James Swan

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Episode 431: Apryl Miller


Apryl Miller, daughter of a minister, was born in Chicago and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. She credits her art career to being raised in a large, creative, DIY family and her work reflects the tradition she was taught as a child, that of making something your own, by making it yourself. A lifelong poet, she came to visual art later in life, when the apex of her background resulted in crafting a vernacular art environment in which to raise her young daughters. This space has been described by Salon.com as “one of the most immersive, intricate, habitable art installations in the city…it is extremely important when looking at the history of immersive art installations”. Like a magician with an endless silk scarf, she has continued to produce with an unabated creativity.

Apryl Miller was deemed an “artistic heavy hitter” by Time Out New York and her work has been showcased on MTV and various HGTV shows. She was profiled by Hyperallergic and Milk Made of Milk Studios.  Her work has been featured in national and international publications including, E-Ratio Poetry Magazine, Working Mother, ASOS, The Sunday Times Style Magazine and Kontsvarlden, to name a few. A popular lecturer, she has spoken extensively on her work to The Princeton Historical Society, Docents of NYC, Bates Technical College, The University of Missouri and most notably, Open House New York.

Artist Statement

I express the light and the dark through the use of a full, bright, color palette. It is essential to me that each piece contains both. In this blend, my work creates a safe place for viewers to access the full spectrum of emotions. In allowing them to rise to the surface, we can reach a greater acceptance of the dark that exists within. My work resides at the intersection of joy and sorrow.

I create personal, intimate pieces that tell my story in the form of installations, sculptures, paintings, and collages. These works are text based and the writing is intimately intertwined with the images, being produced in unison. Largely autobiographical, these pieces speak of our universal state of imperfection and how it binds us together. We do not cease to make mistakes and therefore, exist imperfectly and it is this which we share, that my work addresses.

These works are visceral and I invite viewers to participate in my installations and performances, through such acts as reading my text or by contributing their own text or artwork to my piece, producing a communal experience. The materials and techniques I use are a vestige of my training in fashion and jewelry design-vintage fabric and trims, plastics, patches and found objects. I like to juxtapose patterns, textures, shapes, materials and colors. By mixing together that which does not belong, a peace is established.

Explore Apryl’s Website here

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