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Sarah Miller Paints Birmingham Landmarks

10/16/2014

Sarah Miller’s painting of famous landmarks In Birmingham

Sarah Miller’s painting of famous landmarks In Birmingham

On September 6, 2014, I attended the 2014 Artwalk in Birmingham. This interesting event broadened my horizon as to why people my age should learn to care about artwork. Art is something that society needs to learn how to appreciate in an order to make us better rounded individuals. There were many different types of artists on hand, but the one that really caught my attention was Sarah Miller.

Miller was one of more than 200 artists whose work was on display during the 2014 Artwalk in downtown Birmingham.  Now in its 13th year, the juried art show includes painters, sculptors, photographers, performance artists and musicians from around the state.  Office buildings and loft apartments became art galleries for 48 hours, while downtown’s landmark galleries Space One Eleven and beta pectoris welcome numerous first-time visitors alongside their loyal patrons.

At her tent, which was located on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 23rd Street North, Miller had on display “This Is Birmingham”. The exhibit featured many different works of art that capture the inner essence of what exactly is Birmingham. Her work captured the inner essence of what exactly is Birmingham because her works of art feature many iconic landmarks of the city. These iconic landmarks include Regions Field, the downtown skyline, and The Vulcan. These are probably some of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Thus, her title makes sense given the subjects of her paintings.

Miller’s paintings used many vibrant colors that appeared to jump off the canvasses.  In this series, some of the main colors that she uses are yellow, black and white.  These colors contrast with one another well.  I thought that these colors were an excellent choice for the images that the artist was working with.  These colors make the paintings appear to be stunning to me.  Her color choice not only amazes me, but the placement of the colors within the artwork.  If Miller had not gotten her placement right, then the colors would not have worked nearly as well together as they do.  I saw this whenever I squinted my eyes.  The shapes that I saw were numerous squares, rectangles, and triangles, just to name a few.

The way that Miller had the exhibition arranged was interesting to me.  I found this interesting because I had never seen an entire exhibition displayed in this fashion before.  She was not in a store, gallery, or anything of that sort.  The space that she occupied was a tent.  She did something that many businesses do in order to get people interested in what they have to offer.  She had some of her most expensive products on the outside of her tent for every passerby to see and she had her more inexpensive pieces inside with her.  I thought that this was an excellent plan of action for her to have.  I firmly believe that by her having that plan of action, she was able to sell more paintings than she would have any other way.  I thought that the purpose of the pieces on the outside of the tent was to get your attention and to get you to come and buy something on the inside of the tent.  I thought that her choice of display did affect how long someone looked at something.  The large paintings got your attention and made you stay at her tent longer than the average person would stand and look at the small paintings.

When I squint my eyes and stand closer, I see all of the lines, shapes, and colors that are within the piece.  The further away from the piece that I stand, the more difficult it is to notice the individual details as well as you do whenever you stand close to the piece.  I did not see anything from a distance that I could not see up close.  The subject of the exhibition was fascinating to me.  I found the subject fascinating because I would have never imagined someone wanting to paint pictures of famous landmarks.  I had never thought that an artist would consider the painting famous landmarks of Birmingham, especially when compared to something as famous as the Golden Gate Bridge.  The subject of the exhibit is everything that is great about the city of Birmingham.  I think that Miller painted these pieces because she wanted to show off everything that is great about this wonderful city.  I think that Miller being from Birmingham had a huge impact as to why she decided to paint this series.

I had an excellent time with my parents at the Birmingham Artwalk this past Saturday.  My parents really liked doing something different.  Both of them said that throughout the day, “they felt as though they were walking around Jackson Square in New Orleans, Louisiana”.  All of the musicians and the diversity of the crowd helped to add to the experience of the event.  I was pleasantly surprised with the size of the crowd for a Saturday in the fall.  I was also shocked when I observed that there were many people, both young and old, at the Birmingham Artwalk.  Both of these things surprised me because I would have never thought that people in my generation could ever appreciate art.

I would highly recommend going to this fantastic event at the next available opportunity.  I would highly recommend this as a great educational experience to anyone.  It really opened my eyes to that art is not nearly as boring as I gave it credit for.  Art is something that a person has to develop a taste for in order to appreciate.  I have learned to appreciate art more the older that I have gotten.

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