Photo by Melissa Hurley

The Artist

Rose McManus Coleman is a storyteller by nature and profession, having spent over four decades as a campaign staffer, lobbyist, fundraiser, event producer, and multimedia artist. Her work across these seemingly unique spheres has a common thread: it is deeply relational. Rose’s respect for humanity’s connectedness, appreciation of nuance and complexity, and reverence for the realm of possibility come together to ignite her creative expression. In her art, Rose draws on her own experiences as she explores relationship to both the self and one another. Her work provides a pathway to deeper dialogue, new perspective, and greater compassion.

The Process

Relentless curiosity and love of learning are the catalysts for Rose’s art, which is born from a process of joyful experimentation. Rose’s methodologies are ever-evolving, as she employs various media to discover the soul of each piece.

Rose’s process lies at the intersection of architecture and archaeology, creating a new structure and then understanding its foundational elements and history.

While her expertise is in acrylic, she allows inspiration to guide her, continually relying on “what if?” as her compass.

What if I use rose petals as if they were stamps, to create texture?

What if I choose a piece of corrugated cardboard instead of a brush?

What if I photograph this canvas through crystal, water, light?

Each piece teaches her to keep looking beyond the surface and resist the urge to judge what she first perceives. There is no immediately evident outcome – a perspective that echoes Rose’s life. Through a process of surrender and deep experimentation, she stumbles upon a multitude of opportunities.

On this journey of “aha” moments and big reveals, Rose finds what is meant to stand alone, and what is meant to be brought together in service to a more complex story. Her work is playful and imaginative, the creative process as much a part of her finished products as the pieces themselves.