandmother, Marion engaged with the art form to portray moments and histories from the African American experience. Her quilts shared stories of aging, of jazz and blues traditions, of black cowboys, and of the first African American woman pilot, and other themes of African American life.

We are sending deep love and gratitude for Marion’s extraordinary spirit and creative contributions.

Thank you, Marion.

Learn more about Marion’s incredible artistry and impact, in her own words, in this short documentary video¬†celebrating her 2018 National Heritage Fellowship award.

Click here to read a statement on Marion’s passing from National Endowment for the Arts.

Quilts by Marion Coleman, from left to right: "Sierra Soldier," "Waiting for the Freedom Train," and "Ready to Ride."

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