Maria Radilla

I started creating art at NIAD in 2005, and since being here I’ve learned how to make dolls and embroider quilts in my own style. I’m inspired by my childhood in Mexico, fashion, food, flowers, and traditions where we give and receive gifts. These are the things that I really love.

When I make artwork with fabrics, I think about my experiences: growing up, I had dolls and played with them in fields of flowers by my home. I love flowers that are red or yellow or white. I also look at a lot of books, especially a big book of colorful birds and a catalogue filled with pictures of beautiful old dolls. I go through the images and pick a different doll to embroider onto a quilt or make into my own doll. I’ve also made dolls based on figures in paintings, like the people in Goya’s paintings of the Spanish courts.

I see the images of dolls and people wearing elegant clothing and it reminds me of getting dressed up for big parties with my family. I love fashion and I’ll remember clothes I’ve seen at shops when I’m designing outfits for my dolls. Flower dresses are so attractive and stylish. I give my dolls aprons because I like how people use little aprons when they work in their kitchens or at restaurants. I think about food while I’m working, so my dolls sometimes wear the clothes that people wear when they’re preparing food.

I draw and sew everyday. I’m really proud of my past work, and I’ll refer to photos I’ve taken of older projects to come up with more ideas. I’ve made many scenes where there is a little doll surrounded by birds and flowers; each time, I’ll put a flower in the doll’s hair.

I love when people have my art in their homes. I love how people love everything I make.


 // Maria’s available work //

recent exhibition history

Necesito Más Flores// curated by Maria Radilla NIAD Windows 2020

Through My Eyes// organized By Scott Hewicker and Cliff Hengst NIAD Art Center 2020

Hailing From Parts Unknown // organized By Curtis Turner May 2019 

Microcosmic // organized by Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh NIAD Art Center 2018

Woven, Mixed, Tied, and Attached: Fiber As Message // organized By Ramekon O’Arwisters NIAD Art Center 2018

The Witnesses // organized by Cliff Hengst and Scott Hewicker NIAD Art Center 2017

Curious Weave // organized by Ramekon O’Arwisters NIAD Art Center 2016

Transformation // Walt Disney Family Museum San Francisco 2016

Party Animals! // organized by Katie Johnson NIAD Art Center 2016

Adventure! // organized by Scott MacLeod NIAD Art Center 2015

Moonbeams And Polka Dots // NIAD Art Center 2015

Making Friends // organized by John Casey NIAD Art Center 2015

Sweet Dreams: The Work Of Maria Radilla // NIAD Art Center 2013

Serenade: Lists, Poems And Missives // NIAD Art Center 2013

Diamond Dogs Pet Supply Pop-Up Shop // NIAD Art Center 2013

Championship Vinyl // NIAD Art Center 2013

Superduperultracool Shoppe // organized by Lisa Solomon NIAD ART Center 2013

You Are Here // organized by Robert Wuilfe NIAD Art Center 2013

// Maria’s work in our store //