Veteran artist, instructor John Miller finds new life with 'Digital'

2012-08-29T10:00:00Z 2012-08-30T17:25:42Z Veteran artist, instructor John Miller finds new life with 'Digital'Tim Shellberg Times Correspondent
August 29, 2012 10:00 am  • 

Windy City artist and retired professor John Miller didn't seek out digital art. It was bequeathed to him.

Several years ago, one of his former students who was leaving the region for the West Coast, gave him a computer that contained digital art programs.

Miller's interest in the medium was piqued.

"I thought 'Oh well, OK, let's see what this is about, and that's how I got started with it," he said. "I thought I'd try it out, and it's been very fulfilling."

Miller is showcasing a series of works, digital and otherwise, in the West Gallery and Education Room at Valparaiso University's Brauer Museum of Art. He was born in Princeton, Ill., in 1927. After serving in the Army during the Korean War, he studied at Chicago's School of the Art Institute.

A few years after graduation, Miller taught at the School of the Art Institute, retiring in 1998 after four decades. Miller also founded the 414 Workshop Gallery in Chicago in the 50s and served as its director for more than a half dozen years.

"Images" is made up of four computer–generated abstract creations, 6-by-12 feet in size, made by Miller over the course of the last dozen–plus years, with six smaller digital prints complementing the large works.

"I took a few prints here and there and it got more and more interesting for me as I went along," he said.

The exhibit also showcases a handful of acrylic and oil paintings and drawings by Miller created in the early 90s.

"We wanted to showcase the digital prints but also show where he came from," said Gregg Hertzlieb, director of Brauer Museum of Art and co–curator of the exhibit. "They really do relate really closely ... in terms of color and gesture and composition, the paintings and drawings relate closely to his digital images."

Brauer Museum of Art is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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