19 May 2010

LOOK: Buswater and the art of Jamie Miller

Jamie Miller left her hometown of Charleston to live in the Morgantown area during her college years, but returned to the capital city soon after and continues to live, raise her family and work as an artist there. Miller says she remains in The Mountain State "because there is a special magic here." She continues, "There is a recovery of the spirit that hasn't been lost in people. Everything that I learned was rooted here. I saw amazing punk rock shows at the art space and throughout the state in the Eighties that founded some parts of who I am. I played in the creek, picked blackberries, grew up on flea markets and cornbread and beans. It wouldnt be the same in other places, I think that is why many come home."

Influenced by the underdogs, Marc Chagall, punk rock, coal hollows, cowboys, Philip Guston, broken hearts, mended hearts and anger, Miller is a painter and a jeweler. "Everything I paint is painted by hand," she says about her technique. "Literally fingers. I do not use brushes, some times the end of one for scraping." Miller's work often features bright colors, clever animals and caricatures and youthful imagery. Miller is also working on found object packages that she mails to people, as well as jewels, which she sells on her Etsy page.

As an artist, Miller is thriving in Charleston selling much of her paintings and jewelry at shows on a regular basis. "The art scene in Charleston has many crazy talented folks who are starting to have more outlets to show their work. It's coming along for sure." There is no better time for art in Charleston than its annual week-long FestivAll, which kicks off June 17. As part of the festival, Jamie and friend Todd Griffith host Buswater On the Boulevard, which includes work from 30 artists from all over the region including Miller's newest paintings.

When: June 19, 25, 26.
Where: 1520 Kanawha Blvd. SE, Charleston.

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