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COCA Exhibiton

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Two years ago, the world went into lockdown. As the pandemic loomed, many stocked up on disinfectant, masks, and hand sanitizer. Sara Lea Miller added a few other essentials to her shopping list including paint, canvas, and brushes. Though she had never created art before, March of 2020 seemed to her like a good time to start.

“I have taken art history classes, traveled to Europe to see amazing art in college, collected art as an adult and it still took me until I was over 50 years old to start painting,” Miller said.

Without the constraints of tradition or training, Miller explored a variety of media such as acrylic, oil stick, chalk, and more. She developed a self-taught process and builds layer upon layer to her canvases to create luminous depth of color. She often adds splatters that bleed across the surface for dynamic effect and drags lines of oil sticks, pastels, chalk, and charcoal to add movement and contrast.

Miller often works on the floor of her home studio and makes use of unconventional tools such as kitchen scrubbers and yoga mats. She even uses a shop broom as a giant paint brush. While delighting in the unpredictability of the materials, Miller embraces the spontaneity that comes with a process-oriented approach to art making. The result are compositions and color combinations that are unexpected, approachable, and joyful.

Thirty of her artworks are on display from June 15 – August 22, 2022 in person at the Artport Gallery or virtually on this gallery page.

Join us for an Artist Talk on July 15 at 12:00pm to learn more about the artist, her background, creative process, artworks, and all the things that inspire her. Click here to register for this Zoom presentation

This is one of many rotating exhibitions curated by the Council on Culture & Arts on behalf of the City of Tallahassee as part of the Art in Public Places program. The Artport Gallery itself is located in the Tallahassee International Airport, 3300 Capital Circle SW, and is open daily from 8:00 am until 11:30 pm. The first 30 minutes of parking is free for both the short-term parking lot.

 Explore for more information about COCA, this program, or to sign up to receive COCA’s email blasts. You’ll also find a schedule of other exhibitions and arts and culture programs throughout north Florida.

Special thanks to COCA extern Shena Kamata for her help with this exhibition.

Sara Lea Miller