Remembering those affected by gun violence
I just contacted Everytown, a site that tells the story of those affected by gun violence and sent them a picture of my quilt, “Death from A to A by Adam Lanza, Dec. 14, 2012” to see if they might display it.
Latitude 53 Gallery
I’ve been involved with a number of activities at the Latitude 53 Gallery recently, from participating in a weaving project to helping paint the new gallery.
Going with the FLOW at the EPL
My photo, Spool on the Water, was accepted for display and is now showing at the Edmonton Public Library Strathcona branch where in will be on display for several months.
After almost eight years in Prince George, I arrived in Edmonton in April, 2021. I’m looking for work in writing or communications and have had a few interviews, which is very heartening.
A block of wood is hollowed out with LED lights added around the perimeter. The word “Believe” is modified and shaped and placed in the middle with a roof over it. Painted with glitter it stands on its own and makes a wonderful prop for a short video featuring one of my songs, The Lord and I disagree.
TEACH ONLY LOVE
My latest piece nears completion. Carved out of Douglas Fir, supplied by Timberspan, it will be lit from behind by LED lights.
Back in Prince George
I’ve been back in Prince George a number of months now and continue to look for work in communications or marketing. I’ve had interviews with United Way and with the BC Assembly of First Nations.
Still exploring my Happy Face Series and produced some WISDOM t-shirts that are being sold through Angelique’s Native Arts in downtown Prince George.
I’ve also checked in with the Legion about organizing an open mic night. Still exploring that idea.
Happy Face Series continues
I’ve returned to life on Vancouver Island and continue to develop my Happy Face Series. Here’s a t-shirt design.
Here’s the latest piece in my Happy Face Series, a design for a church wall in Richmond, BC.
I like this one so much, I’m approaching “wall owners” in Prince George to see if they’d let me paint it here.
Gregor Farm Commission Completed
February, 2016 My GreGor Farm commissioned artwork has been delivered and is ready for installation. GreGor is Slovenian for “rising up”. I combined the lettering of the text with an illustration of the dove of peace with a representation of the Golden Rays referred to in A Course in Miracles. When the sun hits the glitter on them, it should shine, shine, shine. The crest features the flags of the two owners, Trinidad and Tobago and Slovenia below the Canadian flag. Special care was taken to weatherproof the work with many coats of polyurethane and epoxy resin.
On the reverse, a quote from the Bible.
Spirit up and in the press
November 25, 2014 My carving Spirit of Prince George, 2015 was installed November 10, 2014 at its location on Willow Cale Forest Road. It was the first time I’ve seen all the boards together as a piece of art and, of course, I think it looks beautiful. The Prince George Citizen honored the art with a front-page story, November 21, by Citizen staffer, Frank Peebles.
And on page four, more plus a picture.
September 28, 2014 I’ve completed my art carving Spirit of Prince George, 2015 and am preparing the wood with Minwax Spar Urethane. I’ll be giving the work a single coat to hopefully seal the wood from any further reactions to the environment and, once I’ve finished carving the marriage arch for Nicole and Joe’s wedding, October 18th, plan to give the SoPG, 2015 pieces a second and third coat with installation set for near the end of October. In July, I competed the training necessary to become a residential care worker for AiMHi The Prince George Association for Community Living and, as of September 1, have taken on a full-time position as a Residential Care Worker and am the happy member of the BCGEU. I’m enjoying this work. Working at getting Mavic to Canada, getting my financial house (and the one I live in) in order.
Marriage Video II
February 27, 2014 For those of you wanting more, here’s part II of the wedding video.
February 17, 2014 Using my old Mac and an older version of iMovie, featuring the Ken Burn’s effect for panning over still pictures, I created this video of the wedding.
January 21, 2014 In a few days, I will be married to Maria Victoria Catajoy Rangga in Sogod, Southern Leyte and I’m hoping that I can arrange to have Maria join me back in Canada as soon as possible. In the meantime, I return to Vancouver, January 30th and will continue to look for full-time employment that makes use of some of my many talents.
