Artist Interview: Colette Miller

Artist Interview: Colette Miller


With the Global Angel Wings Project quickly gaining momentum throughout the world, we at Downtown Art Walk would like to take a moment to recognize the work of artist, musician, and filmmaker,Colette Miller, who was one of several women featured in March’s Art Walk Lounge exhibition,”Venus Triumphant.”

In celebration of the IAA-UNESCO World Art Day, April 15th, we wanted to revisit this interview and shine light on a project has reached a global audience and brought messages of hope and healing to the communities when wings have a home.

Miller is a Los Angeles based artist with experience in a variety of mediums, including large scale mural paintings. Her work, has been sold and shown internationally, is a unique amalgamation of color, movement and emotion that invites viewers to interact with the pieces, rather than just simply view them.

Looking to her Global Angel Wings Project as testament to this fact, one can quickly see how art, particularly that which is featured in a public setting, can be used as a catalyst for growth, change, and, hopefully, even peace.

(This interview was originally published in our March Newsletter)

How do you decide where to paint the angel wings? I know you recently did one in skid row following the shooting of the homeless man. Do you pick locations for political, social, or religious reasons?

Each situation is unique. In the beginning , in 2012, here in the City of Angels I wanted to find an accessible place where people could find the wings and interact with them. I wanted to help remind people of the good in humanity or themselves. The first few were technically installed with out permission so I needed a wall where I could work quickly. When I traveled to Kenya to work on a doc I put some wings in destitute areas to help inspire the street kids. Later as they gained popularity and started being requested or commissioned, I installed them where asked, such as Australia’s key cities, or Juarez, Mexico to help heal the damage from the drug cartels. Also many cities in the U.S. . I just did a pair in Spanish Harlem In January, freezing the paint it was so cold. Each set of wings has its own story I suppose.

What is the next step in your Global Angel Wings project? Where would you like to take it and how do you see it growing and/or evolving?

I just completed a mini film on the project with emphasize on the Kenya installations, with the street kids there , who named their boxing club after the wings, Kayole Wings Miller Boxing Club. I hope to bring them to more places in the U.S. this year, also places where humanity is suffering a lot like the, Middle East, Ukraine, Israel/Palestine. Ideally would like the wings to remind people of peace.

What is your opinion/feelings regarding the interaction between Art Walk participants and your wings? Considering that your wings have become a sort community asset/art investment, what impact do you think your wings have had on building community within the DTLA neighborhood and how do you think Art Walk has played a part in this?

CM:Qathryn Brehm, Joe Moller, Tom Gillmore , T.K Nagano all had a part in my being allowed to put the wings on Main street at the Regent, (which are now sometimes rolled up on the gate for the new business). I am just honored and grateful they were not only understood and enjoyed but sanctioned and became by default part of the Art Walk. The more Angels the better . I think the area was ripe for development and that many Artists helped color the personality of DTLA. Gary Leonard did a big service to the community by photographing so many of us. A new pair wings on Gary Leonards gallery are on 9th street between Main and Broadway. Also the new ones on Skid row, 6th and San Julian, dedicated to the spirit of humanity, no matter how bleak it can be sometimes..

I’ve spent some time checking out some of your other work online, like your paintings of flowers and animals. Are these kinds of works the one you spend the majority of your time working on, or do you devote more time and energy to other projects such as street and wall murals?

Of late I have been doing more public art with the wings. But I always have a couple paintings running that I work on at my studio.And other projects.

 

To learn more about World Art Day visit: http://iaaworldartday.com/

To learn more about Colette Miller’s work visit: http://www.colettemiller.com/