Featured Artist Marilyn Henrion

Artist Marilyn Henrion combines photographs of her urban environment with the ancient art of hand-quilting to create a strong graphic impact. See more of her work by visiting her website.


quilted urban image by Marilyn Henrion

“East 14 Street 2″ mixed media, 18″ x 24”


As a life-long New Yorker, the urban landscape is deeply embedded in my psyche and is at the root of my aesthetic vision.


quilted urban image by Marilyn Henrion

“Great Escapes” (triptych) mixed media, 60″ x 30″


Throughout the ages, the presence of the human hand upon the landscape has always expressed our eternal yearning for immortality; evidence that says, “I was once here.” Whether focusing on historic landmarks with new eyes, or construction sites that testify to the vibrant, ever-evolving cityscape, my objective is to illuminate beauty in unexpected places—a subway entrance, a doorway, a fire escape, a rooftop.


quilted urban image by Marilyn Henrion

“Grace Church” (triptych) mixed media, 60″ x 30″


I was born in Brooklyn in 1932 and have lived in the heart of Manhattan (Greenwich Village) for all of my adult life. Upon graduating from Cooper Union in 1952 where I studied Fine Art and Graphic Design, my medium was painting. A hiatus in my own creative activities followed for the next twenty-five years. Marriage to fellow-artist, Edward Henrion, raising four children while working full time in addition to continuing my education at Fordham University created quite a daunting schedule.


Mixed media quilted fiber art of Centre Street by Marilyn Henrion

“Centre Street” Mixed Media and Hand Quilted Fiber Art, 20” x 30”


During that period, I was still involved in the New York art and literary scene. This included performing in Claes Oldenburg’s Happenings and other experimental theatre productions, attending the 8th Street Club meetings (hub of the Abstract Expressionists), hosting poetry salons for the Beat Poets of the day as well as visiting with friends Joseph Cornell and Tom Wesselmann.


quilted urban image by Marilyn Henrion

“Chambers Street” mixed media, 20″ x 30″


When I returned to my own creative work in the mid-1970’s, I found that textiles spoke to me in a way that paint never did. I was inspired by Amish quilts—their strong graphic impact created with minimal geometric elements and intense color.


quilted urban image by Marilyn Henrion

“Hudson Yards” mixed media, 18″ x 24″


The hand stitching was also particularly attractive to me as a way of inserting the imperfection of the human hand into the hard edge of geometric abstraction. Another element that appealed to me was the tactile experience of working with fabric as well as the relationship the medium creates with the viewer.


quilted urban image by Marilyn Henrion

“Subway 1″ mixed media, 20″ x 30”


I proceeded to spend the next few years mastering the ancient techniques of piecing and hand quilting while creating a series of bed quilts for the family.


quilted urban image by Marilyn Henrion

“Washington Square North 2″ mixed media, 18″ x 24”


Following that, my efforts turned toward creating quilted artworks that expressed my own thoughts, feelings and responses to the world around me. Geometric abstraction was employed as metaphor, often referencing poetry or other literary connections.


quilted urban image by Marilyn Henrion

“Woolworth Building” mixed media, 18″ x 24″


Once modern technology made it possible, I was able to combine the urban images that inspired me with ancient hand techniques, reflecting contemporary sensibilities while paying homage to traditional practices.


quilted urban image by Marilyn Henrion

“Astor Place 3″ mixed media, 20″ x 30”


For the past twenty years, I have been creating mixed media works inspired by my urban surroundings in New York as well as in my travels. My process has consisted primarily of digitally manipulating my photographs on the computer to achieve the images, printing the images on fabric, basting together three layers (the front with the image, batting in the middle, and backing), drawing the quilting design on the reverse side, hand quilting from the back, and gallery-wrapping the work on stretched canvas.


Artist Marilyn Henrion invites you to follow her on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.


Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Subscribe to our twice-monthly Updates, and get a free e-book on Where to Sell Art Online right now!



  1. The image of Centre Street is stunning and an interesting metaphor as well. Marilyn Henrion tells me it’s an obsolete subway station, only accessible by special tour. Isn’t that true of our own centers?

Speak Your Mind