2014 and Beyond
January 1, 2014 Hello Everyone, I hope you had a great Christmas and wish you a prosperous and interesting 2014. My year of focusing on my art came to a close several hours ago but, to be honest, it really finished in midsummer when I moved to Prince George and started working, part-time, in property management. Now, I’m looking for a full-time position that makes use of my many talents. I’m also currently restoring a 1950s house I bought on a beautiful lot in the city’s centre. As these renovations reach their conclusion, I will be turning my sights towards promoting my art and my ideals of a better world. My most controversial piece from last year, my quilt dramatizing the conflict in ideologies in America over gun control, sits in a box in a basement. I hope to find a greater audience than none by entering it into various juried and unjuried quilt shows. So far I’ve gathered information on the Canadian Quilters’ Association National Show, the Victoria Quilters’ Guild Show and the Grand National Show in Kitchener, ON in 2015. I’m sure I’ll find more possibilities and eventually some shows that will accept this piece. Promoting yourself in a world that offers so many ways to communicate is a blessing and a challenge. I’d hoped promoting my children’s book, “The Apple of Albert’s Eye”, at a Shanghai book fair would lead to a breakthrough but, alas, my investment produced no publisher. My efforts to publicize the featuring of a special needs child in the book were partially successful when a Cerebral Palsy organization in the US reviewed Albert (http://cerebralpalsy.org/
End of the Year Update
December 20, 2013
So much has happened since I last wrote. But then it should have, considering I last penned something here over three months ago and three months in my life can mean big changes. In that time I’ve: left my part-time assistant apartment manager position to take a full time one doing the same thing and bought and started to renovate an older house on a beautiful big lot in Prince George. My artistic energies have been devoted to helping a basement suite recover from an extreme case of first-hand cigarette smoke exposure.
The first anniversary of the Sandy Hook Massacre has come and gone. My quilt is in a box and hasn’t been seen publicly since the summer. I can report that a number of the Sandy Hook parents have seen my work and I am informed that they have found it disturbing but recognize my intent to raise the issue.
My friend, Bob, sent me this link about how gun violence also affects children in the US.
The next year will certainly be different than the last, something that is true for all of us, and I’m looking forward to more new experiences as I settle into Prince George. For now, let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Holocaust Memorial entry accepted
September 7, 2013 The Miller/Menon entry into the Request for Qualifications has been accepted in Ottawa. Now, to wait and see if we get to the next stage.
Architect found for Holocaust Memorial
Here’s my press release, dated September 3, 2013. September 6, 2013 Newly established Prince George artist, James Miller, has teamed up with Surrey, BC architect, Vivek Menon, to compete to design a National Holocaust Memorial in Ottawa. Miller is an artist who works with video, paint, photography, the written word and also writes music, but he’s never designed a memorial. Reading about the competition in early August in “Canadian Art Magazine” he had to act quickly to enter by the September 4, 2013 deadline. “The submission requirements were very specific. A team consisting of at least an architect and an artist was required. The team leader needed to be Canadian and, to advance to the next stage, the team needed to convince the panel of judges that they had the skills and artistic inspiration needed to build a monument that would “create a contemporary, enriching, thought-provoking monument that will endure for generations to come. “My art often explores issues of human behavior and the relationship between good and evil found in myself, others and society, and I’m also interested in creating art that’s contemporary and thought provoking,” says Miller. In the few weeks available to him, Miller set himself two goals: design a possible Holocaust Memorial and find an architect willing to team up with him. “The initial submission requirements ask for qualifications and samples of previous work, and since I’d never designed a memorial, I wanted to show the judges that I could create something architecturally that would impress,” he says. Miller’s design begins with a courtyard of white bounded on two sides by sugar maple groves creating the shape of a giant Canadian flag. Centered where the maple leaf would appear is a 14-story high, angled Star of David held up by four massive columns, two painted and shaped to look like human bones and the other two, striped, like Holocaust inmate’s pajamas. The center of the star, at roughly 35 feet, is large enough to accommodate glass panels that project out creating a chamber over the ground which meets another, smaller, Star of David at right angles. Centered in this star is a stained glass of one of Miller’s original designs. Visitors would ride an elevator in one of the columns in darkness and silence before the doors would open and visitors would walk out into the chamber facing the Ottawa River ahead, the Peace Tower in one direction and, in the opposite and on the ground, the Canadian War Museum. Miller emphasizes that this is only a concept, and at $50 million or more to build, likely far beyond the project’s budget, which will only be revealed to competitors that reach the next stage in the competition. Next on the list was an architect. “I wasn’t able to find a Prince George architect to work with me, so I started emailing architects in northern BC and had no response. With little more than a week left, I launched a campaign on indiegogo, the website that can be used to raise funds for just about anything. My goal was to raise $500, the minimum allowed, but I was really using it as a tool to try to find an architect,” says Miller. Finally, he placed an ad on the Architectural Institute of BC website and emailed individuals looking for work on the site, and had a number of responses. “One BC architect wrote to say he couldn’t support a design that used a Star of David because he felt the symbol was now associated too much with Israel, while another architect in Montreal I contacted was very positive, and that gave me some heart, but unfortunately he said he was too busy,” says Miller. Miller is used to his work creating controversy. Two paintings featuring giant swastikas had to be removed from display in Nanaimo after threats were issued. A quilt he made, featuring National Rifle Association baby bibs embroidered with names of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, has twice been refused for public display, in Sechelt, BC and Sisters, Oregon. “I always find it a bit discouraging when a part of the world that enjoys so much freedom has individuals that are ready to take that freedom away from others,” Miller says. Finally, with just days to go, Surrey architect Vivek Menon responded positively and, after meeting, the two decided to work together. “Vivek brings some great skills to our team,” says Miller, “he’s had international architectural experience and worked on projects that have symbolism attached to them, like the Indigenous Cultural and Education Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.” Miller hopes that he and Menon will reach the next stage in the competition by being selected as one of up to six teams to travel to Ottawa in October to look at the site and prepare and present a design solution to the judges and the public next February. Miller’s work, including his Holocaust Memorial concept, can be seen on his website www.jamesmillercreative.com.
