SFW&C Fiesta Featured Artist 2002
Coffin, a painter of contemporary art and a sculptor, often draws from his sense of “apartness” as a Potawatomi/Creek Indian. A feeling from his having spent his first 20 years living on the grounds of the Haskell Indian College boarding school in Lawrence, Kansas, where his father served as the school’s athletic director. (During the summers, Coffin would stay with his grandmother on the Potawatomi Reservation.)
Best known for his monumental, brightly painted steel and mixed media sculptures, Coffin has honed a style that merges the ancient totemic form used by many Native cultures with the abstraction and geometric forms of the modernist. He earned his BFA from the University of Kansas and later an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. His work has been exhibited widely throughout the world, including the Grand Palais in Paris and the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.