dieFirma Returns to Shelter Island

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Bill Miller's "Steal Mill," vintage linoleum collage.

dieFirma, an artist-run platform anchored in New York’s Cooper Square, returns to its Shelter Island outpost this week with an exhibition series in an intimate and wild woodland garden. Highlighting returning artist Bill Miller and sculptures by the late Gloria Kisch, dieFirma will host a full calendar of art events including site tours, workshops, creative demonstrations, and a series of artist talks through August 8.

“Bill Miller will be working on-site to share his work and his process, offering viewers a rich and layered experience throughout his residency,” said dieFirma’s Founding Director Andrea Stern. “This intimate engagement with the artist is consistent with our mission to create a dynamic exchange between artist and viewer, bringing them closer together.”

“Bill Miller: In the Garden” opened on July 21 and features Miller’s latest body of work in which he cuts and collages vintage linoleum, transforming the material into complex arrangements while highlighting its nostalgic legacy. A highlight of dieFirma’s summer offerings is a series of hands-on workshops with Miller. Participants will be led in the artist’s signature style of collage. Each attendee will explore the artist’s archive of material and create their custom assemblage to take home.

“Linoleum holds a history of people’s lives that we can tap into,” said Miller. “Returning to dieFirma and getting the chance to not only exhibit my work but interact with the public through talks and workshops allows for a greater exploration of that history between the material and the viewer. I’m thrilled to see how the public reinterprets my work into their own during the workshops.”

Summer programming includes a series of talks between Miller and members from the creative community, in addition to onsite Q&A’s with Miller, workshops, and viewings of the exhibition where the artist will be available to guide guests through the exhibit and his process.

Bill Miller was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1962. He studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, during which time he became a founding member of the Industrial Arts Co-op. As a post-graduate, Miller moved to Denver, where he studied at Denver University and Colorado State University, concentrating on painting and printmaking. In 1988, Miller moved to New York City, where he worked at The Village Voice and showcased his work in a series of exhibits in Chelsea. In 2000, he relocated to Washington, D.C., to focus full-time on his art. Miller currently resides in Pittsburgh.

Adjacent to Miller’s work will be an installation of sculptures made by the late Gloria Kisch in her North Fork studio. “The Bells,” a series of large-scale mobile-like sculptures, evoke religious totems, modernist sculptures, and the visual language of industrial manufacturing in equal measure. With “Flowers,” Kisch rendered natural forms whimsically using colorfully painted steel. Most are designed to be mounted on the wall, appearing like paintings growing out towards the viewer.

Kisch was born in New York City in 1941. Following studies at Otis College of Art and Design, Kisch became part of the intimate circle of feminist and post-minimalist artists living and working in Venice Beach, California. In 1982, she returned to New York and dedicated her process to metalworking in bronze, aluminum and stainless steel. A decade later, she bought a 40-acre space in Flanders, where she devoted the rest of her life to metalwork, with a particular interest in monumental, outdoor work that reflected in nature and the environment.

dieFirma’s grounds are at 1 Charlies Lane on Shelter Island and open to the public to freely explore. For a full calendar of events, visit diefirmanyc.com.

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