I need an architect
August 25, 2013 Deadline for submission to be considered for one of six possible design teams to prepare a proposal for a national holocaust memorial in Ottawa, Canada is September 4, 2013. To be considered a team must include and architect and an artist. I’m the artist and I already have one design ready that I’d like to submit along with samples of my other work. If you think you might like to work with me, please contact me immediately and I will send you more photos of my design. While you don’t really need to submit a design at this point, I’d plan to submit this because I don’t have a lot of experience (well none actually) designing and building monuments. But that’s not going to stop me from trying. How about you? A dreamer, too? Check out the details here: http://www.canadascapital.gc.
National Holocaust Memorial Design
August 8, 2013
Canadian Art has advertised a Government of Canada competition for a Holocaust Memorial so I’ve sidelined my daffodils and tulips painting and am creating a model for what I think is the winning design. Problem is, I need an architect as part of my design team. I’ve sent out some emails, but as is my current experience with this method of communication, message sent doesn’t necessarily turn into reply returned.
I’m hoping to have my model done in the next few days and then rely on a time honored method of selling someone on something, in this case an idea, by making phone calls and personal visits. Or, I just might try indie.gogo or whatever it’s called.
Melissa accepted for Carte Blanche show
July 8, 2013
One of three works entered has been for the Carte Blanche show in Sechelt, BC. Melissa, a 26 x 40 inch black and white digital print will be part of the show that opens at the Doris Crowston Gallery in Sechelt, BC from August 14th until September 8th. While I’m delighted my photograph of a very pregnant Melissa will be on display, I was hoping that one of my other two works, an acrylic of two of my students, Nadia and friend, from Libya and the first work I created for this year of artistic exploration, a multi-media piece, 2013, would have chosen.
Sisters rejects A to Z…
July 8, 2013 The hits just keep comin’. Regrettably after “Death from A to Z” was accepted and delivered to Sisters, Oregon for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, organizers called to say they would not display the quilt. Negotiations are currently underway to return the quilt, which I feel should be at their expense.
Sisters, Prince George Bound
June 28, 2013 Renting my condo in Nanaimo and then heading to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon for July 13. I’ll likely find myself exposed to a variety of opinions at Sisters about my controversial quilt featuring NRA marketed bibs embroidered with the names of the victims of Adam Lanza’s killing spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December. After that, I plan to move to Prince George and return to my Hearing Aid Practitioner studies while looking for ways to augment my income and still keep my creative talents in use. I’ve blocked the possibility of responding to this blog because all I was getting was spam. If you’d like to communicate, send me an email: email@example.com.
Snubbed in Sechelt, selected for Sisters
Here’s my press release, dated June 13, 2013. BC artist James Miller’s quilt, “Death from A to Z by Adam Lanza, December 14, 2012” featured in Sechelt’s Coast Reporter earlier this year and rejected for display by the Sunshine Coast Quilters Guild in April has been accepted for the 38th Annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, July 13 in Sisters, Oregon. The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show is the largest event of its kind and features up to 1,300 quilts and other fibre works of art from around the world. “I’m delighted the quilt will find a larger audience at Sisters and that people will be able to judge for themselves what they think of my work,” says Miller. The artist was particularly gratified by a personal note from Event Coordinator, Jamie Audrain, thanking Miller for “entering this touching piece.” Miller plans to attend the one day event that turns the 1800’s style town into a colourful outdoor tapestry of quilts.
