Stephen Millner


Contact Information

sjmillner2000@gmail.com

Phone: 215-321-0171

http://www.stephenmillner.com/

PO Box 416 Yardley, PA 19067

Other: Assemblage

Mixed Media

Archived Work

Artist's Biography

Born in Ventura, California, Stephen Millner grew up in New York City and Trenton, New Jersey. He received BA in Fine Arts from Yale University, and earned graduate degrees from the University of Maine and Wayne State University. At Yale, he studied photography with Walker Evans and John T. Hill, printmaking with Gabor Peterdi, and graphic design with Herbert Matter. Other influences at Yale were artist Jack Tworkov, art historian Vincent Scully, and cultural icon Buckminster Fuller. He began his art career as a photographer, printmaker, and metal sculptor. Millner studied sculpture with New Hope, PA artist, Harry Balmer. His works have been shown in galleries in New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Millner’s photography is characterized by bold graphic elements and ambiguous imagery. His mixed media work makes use of original photographs, childhood memorabilia, maps, postal ephemera, and magazine and newspaper images, often with witty and humorous juxtapositions. Some of his work concerns political issues. For five years, Millner was the founding president of Artists of Yardley (artistsofyardley.org), bringing the group from twenty members to over one hundred, and organizing its various community and art show events that continue today. He is married to poet Marie Kane, (Bucks County Poet Laureate, 2006); they reside in Yardley, Pennsylvania. His website is stephenmillner.com. He also manages an online gallery called Summer of Love Posters. Some of Millner’s artistic influences are: El Anatsui, Harry Balmer, Nick Bantock, Walker Evans, Claudia McGill, Robert Rauschenberg, Zoe Strauss, and Andy Warhol.

Artist's Statement

The Japanese words Honne (what we truly believe in our soul) and Tatemae (what we pretend to believe so that others will like us) have special relevance for the artist. We are often programmed in childhood toward Tatemae—to alter our creative aspirations so as to be popular rather than to give unfettered freedom to our creative inspirations. I am grateful to my parents, who encouraged me to express my creativity honestly (Honne), by not imposing value judgments that might make my art more “normal” or “popular.”

My path as an artist, then, has been to make art that is true to my creative inspiration. As a mixed media artist, I utilize a wide variety of materials, most of them recycled: discarded wrapping paper, newspaper and magazine clippings, maps, advertising, photographs, envelopes, signs, stickers, stamps, tags, hardware, scrap wood, etc. Often, a new piece of art begins when an item grabs my attention and demands to be used as the beginning of a mixed media work.

When this occurs, the item or image becomes the seed of a work of art. This seed may trigger a memory, make an association, or ask a question—taking on meaning beyond its literal components.

Often, the developing work of art will put the item in a new context and expand or alter its meaning. Each additional element becomes more critical in terms of color, balance, design, and visual interest, until the work is complete. Of course, other choices are made to finish the work: organization, composition, and color come into play. In fact, the initial inspiration for the art may play only a minor role in the completed work, or may even be obliterated by subsequent layers. How fascinating that my completed art is inspired by a small piece of paper or ephemera. Even though this first element placed on the canvas may, in the end, be unimportant compositionally, as the original inspiration for the work, it lays claim to the art’s totality and meaning.

Selected Exhibitions

Solo
2008
ARTisZEN Arts, Lambertville, NJ

2007
Gallery at Afton Pond, Yardley, PA

Group
2012
Inspiration, Off the Wall Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

Autumn Invitational, Off the Wall Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Member Exhibition, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA

Ties that Bind, Off the Wall Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

Member Show, Artists of Yardley, Yardley, PA

Charter Member Exhibition, Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, Philadelphia, PA

2nd Annual Photography Exhibit, Artists of Yardley, Yardley, PA

2011
Intimate Worlds, Off the Wall Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

1st Annual Photography Exhibit, Artists of Yardley, Yardley, PA

2010
Black & White, Off the Wall Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

2009
Picasso Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Juried Exhibition

Threads, Gallery 125,Trenton, NJ
Juried Exhibition

A Feast for the Eyes, Gallery 125,Trenton, NJ
Juried Exhibition

17th Annual Phillips’ Mill Photographic Exhibition, Phillips’ Mill, New Hope, PA
Juried Exhibition

2008
Under $250, Mixed Media Gallery, Doylestown, PA
Juried Exhibition

Artists of Yardley Annual Exhibit, Riverrun Gallery, Lambertille NJ

Mermaids, Mixed Media Gallery, Doylestown, PA
Juried Exhibition

16th Annual Phillips’ Mill Photographic Exhibition, Phillips’ Mill, New Hope, PA
Juried Exhibition

2007
Spring Exhibit, Gallery 125, Trenton, NJ
Juried Exhibition

15th Annual Phillips’ Mill Photographic Exhibition, Phillips’ Mill, New Hope, PA
Juried Exhibition

2006
Small Works, Gallery 125, Trenton, NJ
Juried Exhibition

Food, New Hope Arts at Triumph Brewing Co., New Hope, PA
Juried Exhibition

Professional Experience

2004 - 2008
President, Artists of Yardley, Yardley, PA

2001 - 2002
Miniature Kite Exhibit, 2002 Wildwood International Kite Festival, Wildwood, NJ

2001
Designed and published, Water Poems by Marie Kane

2000 – 2006
Graphic Designer/Workshop Presenter, Sky Festivals, Inc., Morrisville, PA

2000 - 2004
Poster Designer, Trocadero Theatre, Philadelphia, PA

2000 - 2002
The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA
Miniature Kite Exhibit, Ben’s Garden Restaurant

1999
Miniature Kite Exhibit, American Kitefliers Association, Annual Convention, Muncie, IN

1976 - 1978
Graphic Designer, Greater Portland Transit District, Portland, ME

Awards and Honors

2000
First Prize, Yardley Canal Festival Poster Contest

Publications

2012
Kane, Marie, Survivors in the Garden, Big Table Publishing Company, Boston, MA
(cover photo)

Making Our Own Light, Bucks County Community College, 2012
(cover photo)

Halpern, Israel, The Way This River Rewinds Itself, Manifestation Glow Press, 2012
(cover design)

2011
Meadowlands Review, Winter, 2011

Prime Number Issue #7, April-June, 2011
(cover photo)

2009
The Questions Are Enough: BCCC Master Poetry Class Anthology, Bucks County Community College, 2009
(cover photo and 24 interior photographs)

2003
Bucks County Writer, V.4, #3, Spring, 2003