Visual Arts

Artists Seen: Sylvia Coles

by / Nov. 29, 2016 5pm EST

Sylvia Coles is a photographer, writer, activist, and arts patron. Born Sylvia R. Meyn, she was raised in Perryville, Missouri. While attending a jazz club in St. Paul, Minnesota, in the 1950s, she met her future husband, Buffalo-born architect Robert Traynham Coles. After traveling the world, the couple settled in Robert’s hometown, and Sylvia received an MBA from SUNY Buffalo in 1980. She is a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists. In 2013 she published a memoir, Living with an Architect and Finding Myself, chronicling their marriage over the course of sixty years, including the opposition the interracial couple faced early on. They have two children. For more information on Sylvia Coles, visit

Artists Seen: Photographs of Artists in the 21st Century is an ongoing project by photographer David Moog in partnership with the Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State. Moog has set out to make portraits of every self-identified working artist and arts professional in Western New York. To be included in the project, call David Moog directly at 716-472-6721 or contact the center at 716-878-4131. Artists working in all media are welcome; visit for more information.