Amber Coppings

Resident Artist
Textile Artist

I see the world best…intuitively and explicitly… through creative moments with color, texture and line. My artistic life focuses on layering these fundamental art elements to depict human narratives using fabric dyes & wearable art, natural pigments & painting, and photography & surface pattern design. My work attempts to create a visual dialogue between art, craft and design through an emphasis on in-depth creative processes that develop over time into intriguing artworks. 

Since 2002, I’ve facilitated creative experiences with students ranging in age from 6 to 96 that are mindful, colorful and personal. I have worked with schools & community organizations including Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh Center for Arts & Media, Penn State Greater Allegheny, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Avonworth School District, Visiting Nurse Foundation, and as a rostered artist through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ Arts-in-Education Program. I recently celebrated my 4th year as the resident artist at POWER House, a residential facility for women in recovery in the Pittsburgh area.

After attending an Arts Education Forum session that discussed STEM/STEAM projects, it inspired me to take a look at my personal art practice and invigorate my teaching artist practice with both the by hand and digital artistic practices that I use. Since then, I have worked with schools and community organizations to embrace through art both the use of traditional technology (pencils, ink, bookmaking, etc…) with newer technology (iPads/tablets, drawing apps). The By Hand to Digital theme has worked well to incorporate various curriculum topics with art. Examples include 1st graders learning about spiders, then incorporating their new knowledge to design fabrics with repeating patterns. The fabric is still being used as curtains in the school several years later. In Spring 2020, I worked with a group of middle and high schoolers in a completely virtual artist residency to incorporate hand drawn maps with digital components to create documentation of how they are spending time while staying at home. With older students and adults, my background of being an entrepreneur can also be incorporated through incorporated group fundraisers or sales with completed artworks.

My goal is to empower others to engage their creativity to enhance their lives while supporting the school or community organization mission. Whether that is through discovering new talents, developing new skills, building confidence, giving back to their community, creating artwork to exhibit in a public space for inspiration, or finding a new coping skill, I know art and its creative problem-solving can support and enhance every age group, learning style, and group.

Amber Coppings