Her Heart Was in the Clouds

The Texas Story Project.

Marion Coleman discusses this quilt and her quilting life in an interview recorded at the opening of the exhibition "And Still We Rise" at the Bullock Museum on June 19, 2015.

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 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.

Texas native and San Francisco Bay Area artist and counselor Marion Coleman draws on memory, family stories, and a world filled with culture as inspirations for her textile works of art. An award-winning artist, Coleman has exhibited work both nationally and internationally.

Titled "Her Heart Was in the Clouds," this quilt was created in 2012 and measures 60.5" by 60.5." It features found objects, cotton fabric, polyester, wool, thread, and photo transfers. Techniques include photo transferral, machine quilting, and machine appliqué.

The quilt presents a textile narrative of Bessie Coleman, the first African American female to earn a pilot's license. Born into poverty in Atlanta, Texas in 1892, Coleman experienced both race and gender discrimination in pursuing her dreams to fly. However, in 1920, she set off for Paris, France where she was accepted into flying school, earning an aviation license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in 1921 and taking her place in history.

Editor's note: This story was produced by the Bullock Museum for the Texas Story Project. For more information about this artist and her work, click here.

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