Festivals & Events

Meet the Artist: Ashley Sauder Miller

  • Wayne Theatre
    521 W Main Street
    Waynesboro, VA 22980

  • November 29, 2021

  • 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM

  • (540) 943 - 9999

  • Go to Website

Artist Statement:
Drawers and boxes in my studio overflow with scraps collected for the past twenty years – treasured family photos, heirloom embroidery, pieces of chair upholstery, vintage drawer liners, richly colored and textured textiles, stacks of my child’s drawings – bits and pieces of stories and nostalgia, a collection of a past lifetime. My work combines found and discarded materials with traditional art media. Unfinished quilts, reclaimed chair upholstery, fabric flowers, and bits of cut paper left behind by my children are layered with paint, marker and oil pastel to create contemporary narratives from past stories.
In early 2020, as the entire world stayed in place, so did I. I experienced a creative halt, a lull, in the weeks just after schools closed down and the children were all home. I have experienced this kind of lull before in my working process, but clearly never due to the heavy weight and stress of the unknowns of COVID-19 pandemic. I am fortunate to work from a home studio, so I would go there to mindlessly cut things apart and try to put them back together. Nothing much came of all my attempts to piece things together, both in life and in my work, for weeks. I had an enormous inventory of chair paintings, with many cancelled shows on the horizon but still needed to make things with my hands, to find a constructive way to process life. I decided to make use of the piles of fabric collected in my studio and was determined to use what I had on hand. I began cutting flowers from the fabric piles in my studio. One day turned into the next, one piece led to another. Here I stayed for a long while, cutting, painting, and drawing one imagined space after another.
Ashley Sauder Miller is an artist living and working in Harrisonburg, VA. Her work combines traditional painting and drawing media with found materials, including vintage textiles, abandoned quilts, and fabric. She holds a Master of Fine Arts (2007) from James Madison University, with an emphasis in painting and drawing. Miller was finalist for the William and Dorothy Yeck Purchase Award in the Young Painters Competition at Miami University (2016). She received the Best in Show Award at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art Boardwalk show (2016) and was selected for a solo show at VaMOCA’s Runnymede Gallery (2017). Her work has been included in both online and print publications, including FreshPaint Magazine, Studio Visit magazine, New American Paintings South 2020 Issue 148, and will be included in the book Wild Lands (published by Jen Tough Gallery). Her work has recently been acquired by the Capital One Art Bank private collection. Miller maintains a regular studio practice, actively exhibits her work, and is the primary caregiver for her four children.