Ashley Sauder Miller holds a Master of Fine Arts (2007) from James Madison University, with an emphasis in painting and drawing. Miller was a recent finalist for the William and Dorothy Yeck Purchase Award in the Young Painters Competition at Miami University. She received the Best in Show Award at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art Boardwalk show in 2016 and was selected for a solo exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art’s Runnymede Gallery in 2017. Her work has included in both online and print publications, including Professional Artist Magazine, Veer Magazine, FreshPaint Magazine, and will be included in the winter 2017/18 edition of Studio Visit Magazine. Miller maintains a regular studio practice, actively exhibits her work, and is the primary caregiver for her four children.
An heirloom rocking chair in need of restoration was my inspiration to learn to cane, which evolved into an ongoing series of paintings and mixed media works investigating the forms and textures of chairs. These are not simply chairs, but symbols of a complex and ongoing narrative. Chairs have immediate and personal connections to our everyday lives. They can be functional and efficient, a place to rest, a place for conversation, a place to eat, or a treasured heirloom that evokes and preserves memories. My work personifies these chairs, each with its own feeling or presence. Some appear stronger, more purposeful, and upright. Others seem more sensual, graceful and poetic, but they are all made of broken and discarded materials. Each artwork is an invitation to delve deeper and find your own personal symbols and connections.