Mary Coleman

Portland, Oregon


I am a Portland born artist who lived abroad in New Zealand for 11 years. During my time there I attended university earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Art and Design. I also volunteered at the Northland Medical Museum for 4 years.

I relocated back to Portland as of April 2017 and continue to paint full time. In my free time I volunteer at NAMI Oregon, working on the help line.


University of Auckland, Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland, New Zealand — Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours, 2008 – 2011

Auckland University of Technology, School of Art and Design, Master of Art and Design with Honours, 2013 – 2015


Strata, Portland, OR — June 2022

A group exhibition at Verum Ultimum Art Gallery exploring the concept of layers.

The Pink Show, Portland, OR — February 2022

A group exhibition at Splendorporium displaying all things pink.

Secrets and Confessions, Portland, OR — January 2022

A group exhibition at Splendorporium. I was the featured artist and had nine paintings showing.

Oddville, Portland, OR — November 2021

A group exhibition at Splendorporium.

The Tarot Show, Portland, OR — October 2021

A group exhibition at Splendorporium.

Dreams, Portland, OR — June 2021

A group exhibition at Splendorporium.

Prophecies, Portland, OR — May 2021

A group exhibition at Splendorporium.

Fortuna, Portland, OR — March 2021

A group exhibition at Splendorporium.

Reinvention, Hood River, OR — March 2020

A group exhibition at Columbia Center for the Arts in Hood River. The show focuses on recycled artwork. I have six pieces featured.

The Pink Show, Portland,OR — February 2020

A group exhibition at Splendorporium involving all things pink.

Radius Annex Self Portrait Gallery Show, Portland, OR — February 2020

A group exhibition of self portraits. I am hanging my self portrait, Inside, for this show.

Finding Your Voice In America Today, Baton Rouge, LA — January 2020

A group exhibition at Kelwood Contemporary Art exploring the experience of being in America.

Dreams, Hood River, Oregon — January, 2020

This group show was held at the Columbia Center for the Arts in Hood River. I had two drawings hanging at this show and the theme was dreams.

Gilded, Portland, Oregon — November 2019

A group show at Splendorporium in Southeast Portland. I had two paintings hanging at this show (Posed and Earrings). The theme was items of little value gilded to look as though they are luxury.

Myth & Magic, Portland, Oregon — November 2019

A group show in Southeast Portland at the Gresham Visual Arts Gallery. The theme involved mythological and magical subject matters. My painting, Wings, hung at this exhibition.

Autumn Fragmented: Botanicals and Bones, Portland, Oregon — November 2019

A group show in Southeast Portland at East Creative Collective. This was an exhibit of botanical and skeletal works that reflected a theme of Autumn. My painting, Atrophy, was part of this show.

Curious Carnival, Portland, Oregon — September 2019

A group show in Portland at East Creative Collective. I presented five paintings at this show which opened on First Friday.

Repose, Portland, OregonOctober 2018

A group show in Portland at Redux Gallery, Repose featured artwork with a theme of death. Proceeds from sales went to the ALS foundation and the show was put on by an artist suffering from ALS herself.

AD15, Auckland, New Zealand — November 2015

This group show featured the work of graduating students from the School of Art and Design at Auckland University of Technology. I presented Beneath the Skin, a series of multilayered paintings displaying images from the history of medicine.

Elam Graduate Show, Auckland, New Zealand — November 2011

For my graduate show at Elam, I presented a series There Will Come Soft Rains. These were paintings exploring the accidental radiation exposure of the Rongelap people as a result of the Castle Bravo nuclear test of 1954.

Institution, Orex Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand – March 2011

This was a solo show at Orex Gallery which featured paintings of abandoned institutions and a series portraits of 19th century asylum inmates.

My Favorite Nightmares, Works San Jose, California — 2010

I presented two portrait images of people suffering from Encephalitis lethargica at this international group show in California.

Lewis & Clark Gender Studies Symposium, Lewis & Clark College, USA – 2005

I presented a series of self portraits at this show which featured gender as the theme.


NAMI, Portland, Oregon – 2019Current

Currently I am volunteering at NAMI Oregon several days a week. I assist on the help line and contribute to various data entry projects. The helpline requires me to deal with the public and assist them with health related needs.

Oregon State Hospital Museum of Mental Health, Salem, Oregon – 2018 

This fascinating museum, located at Oregon’s historic hospital in Salem, focuses largely on the institution’s past and the lives of the patients who were treated there. My job was behind the scenes cataloguing museum objects.

The Northland Medical Museum, Whangarei, New Zealand – 2013 – 2017

The chance to involve myself at the Northland Medical Museum was an opportunity unrivaled. Working each week with antique medical tools, books, and equipment truly nurtured the creation of my paintings.

My main duty was using a customized database to catalogue museum items. This meant attaching a catalogue number, noting the identification of each object, and the addition of relevant historical information, including particular attachments items might have to the Northland region.

I also assisted in designing themed displays, some of which were entirely of my own creation. Visual aids with information on particular objects, or sections of objects, were usually my responsibility as well. This required I conduct research into any topic I was dealing with. I also made a point of decorating the library walls with prints of historical artwork that featured medical themes.

Lastly, I helped out with any museum visitors. I learned to identify most objects and picked up on their history enough to serve as a temporary guide if the museum owner was busy elsewhere.

The Old Library Community Arts Center, Whangarei, New Zealand — 2012 – 2013

As a volunteer, I was responsible for helping out with events held at the center. This included any art exhibitions, weddings, festivals, or concerts. I also assisted with cleaning the building. On top of that, I sold tickets, worked on spreadsheets, and I drafted business letters. It was a mishmash of responsibility which could change from day to day.