Sylvia Coles is a photographer, writer, activist, and arts patron. Born Sylvia R. Meyn (the daughter of a Lutheran minister), she was raised in Perryville, Missouri. While attending a jazz club in St. Paul, Minnesota, in the 1950s, she met her future husband, Buffalo-born architect Robert Coles. After traveling the world, the couple settled in Robert’s hometown, and Sylvia received an MBA from SUNY Buffalo in 1980. She is a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists and a longtime volunteer at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. In 2013 she published a memoir, Living with an Architect and Finding Myself, chronicling their marriage over the course of sixty years, including the opposition the interracial couple faced early on. They have two children.