My art will go on
May 22, 2013 Working two jobs, in a framing shop and in the produce department at Extra Foods, for a total of four days a week, which has slowed my production down. Focusing on a painting right now and waiting for June 1 to hear if my quilt has been accepted for the Pacific Northwest Quilt show in Tacoma.
Gun control ad targets censorship, too
May 1, 2013 An advertisement created by a Canadian company to emphasize the need for gun control in the US, also points to the censorship of freedom expression, in this case Little Red Riding Hood being censored because it has a wine bottle on the cover. This is an interesting twist on the fact that my quilt about gun control has been censored here in Canada.
Sunshine Coast Quilters Guild Responds
April 27, 2013 On April 17, the SCQG responded to my request for more detailed reasons for refusing to show my quilt. Here is the response and my comments on the reasons given. Hello Patricia, Thank you for taking the time to clarify your reasons for refusing to show my quilt at the upcoming Sunshine Coast Quilters Guild Show. Let me first respond generally before getting to your specific points. What you are doing is concluding that your reaction to my quilt is the only one possible. It is narrow minded in that you do not allow for other interpretations of the work and your refusal to include it in the show does not allow other people to see it to make up their minds for themselves. This is censorship, something to be wary of in “the true North strong and free”. Now to your points: By having the mans (sic) name on the quilt glorifies him. Yes, the name is controversial and provocative but that was my intent. I could have called it simply “Death from A to Z” or perhaps “Death from A to Z, Dec. 14, 2012” and, with the school name and location at the bottom, that would have identified the event and the place. But I still wanted to include the name of the killer and the NRA badges and bibs to connect these deaths with what really happened: Adam Lanza killing 26 people in an estimated five minutes. That having his name on the quilt glorifies him is your interpretation and, while you are entitled to it, it is not the only interpretation possible. All points following, except for the last one, have nothing to do with whether you should decide to display the quilt or not, but I respond anyway. You say you will donate 50% of the sale price of the quilt to opposing the NRA yet you purchased the bibs and emblems from the NRA which is seen as supporting the NRA. Yes, I regrettably had to purchase the bibs and emblems from the NRA. Trying to duplicate them is beyond my capabilities and would defeat the purpose of the main focus of the quilt, that the NRA believes that gun ownership protects children. Another example of how people can interpret an action as either positive or negative. How can you put a price on a child’s life which you have done at $1000 per child..as per your web site. Have you considered the feelings of the parents who lost children, should they see on your web site that their child carried a price!!!! Setting a price on a work of art is always a difficult task. How much do you charge for creativity? And, as you point out, what price is a life worth? Many of the parents of these children have become active in promoting gun control in the US. If the sale of my work can help that cause it further contributes to the possibility that these children did not die in vain. If you truly believed in this cause why would you only put 50% why not put everything except the cost of materials. Thank you for allowing me to at least recover the cost of my materials. To be honest with you, I’m not sure what the quilt cost me. Hours and hours of labour. You are a quilter so know how time consuming quilting is. Travel to and lodging in the BC interior where I did the sewing. Truly believing in my cause means to me that I could use some of the proceeds generated by this work to continue to create more works of art that challenge and provoke. This is seen as a political issue which surely needs to be addressed in the USA. We have always lived in a world where nations and people promote what they think is best for the rest of the world. As a human being, I believe I have a right to have an opinion on how governments, cultures and people behave. Canada and many other nations restrict gun ownership, especially in the case of weapons with the ability to discharge rounds as quickly as you can pull the trigger. Perhaps world opinion and my quilt can help persuade the US to more restrict, if not eliminate, these weapons for public use. Our quilt show is not to be serving as a political platform. You define what quilting and your quilt show is for. I obviously challenge this understanding and many other of your other ideas, too. These are the main reasons given. Patricia.
