Artist Ashley Sauder Miller focuses her attention on a familiar object – the chair.

An heirloom rocking chair in need of restoration inspired Miller to teach herself to cane, which evolved into an ongoing series of paintings and mixed media works investigating the forms and textures of chairs.

These are not simply chairs, but symbols of a complex and ongoing narrative for the artist to explore. Chairs have immediate and personal connections to our everyday lives. They can be functional and efficient, a place to rest, a place for conversation, a place to eat, or a treasured heirloom that evokes and preserve memories.

Miller’s work personifies these chairs, each with its own feeling or presence. Some are strong, purposeful, and upright. Others sensual, graceful and poetic, while a few need repair, are fraying or uneven. Within each artwork is an invitation to delve deeper and find your own personal symbols and connections.

Ashley Sauder Miller lives with her husband and four children in Harrisonburg, VA. She earned undergraduate degrees from Hesston College (Kansas) and Eastern Mennonite University and her Master of Fine Arts from James Madison University with an emphasis in painting and drawing. Miller received the Best in Show Award at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art's Boardwalk Show in 2016.

This exhibition is organized by The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Curated by Alison Byrne. MOCA would like to thank Ashley Sauder Miller and The Runnymede Corporation for their help in realizing this exhibition.