Miller’s ‘skins’ to be showcased

Opening  Friday, April 1, 2016 at the Missoula Art Museum in Montana, features the  talent and creative process in the form of a site-specific installation entitled, “Abbie Miller: Exit Strategies” which her new work will be on view through August 13 in the Aresty Gallery on MAM’s main floor.


Miller is a talented, up-and-coming artist creating sculptural installations with distinctive materials and an original vision. Originally from Billings, Miller received her BFA from the University of Wyoming with a minor in apparel construction. She also holds a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from Maryland Institute College of Art and earned her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

After graduate school, Miller moved back west to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and worked as a fiber instructor and tailor while pursuing a career as a fashion designer. She has also exhibited her sculpture work in group and solo exhibitions.

Abbie Miller installation in progress in the Missoula Art Museum.

Abbie Miller installation in progress in the Missoula Art Museum.


Miller’s aesthetic is unique and honest, drawing equally from her art education and passion for fashion design. The artworks are an innovative amalgam of fiber, fashion design and contemporary large scale sculpture. The sculptural forms are architectural in scale and express figurative movement.



She builds the form and sews the “skins” simultaneously; it is an intuitive process that Miller says is akin to drawing for her. The final piece is never fully realized until the last zipper tooth is zipped into place. For Miller, the zipper is a decisive element in work both metaphorically and as a crucial physical structure. She says, “it facilitates order in my sculptures in a structural, engineered way being that it is a single line that fuses stitched marks and vinyl into a whole, unified object. A zipper creates identity. So it is a threshold of sorts.”

In addition, advancing the perception of a living figure in the forms, is the vinyl covering that is the surface of the work. Evoking clothing or skin, the vinyl wrinkles and stretches, it sags or gathers, and it also holds the work together. Vinyl is shiny and slick; the smooth surface is expressive and seductive, and nostalgic of a certain sex appeal. The structure of the sculpture is constructed with lumber and then skinned by wrapping the armature with vinyl that is held together by a continuous zipper.

“For the Missoula Art Museum the galleries’ use of movement both in structure and metaphor fascinated me. The gallery, with two sets of stairs running at longitude and latitude through the space, has an architecture that felt like a type of precipice of sorts, a division between spaces that one has to integrate into, step up and onto. This became a really exciting opportunity to connect two separate spaces with one sculpture, one line,” said Miller.

For more information, call MAM at 406.728.0447 or see:


Published by on March 2016. Filed under Archives, At the Museums dept, Montana, News (Time related), Palette News Arts Network/PNAN, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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