Sat, Apr 01|
OPENING RECEPTION: Lord Love You
Time & Location
Apr 01, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Arches Brewing, 3361 Dogwood Dr, Hapeville, GA 30354, USA
About the event
An R. A. Miller Exhibition
Lord Love You
SHOW RUN March 27th - April 28th
OPENING RECEPTION Saturday, April 1st — 6-10 pm
ABA Gallery is delighted to present our latest exhibition, featuring the captivating works of R.A. Miller and artifacts from the Kanka Collection. This exhibition showcases Miller’s artistic journey in a way that has never been seen before, as it includes intimate photographs of the artist taken by his dear friend, professional photographer and avid art collector Jaroslav Kanka.
Kanka’s photographs allow us to witness Miller at his most authentic and creative self. They show his interactions with the public and his creative process around his home. From one of the largest collections of Miller’s artwork, this exhibition is the most significant showing of his drawings to date, providing a rare opportunity to appreciate the depth and breadth of Miller’s unique artistic vision.
R.A. Miller (Reuben Aaron Miller) was an American folk artist born July 22, 1912. He was the youngest of eight children living in Rabbittown, Georgia, on the outskirts of Gainesville. Six months before his birth, his father was shot and killed over a land dispute to control a public road. For years after, the fatherless family got by on farming cotton, hunting, and fishing.
The artist began creating his works in his later years after his vision began to deteriorate due to glaucoma. He started making the whirligigs, kinetic sculptures that spin in the wind, that he made as a boy to pass the time.
Miller’s artwork gained notoriety outside his immediate community when his whirligigs were featured in the twenty-minute video Left of Reckoning. Eager to explore the music video medium, musician Micheal Stipe from Athens-based rock group R.E.M. secured funding for a short film that would accompany music from the first half of their second album, Reckoning. Stipe’s concept was to film the project at folk artists Whirligig Farm, and he recruited Athens filmmaker James Herbert to direct it. In March 1984, R.E.M. filmed Left of Reckoning in Rabbittown, Georgia.
Miller’s work quickly gained popularity, and he became recognized as a talented and unique folk artist. Miller used his artwork to help spread the word of God. His materials consisted of paint, magic marker, tin, bicycle parts, and scrap metal. His work generally consisted of various subjects, animals, devils, angels, human figures like “Blow Oscar, and short inspirational messages, most notably “Lord Love You.”
Miller passed away in 2006. His art is a fascinating example of American folk art, and his use of simple materials to create complex and imaginative works continues to inspire artists and art lovers alike. He is remembered as a talented and creative artist who used his work to express his messages, beliefs, and sense of humor.