Miller Horns Interview, 28 October 2008

Artist Miller Horns discusses the role of art in his education, discussing how his artistic ability helped him cope with dyslexia in elementary school and how Mark Sopliln at the University of Akron encouraged him to study art at the college level. He was accepted at CIA and spent five years commuting by Greyhound bus from Akron to Cleveland to attend school. His education gave him an appreciation of other art forms, especially dance and theater. Miller became interested in electrostatic art when he realized that few artists were working in the medium. He attended workshops to learn more about this new art form in the 1980s. Horns manipulates photographs, enlarging them and playing with colors and textures. By creating large images, he uses distance and space to invite the audience into his world. His work is often autobiographical, a place where he can share the good and bad experiences of his life. He believes the best art leaves the audience asking questions about the work and the creative process of the artist. His latest work is entitled "Nightmare: Falling out of Grace," in which he portrays a figure falling from a tall building in New York, lit by floodlights. Some people may relate to the dream of falling, while others may find the image reminiscent of 9/11. He observes that he has been criticized by not being "black" enough in his work, but feels his art transcends his color. He has written a play based on his experiences on the Greyhound commute called "Just Passing Through" that was given a staged reading at Karamu Theatre. Horn hopes, someday, to see this work produced on stage.

Participants: Horns, Miller (interviewee) / Busta, William (interviewer)
Collection: Each in Their Own Voice: African American Artists in Cleveland, 1970-2005
Institutional Repository: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection

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Each in Their Own Voice: African American Artists in Cleveland, 1970-2005

The first generations of African American artists who were active in the Cleveland region were showcased in the 1993 exhibition Yet Still We Rise: African American Artists in Cleveland 1930-1970. In 2005, a second exhibition was organized by Cleveland Artists Foundation (ARTneo). In addition to gallery shows, this exhibit – titled Each in Their Own Voice: African American Artists in Cleveland, 1970-2005 – documented subsequent generations of African American artists through oral history…