Tom Miller

Posted on: September 14, 2014


Tom Miller’s work includes walls, wall fragments, paintings, video and other architectural pieces. He uses formal elements and structure as metaphor or analysis of the political condition.

Tom is a full –time studio art professor at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. His work was most recently featured in the exhibition Desert Serenade: Drones, Fences, Cacti, Test Sites, Craters and Serapes at the Lannan Foundation Gallery. In addition his one-man exhibition Walling: Containing Architecture was held at Zane Bennett Contemporary Art in 2013. Tom was named the first SITE Scholars honored educator in 2013.


Walls, wall fragments, paintings, video and other architectural elements are the focus of my most recent acrylic, architectural paintings and plywood sculpture. I use forced perspective and symmetry in my two-dimensional work as a structural limitation and as a metaphor or analysis of the political condition. I often complicate the image by removing horizon lines. This opens up the space. My two-dimensional works are as much sculpture as drawing and painting. As a result they reside in the middle ground between physical presence and illusion. My imagery is defined by the thickness of the paint and surface textures. These paintings are usually black, white or gray. I use the monochromatic palette to reference truth and specificity. I subvert this notion by concentrating the physicality of the paint on forming a structural image. The monochromatic imagery is subtle, emphasizing the need to see. The resulting image is constructed, ominous, precise and physical.
My sculptures of walls are corrugated panels and I-beams fabricated from plywood, resin and paint. These pieces are built at life scale. My walls are realistic in their construction and at the same time flawed. The walls’ presence confronts the viewer as he negotiates space. By doing this, it asks the viewer to both choose sides and analyze the wall’s ability to keep in or keep out.


My Studio is a steel barn located at my house. I will use Spread funding to improve my studio space. My first priority is to increase the power supply; this will allow me to run my air compressor without extension cords. Adding power will also allow me to safely heat my space in the winter. This improvement will increase my studio time and efficiency: allowing me to work at night throughout the school year, when much of my day is dedicated to teaching. Improved heating will also help to provide a more comfortable experience for studio visitors. In addition I will be adding air filtration to my workspace.

I will use any additional funds to offset costs associated with my current project. The working title of this project is: Set to Topple. This large-scale work emphasizes the construction, intention and theatricality of wall building. The first versions of this artwork are made from cinder block, wood and paint. During my working process I produce multiple drawings, paintings, models, sculptures and videos as a way to develop ideas and visualize the results. I will use funds to pay for art materials and photos.


You can see more of Tom Miller’s work here.

One Response to “Tom Miller”

  1. trudonna Says:

    Hey bud, Congrats – So wish I could be there, any other way to vote for you?
    love the Artist’s Statement – may have to plagiarize. lol Nice to know our minds are still working along some of the same paths.

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