Sunshine Coast Quilters Guild Rejects Quilt
April 16, 2013 A sad day for freedom of artistic expression as the Sunshine Coast Quilters Guild has decided my quilt, Death from A to Z by Adam Lana, Dec. 14, 2012 is not acceptable for display at the show. Here is the guild’s official email: Name: Sunshine Coast Quilters Guild Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Comments: Good afternoon Mr Miller, after great discussion at our quilt show meeting it was decided that your quilt relating to the Sandy Hook massacre is not appropriate to be shown in our quilt show. Should you have any questions or require any further information please use this e mail only as a contact. Regards SCQG Quilt Show Chair. And my reply:
Since you did not sign with your name, I am unable to address you personally, which is unfortunate.
I am naturally disappointed with your decision and wonder if you could expand on the way in which your guild felt the quilt to be inappropriate i.e. did you feel it contravened any Canadian law? Thanks James Miller
Quilt on display at Sew Easy, Sechelt, BC Canada
April 12, 2013 “Death from A to Z by Adam Lanza, Dec. 14, 2012” went on display April 10 at the Sew Easy quilt and sewing supply store in the Trail Bay Mall in Sechelt, BC, Canada. This is the first display of the quilt and I would like to thank Dianne Flynn and Sue Thompson, the store owners, for generously donating their window space and for having the willingness to display this controversial work of art. The quilt and my accompanying artist’s statement, will be on display until May, at which time I am hoping the quilt will be moved to the Sunshine Coast Quilters Guild show, but I am still awaiting approval from the committee in charge. Given the controversy the quilt has already created, it will be interesting to see if the quilt will be accepted or not. And, if not, will they be willing to put their reasons in writing? A full color picture of the quilt appears in an advertisement announcing the quilt will be on display appears in the April 12 issue of the Coast Reporter.
Albert Apple featured on Cerebral Palsy Pages. Sales Soar! –
April 2, 2013 Written and published many years ago, “The Apple of Albert’s Eye”, my book about an apple growing up and learning about life on an apple tree has been featured on the My Child at Cerebral Palsy.org website and a cerebralpalsyorg facebook page. To check the coverage visit: http://cerebralpalsy.org/
Cold comfort in quilt that proves too hot to handle –
March 27, 2013 Protests have led to the withdrawal of an offer to display, “Death from A to Z by Adam Lanza, December 14, 2012”, my quilt drawing attention to the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The quilt was originally scheduled for its first public showing at Fibre Expressions on Cowrie Street in Sechelt over the Easter weekend, but protests by some who reacted negatively to the work led the owner, Christine Richardson, to withdraw her offer to put the quilt in her store window. I knew this work would generate controversy but I am disappointed that the opinions of a few people will not allow others to see the quilt. An second offer to put the quilt on display at Sew Easy, another quilt shop in Sechelt, is also on hold as one of the two partners in the store awaits the return and approval of her partner in early April. I will be applying to have my quilt shown at a local quilt show in May.
For the month of March 101 Art Show –
March 18, 2013 For the month of March, 101 Office Supply is displaying works by James Miller, a prairies-born Canadian artist currently working in Sechelt. After many years of working in a variety of fields, including 10 years teaching art and mathematics in six different countries, he is now exploring his creative talents through the visual arts, the written word and music. The show covers a number of subjects and techniques in various media and formats. To see, read and hear his work, visit www.jamesmillercreative.com. 101 Office Supply is situated on Cowrie Street in Sechelt.
“Death from A to Z by Adam Lanza, December 14, 2012 –
March 14, 2013 Like many, I was shocked by the death of 27 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School, December 14, 2012, when Adam Lanza, after killing his mother at their home, shot 20 young students and six teachers with his mother’s assault rifle and then took his own life with a pistol. While trying to know more about this, I stumbled across the Kid’s Stuff section of the National Rifle Association website and was shocked to see they sold baby bibs with NRA in block letters on them. Here’s how the NRA sees it: This terry cloth baby bib proudly displays the building blocks of Second Amendment protection, “NRA”. This bib features an adjustable snap collar and is available with blue or pink trim. Please specify trim color when ordering. Where my ideas come from, I’m not always sure, but it wasn’t long before I imagined 26 bibs (one for each person Adam killed at the school) embroidered with a letter of the alphabet and the name of a person killed, strung on a clothesline in a wooden frame. This soon changed into a quilt entitled “Death from A to Z by Adam Lanza, December 14, 2012” and the quilt is now nearing completion. I believe there needs to be a sensible debate over gun control in the United States and that the NRA needs to be willing to participate in discussions to find ways to preserve the Second Amendment while limiting the amount of deadly force people can have in their possession in the form of a rifle or pistol. “Death from A to Z by Adam Lanza, December 14, 2012” dramatizes the need for that debate.