Monday, December 29, 2014

Women & Self-Portraiture article

I recently discovered that I'm included in an interesting article on women and self-portraiture that came out last month:  I'd been interviewed (by email) and then forgot about it, so a nice surprise.

In my portion of the interview I discuss my head covering project, actually for the first time in print. And I was also surprised and pleased to see that the writer gave a big shout out to Women in the Act of Painting, which I appreciate!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Passing the Torch!

On September 21 I was honored to preside at the meeting that voted David Campbell Wilson as the new President of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Alumni Association Council. Heartfelt congratulations to David who I know will lead the council forward with great skill and intelligence!

Outgoing PAFA Alumni Council President Nancy Bea Miller and new President David Campbell Wilson
photo: Jennifer Baker
art: Murray Dessner

I found my three year term of service as council President to be richly satisfying, challenging, broadening, stretching and often just plain fun! I highly recommend a stint of community service as a way to enhance your own life. Have to say, I was touched by initially being asked to consider "renewing" my term of office, but with a new degree, a new job and some new family obligations I decided this natural end of my term of office was a good time to pass on the torch, with grateful thanks! The PAFA Alumni Council is a wonderful collaboration, and we accomplished A LOT thanks to many people's combined efforts, energy, ideas, creativity and support.

Left to right: David Brigham, Fred Danziger, Jennifer Baker, Nancy Bea Miller, Laura Adams, Nancy Citrino, David Campbell Wilson, Maureen Drdak, Hilarie Hawley, Elizabeth Wilson, Jeffrey Carr. AAC members not pictured:
Eliza Auth, Holly Brigham, Martin Campos, Zachary Martin, Katrina Rakowski, Sterling Shaw
photo: AndrĂ© van de Putte 

Many, many, people who were a big part of of how much we managed to get done are not pictured here, probably too many to list for fear of omitting someone, but waves of gratitude to you all!

n.b.Special thanks to Nathanael Brouhard who keeps the AAC meetings energetic and sweet with coffee and doughnuts!

For more information on the PAFA Alumni Association Council look here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Bridgette Mayer Gallery benefit for Ballet X

My Photograph "Danger Dancer" (seen below) is in this benefit exhibition at Bridgette Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia, which opens tonight September 5th, reception 5-8 pm. All are welcome!


September 5 - October 4, 2014
Gallery hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m 
For pricing, images or additional exhibition information:  

Reception: Friday 9/5/2014  5-8 pm   

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Triple Identity

I am mentioned in an interesting article written by Judy Takacs Pendergast for the Cecilia Beaux Forum blog: Triple Identity  The piece appeared on July 7, 2014.

Friday, June 20, 2014

City Hall Show!

I'm happy to announce I am included in Without the Wall, a group show curated by Treacy Ziegler. This show will be on display on the second floor of Philadelphia City Hall, right outside the Mayor's offices. The opening is Wednesday June 25, 5-7 pm. Can you guess which piece is mine in this photo? :-)

Ziegler invited a number of  professional artists to create artwork which she then paired with artwork made by her students who are inmates in a New York prison. “Ziegler’s curatorial play further blurs the line between professional and self-taught art,” says Helen Haynes, the City’s new Chief Cultural Officer. “But what she’s also doing in her comparisons, whether it’s her intention or not, is to allow us to recognize through the prism of art - within the darkest of settings such as a prison - there can be an uplifting display of human potential.” You can read more about the show by clicking here.

Without the Wall
June 25-August 22, 2014
Opening Reception: June 25 5-7 pm
Second floor, NE corner
Philadelphia City Hall
1401 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 686-1776

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Newly armed with my MFA I have actually already gotten a college teaching job at Montgomery County Community College, which will start in the Fall. In the meantime, I am teaching a few summer courses at a wonderful neighborhood art center. The first Life Drawing class started last night and it went great: excellent model, talented hard-working students, good energy all around!

"Bryan and His Shadow" charcoal 2014 NBMiller

But I haven't taught studio art to adults in about three years and I forgot how exhausting it is! It doesn't seem like it should be so tiring, in fact, the teacher of the class across the hall seemed to spend a lot of time sitting out in the hallway playing on his iPad, and I know he is beloved by his students. But I am the "pour constant energy, thought and individualized attention on to the heads of my students" type of teacher. I thoroughly enjoyed it but I am exhausted! It'll be good to build up my teaching "muscles" again. Or maybe I just need to get an iPad and a more laid-back attitude? ;-)

If anyone wants more info on the summer classes I am teaching, two sections of Life Drawing and a Self-Portrait workshop, here is that link: 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Judge Nancy

Being a judge is exacting work but I have to admit I kind of relish the challenge. I must do an okay job at it as I keep on getting asked to judge various art events/exhibitions. Either that or else people just can't find anyone else willing to take the heat, er, take on the task! :-D The latest judge gig was last month, when I was asked to judge the end of year art exhibition at PennWood High School. Talk about hard work for the person with the much talent and so few prizes available to give! What's a judge to do? Double the honorable mention list of course! ;-)

Judging at Penn Wood High School May 2014  photo: Alyce Grunt
I've been in innumerable art exhibitions and other situations where my work has been judged and so I understand how it feels. Sometimes it can really burn, sometimes it's an unexpected delight. I have a lot of compassion for the situation. People's dreams and joys are so trustingly put up for all to see. I hope people realize that the judgment is just one person's opinion on one day, and not a decree from on high guiding the course of the artist's future career for all time!

