Family by Josie A. Miller, M.S.S. ’91, copyright 1998.

Philadelphians might recognize this painting by artist Josie A. Miller, MSS ’91. Family is the official poster for the West Chester (PA) Community Center’s 1999 NAACP fund-raiser, and last year the School of Social Administration at Temple University chose it as the official poster for its African-American Family Reunion Conference. Another painting, Faces, enjoyed comparable fame last year as the official poster for the Multicultural Congress of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“My first memory of drawing faces,” Miller says, “was when I was 8 years old. I used to experiment with drawing faces that appeared upright from any view. At home I had a box full of old National Geographic magazines. The photographs were beautiful images of people of different races and cultures, wearing colorful and unusual clothing. They taught me composition, and they were about relationships between people and people’s relationships with the earth.

“I became an artist by having faith that I can materialize that which I create in my mind. People often say about themselves, ‘I can’t draw a straight line,’ and I wonder who told them that about themselves.” Miller says that her experiences as a student at BMC Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research “propelled me toward the creative dimension, where I can clearly identify myself as an artist.” Miller has exhibited at the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum in Philadelphia, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Bryn Mawr Trust and the University of Pennsylvania.

—Alicia Bessette

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