Artist Gloria Coker was was an illustrator for the Newport News, Virginia Daily Press (a Chicago Tribune newspaper) newsroom for twelve years before pursuing her career as a professional fine artist. Her work there included illustrating newsroom and feature stories as well as courtroom art, which appeared in the newspaper and on TV. The 2021 Netflix documentary, “The Innocence Files” showcases some of her work. Her work for the police departments depicting the perpetrators of crimes has resulted in convictions.
She was a volunteer as the artist at the Virginia Living Museum, painting and drawing for children and guests. Gloria also demonstrates in college classrooms and for fundraising auctions such the New American Theater in Hampton, Virginia. She has been a guest speaker lecturing on her art through the South.
Her loose and vivid acrylics capture her feelings about people of all ages as they engage in their passions and everyday activities. She displays most of her art including musicians and dancers, in the office of Associates in Dermatology in Hampton, Virginia and in her studio by appointment. Her collectors are worldwide. Her awards are numerous.
In the words of JoAnn Falletta, music director and conductor of the Virginia Symphony and Buffalo Philharmonic:
“Gloria Coker’s work is poetry, music, and motion blended in a vibrant world of color that is breath taking. Her art pulsates with life and sound. It is lfe and sound. It is like being at the center of a vortex of energy, momentum and brilliance – swept into a dynamic landscape of visual splendor.”
She has been honored in 2018 with the City of Hampton’s Spotlight honor and has been interviewed for an article in the Artist Blok magazine and by Michel Curry for Veer magazine. Mr. Curry also chose her art of Ella Fitzgerald for the cover of Dining with the Stars cookbook. University in Botswana South Africa chose her art to for use to publicize a classical music concert. Among her recent awards is the prestigious 2018 Mollie Fearing Award in Dare Count Arts for her painting Man with a Horn. Vivid and exciting are the words used to describe the acrylics of award-winning artist and former newspaper illustrator / courtroom artist, Gloria Coker, as she captures her feelings about people engaging in the passions – dance, music, sports and everyday activities. Her works featuring JoAnn Falletta has been used by the Virginia Symphony and the Buffalo Philharmonic. Her cyclists were featured in Williamsburg, in April 2017. Gloria also had a solo show at the Southwest Virginia Community College in 2018.