Despite any judge's best efforts there is a certain amount of random chance involved: from whose work is next to yours, how it is lit, what order your work is seen in, time of day and the judge's personal tastes (no matter how hard she or he strives for open mindedness!) I always go through a show of work multiple times and in different directions, jotting down notes before I even begin to think about making a selection. But a different judge on a different day might pick an all different roster of winners!

This pdf on what it takes to be a good judge from a Scottish Legal group is pretty excellent, just substituting art expertise for legal expertise: 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

PAFA's 113th Annual Student Exhibition

On May 9th I received my MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. As part of my graduate requirements I had to write a thesis and also hang a 21 foot long wall in the museum with a mini show or sampling of my current work. That display of work is part of this show:

113th Annual Student Exhibition
May 9 - June 1, 2014
Preview Party: May 8, 4 - 8:30 p.m.
Public Opening: May 9, 5 - 8 p.m.

The Annual Student Exhibition (ASE) has been a tradition for over a century and is the culminating event in PAFA’s artistic calendar. Each spring the graduating students of the Certificate, BFA and Master's programs mount an exhibition that fills the Museum exhibition galleries in the Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building. Over 11,000 visitors see more than a thousand works in all media. Sales at last year’s ASE grossed over $270,000. Graduating students compete for dozens of distinguished prizes and awards, including the illustrious Cresson Traveling Fellowship and the Caldwell Purchase Prize, in which a work by a graduating student is selected for purchase by the Museum and inclusion in PAFA’s permanent collection.

Click here to view an image gallery featuring a selection of works by students participating in this year’s exhibition.

Click here to view a sampling of my particular work in this exhibition.
On opening night we had to stand by our "walls" ready to discuss our work and greet patrons. Many friends and family members came by to show support. To view my informal photo album from that night click here.
PAFA, Broad and Cherry Streets, Philadelphia, PA, USA
The show is up through June 1, 2014. For museum hours and directions click here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Odd April

I am happy to be included in this interesting Gallery 8 show at PAFA: Odd April. My piece is maybe not that odd, more like playfully different? It is from a very recent photo shoot with artist Anne Chase.

Witchy Anne, Nancy Bea Miller, March 2014, digital image

The show is in Gallery 8 (eighth floor lobby) in the Hamilton Building of PAFA (the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) and runs April 8-28th, 2014. Many thanks to Alma Barrantes, the show curator. It's always extra exciting when a brand-new work gets chosen for notice!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Rosenfeld Gallery Show

I will have work in this exhibition: ART, ALIBI, AND AN ANONYMOUS WE
Curated by Treacy Ziegler

March 9-30, 2014, Opening Reception, March 9 12 to 5:30.p.m.
Talk: March 13, Thursday, 5:30p.m.
Rosenfeld Gallery, 113 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19106

This exhibition is the work of approximately 50 artists. Half of the participating artists exhibit their art in the free world. The other half of the exhibition’s participants consists of artists living in prisons; most who live in solitary confinement or on death row. If these artists get the opportunity to exhibit their work it is within the confines of “prisoner art.”

Each artist was asked to create a work of art within a 6” circle. Space restrictions of the 6” circle become the theme of the work. The presentation of all work is anonymous asking the viewer if this art or any art can be experienced without the story of the artist.

In the case of prison art, the viewer most often sees the art of the prisoner through the lens of rehabilitation instead of the lens of art.

Ultimately, art asks that the viewer forget the artist in order to experience the art as an aesthetic experience. Can this happen with prison art?

For more information on the exhibition visit An Open Window Project.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Amber at the Philadelphia Flower Show!

"Amber, Dreaming" oil on canvas 24 x 20 inches

I am thrilled to announce that my painting "Amber, Dreaming" is on display at the Philadelphia Flower Show. The piece is part of a venture to showcase the work of local art school students in this year's flower show. This year's show theme is "ARTiculture" and I was very honored that the PFS committee chose my piece.  16 PAFA students were selected in all and our pieces will be rotated: Amber is in the current grouping dates to view Friday 2/28 through 3/3.

n.b. Because of some family issues which took me out of state, I was not able to get in to see it hanging in person! Many many thanks to Cara Schmidt who stumbled upon it at the show and was intrigued enough to read the label and then realize her friend had painted it...what a lucky happenstance! She snapped a shot and posted it too so I got to see it in're so great Cara   And huge thanks also to my lovely model, Amber, for allowing me to paint her and then show the piece! ♡  Here's the show photo:

"Amber, Dreaming" oil on canvas 24 x 20 inches
The Philadelphia Flower Show 2014
photo courtesy of Cara Schmidt

Friday, February 28, 2014

Drexel Art Auction

"Dollar in a Box" NBMiller 2011 oil on linen 7 x 5 inches

I'm participating in Drexel University Arts Administration Graduate Association’s (AAGA) 11th Annual Silent Art Auction! This is tonight, Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the URBN Center Lobby (3501 Market St.) In addition to food and drink, the evening will feature entertainment provided by Grits and Grouper Soup, a local Philadelphia folk-band. All proceeds support the AAGA’s annual trip to Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

For more information on the auction see this link. To see an online gallery of the many beautiful artworks donated to this event look here. Bids start at only a percentage of market value so if you're lucky this could be a great chance to snap up a masterpiece at "charity" prices.