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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: November 12, 2018

Martha Miller shows series of portraits about her daughter in ‘This Is of Lis’

Written by: Bob Keyes

Martha Miller with works from “The Is of Lis.”
Photo courtesy of Danforth Gallery

Woolwich painter Martha Miller tells the story of her daughter Lis through a series of probing and revealing multimedia paintings, “The Is of Lis,” on view Tuesday through Dec. 19 at the Danforth Gallery at the University of Maine-Augusta.

Miller’s daughter, Lisbeth, suffered a traumatic brain injury at age 6 and never recovered, experiencing seizures, behavioral disturbances, verbal and memory deficits, and anxiety. Miller depicts her daughter’s life of love, hope, pain and anger in the portraits and incorporates a variety of images, some based on drawings produced by Lisbeth, creating a collaboration with her daughter.

The artwork that Lisbeth produces after having a seizure are her attempts to communicate in that moment, Miller said. “Lisbeth is an artist, and I believe that, on a spiritual and psychic level, she and I are collaborating in this series and that, at that level, she understands and has entrusted me to tell her story,” she said in a press release. “She is also teaching me new and powerful ways to make images. I am learning from her seizure drawings, which are a direct line to the subconscious. The paintings have become both portrait and self-portrait.”

Events scheduled throughout the exhibition includes “Figure It Out,” a TV show incorporating a figure drawing session to be filmed at the Danforth Gallery, as well as a potluck talk where Miller will discuss her work;and a reception with a panel discussion.

Martha Miller’s “The Is of Lis”

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday; through Dec. 19;
WHERE: Danforth Gallery, Jewett Hall, University of Maine at Augusta

  • 5 p.m. Thursday, reception, free
  • 6-8 pm.. Thursday, dinner and symposium on art and mental health, $20, $10 with student ID, tickets required
  • 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 27, filming of “Figure It Out,” a TV show incorporating a clothed figure drawing session and conversations with artists
  • 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 3, artist talk
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