Look­ing back

Ret­ro­spec­tive at Amy’s ex­plores 30 years of work from lo­cal artist Ce­cile Miller

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - PETER LOZINSKI

Ce­cile Miller has come a long way in 30 years as an artist.

The long-time Prince Al­bert res­i­dent is dis­play­ing some of her works, and ex­hibit­ing her growth as an artist, in a far-reach­ing ret­ro­spec­tive on dis­play at Amy’s on Sec­ond.

Miller has loved draw­ing and be­ing cre­ative since she was young.

“Be­ing cre­ative and de­sign­ing/mak­ing things and cre­atively solv­ing prob­lems, in any medium, brings me joy and makes me feel alive,” she said.

Dur­ing her uni­ver­sity days, Miller was a painter and print­maker. She switched to ce­ram­ics while teach­ing art at Carl­ton, and en­joyed pot­tery so much she left teach­ing to be­come a full-time pot­ter/artist for 10 years.

“I did ev­ery­thing from jew­ellery to hand-built, wheel-thrown and slip cast pot­tery,” Miller said.

“I stud­ied in the SIAST two-year ceramic pro­gram, where I be­gan to air­brush my clay wall pieces. Some of my re­cent can­vases uti­lize mask­ing and air­brush­ing tech­niques.”

She later honed dig­i­tal graphic de­sign skills in the new me­dia pro­gram.

The ret­ro­spec­tive on dis­play at Amy’s shows a va­ri­ety of those me­dia and tech­niques Miller has learned over the years.

“On dis­play are acrylic paint­ings on can­vas or pa­per, my sig­na­ture ceramic wall pieces and a few ceramic sculp­tures and ves­sels,” Miller said.

“I even have a few oil pas­tels on pa­per from an Emma Lake art camp and one silkscreen print from my Uni­ver­sity days.”

Those pot­tery pieces are where Miller is most at home. Her favourite medium is clay. But re­cently she has been get­ting back into paint­ing in­spired by a stint with the Kyla Art Group.

“I ex­per­i­ment with medi­ums or mixed-me­dia,” Miller said.

While the ex­hi­bi­tion is a ret­ro­spec­tive, there are cer­tain themes that run through­out.

Hen I work to­wards an ex­hi­bi­tion, a theme can be in­stru­men­tal to my cre­ative process,” Miller said.

“In this ret­ro­spec­tive, you will see works from former shows such as ‘Spirit of the Dance’ in­spired by my love of dance, ‘Con­tained Space’ which ex­plored the bound­aries of phys­i­cal space and time, ‘White Pe­riod’ where I chal­lenged my­self to de­part from a very colour­ful palette to works done only in white, ‘Abun­dance’ pushed repet­i­tive el­e­ments, and so on.

“I think most of my work con­veys un­der­ly­ing univer­sal mean­ings with a touch of whimsy.”

Miller said it was “won­der­ful” to raise her chil­dren within P.A.’s “thriv­ing” arts com­mu­nity. Now, though, she is mov­ing on, shar­ing stu­dio space in Saskatoon with San­dra Led­ing­ham.

This city, though, has had a huge in­flu­ence on Miller’s ca­reer as an artist.

“Prince Al­bert brought me to fab­u­lous in­flu­ences,” she said, cit­ing paint­ing in­struc­tor Ge­orge Glenn and Led­ing­ham, who teaches ce­ram­ics.

“It also pro­vided op­por­tu­ni­ties to work as an art ed­u­ca­tor in the public school sys­tem, the art gallery and arts cen­tre, at Sask. Polytech in the ce­ram­ics stu­dio and on­line. In­volve­ment in other arts such as dance, set and cos­tume de­sign, mu­sic and dig­i­tal de­sign also helped me to grow as a per­son and as an artist.”

While her work­ing space will be in Saskatoon, Miller said Prince Al­bert art fans haven’t seen the last of her work.

“I have in­stal­la­tion pieces in the works for a col­lab­o­ra­tive ex­hi­bi­tion in Prince Al­bert in the near fu­ture,” she said. “I also hope to pur­sue artist res­i­den­cies in other coun­ties, as my hus­band and I love to travel.”

With her ret­ro­spec­tive on dis­play, Miller hopes peo­ple can con­nect to it in some way, just as she has connected with art her whole life.

“I hope they can re­late to it in some way,” she said.

“Whether they are at­tracted to a par­tic­u­lar piece find mean­ing in the sym­bol­ism or are fas­ci­nated by a tech­nique or ma­te­rial I’ve used, it’s all good.”

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