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News @ Minnesota State University Moorhead

Hoarding Inspiration

Posted on October 11, 2013

By: Danielle Rebel, MSUM Marketing and Communications Intern

Art and Design graduate earns national recognition

Catie Miller has been honing her skills as a ceramic artist since graduating from MSUM in May. She holds degrees in art education and fine arts, emphasis in ceramics.

Miller was recently featured in Ceramics Monthly Magazine’s “Undergraduate Showcase.” Usually, 10 students from across the country are selected for the showcase. This year, only five were featured in the magazine, making Miller’s selection even more prestigious.

“It’s always very exciting and humbling to see that you’re being recognized nationally for your work,” Miller said.

The magazine’s editors said the following of featured students: “Inquisitive research, creative solutions, an interest in craftsmanship and technique – the works by the students chosen for this year’s showcase demonstrate all of these traits. Pretty impressive, not to mention way beyond the work many of us here on the staff of Ceramics Monthly were making as an undergraduate student.”

Hoarding inspired Miller’s work in Ceramics Monthly. The television show, “Hoarders,” and personal experiences in Miller’s life gave her insight on the topic.

“I thought Catie’s work was very ambitious, smart and kind of brave,” said art and design professor Kelli Sinner. “She wasn’t afraid to talk about things that made people uncomfortable.”

The exhibit on hoarding featured six tumbler glasses, as well as a large platter, all, as Sinner says are “beautiful covered with uncomfortable.” This juxtaposition is what intrigues both women as artists.

“It’s kind of interesting as a person who makes objects,” Miller said. “I was interested in why people have that connection (to objects).”

Miller was also featured in Ceramics Monthly’s “Ceramic Yearbook,” which outlines art residencies across the country.

Shortly after graduation, Miller moved to Kansas City, Mo., where she was accepted to the internationally known artist residency program at Red Star Studios. As a studio assistant to MSUM ceramics for several years, Miller acquired several skills, including glaze testing, and is now working to create a new glaze pallet for Red Star Studios.

“I’m not surprised she’s doing well, because she’s really talented and works really hard,” Sinner said.

Miller says that her time at MSUM was essential to her development as an artist.

“The quality of the (art) program at MSUM is competitive to those national art programs,” Miller said.

Thanks to weekly peer and faculty critiques, she said students in the program have to defend their work, which pushes work farther than it’s gone before.

Miller went above and beyond during her time at MSUM. For her graduating showcase, Miller needed to show five pieces of work. Instead she showed 65 different pieces.

Inspiration may be different for each new exhibit, but Miller knows exactly what she wants from her work.

“What I always try to do is have a little humor in my work, a little commentary as well; something that people can reflect on.”

To see Miller’s work and learn more about her as an artist, visit catiemiller.wix.com/ceramics.

Miller’s artwork can be purchased online at Etsy.


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