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 //


exhibition history

Making in Color organized by Edwige Charlot // NIAD Online Exhibition // November 2022

Crossover: Cedars of Marin + NIAD // NIAD Gallery Exhibition // November 2022

What’s Cookin’?! ,organized by Terri Moore // NIAD Gallery Exhibition // November 2022

Follow the String, organized by Emma Spertus, Julio Rodriguez, Felicia Griffin, Dorian Reid, and Kiesha White // MarinMOCA, Novato, CA // October 2022 

I Belong to Myself, organized by Maria Seda-Reeder // NIAD Online Exhibition // September 2022

With You In Mind/Contigo En Mente, organized by Saïf Azzuz // NIAD Gallery Exhibition // August 2022

Face In the Crowd, organized by René Smith // NIAD Online Exhibition // August 2022

A Little Bit of Everything: Fashion & Fiber at NIAD // NIAD Gallery Exhibition // July 2022

The Art of Disability Culture, Pt 2 // Ruth’s Table, San Francisco // February – May 2022

The Art of Disability Culture // Ruth’s Table, San Francisco // February – May 2022

Luxe, Calme et Volupté, curated by Lou Mo // NIAD Online Exhibition // March 2022

WIN WIN 10 Silent Auction Preview Exhibition // NIAD Gallery Exhibition // February 2022

Con Los Animales Estamos Conectados, curated by Christo Oropeza // NIAD Windows Exhibition // November 2021

SISTER SISTER, curated by Sarah and Amanda Eicher // NIAD Online Exhibition // November 2021

Holiday Gift Guide #2: The Color of Happiness, curated by Rebecca Jantzen // NIAD Online Exhibition // November 2021

20 Continuous Lines, curated by Veronica De Jesus // NIAD Online Exhibition // August 2021

Other Side of the Rainbow, curated by Stephanie Hanor // NIAD Online Exhibition // April 2021

Words and Feeling, curated by Nicole Shaffer // NIAD Online Exhibition // April 2021

True Identity, curated by Patricia Iglesias Peco // NIAD Online Exhibition // March 2021

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

We Are The Creatures, curated by Yana Sternberger-Moyé // NIAD Online Exhibition // October 2020

PODS, curated by sam ho // NIAD Online Exhibition // October 2020

Be Heard. Speak Up., curated by Fenwick & West // NIAD Online Exhibition // October 2020

Families And Friends, curated by Nakiesha White // NIAD Online Exhibition // July 2020

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot! (The Fed Up/Can’t Take It Anymore Remix), curated by Jennifer McCoy // NIAD Online Exhibition // June 2020

City Living, curated by Andrew Holmquist // NIAD Online Exhibition // May 2020

Sugar Babe, curated by Abel Guzman // NIAD Online Exhibition // April 2020

Nowhere Anywhere But Here, curated by Scott MacLeod // NIAD Online Exhibition // April 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 //