FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 3, 2023
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Judith Ann Miller and David Dauncey define ‘home’ in upcoming exhibition
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Scottsdale Public Art’s newest exhibition, “HOME-ING,” running Oct. 10 to Dec. 31 at Scottsdale Civic Center Library, centers personal imagery and family memories that evoke “home” for artists Judith Ann Miller and David Dauncey.
Miller is a fifth-generation Arizonan from a family of migrant farmers and ranch workers. Her husband, Dauncey, is a seventh-generation Brit from Bromsgrove, England. These full-time artists have made a home together in Arizona for over 20 years, raising their two children.
Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections and exhibitions for Scottsdale Public Art, notes that Miller and Dauncey are rare artists who make their living painting artwork.
“Most artists create art about their lives; it can be second nature,” Raisanen said. “However, the artwork we are exhibiting in this show is very personal to them, centered on the idea of what ‘home’ means to them. They both have deep familial roots in each of their birthplaces.”
After over two decades of living in the United States, the couple is considering relocating to Dauncey’s home country. His artwork featured in “HOME-ING” is a continuation of the work he began in a sketchbook. He grew the small-scale art into full-sized pieces full of memories of his youth, wanting to convey a sense of humor and gratitude for his formative years and experiences in England.
“We all have a coterie of people that we miss and maybe a list of unanswered questions that we wish we had asked, and this is true of me, but I didn’t want to stray into maudlin territory,” Dauncey said. “I thought of good times and items that historically connected me to my old friends and my familial roots.”
In Miller’s artwork, viewers will be able to find items that represent people, places and moments in her life in Arizona. Several of the pieces feature actual wallpaper from her bedroom, Miller using this as a metaphor for how the past creates a background for all future experiences.
“I find beauty in ephemera and vintage items, so any opportunity I have to hold them up to examination in a different context, I take it,” Miller said. “This process has been, of course, bittersweet but has also helped me embrace who I am and where I come from.”
Dauncey hopes that audiences who view the exhibition will find themselves connecting to their own past through his and Miller’s memories. Miller wants viewers to ask themselves the questions: how much does where you were born define who you are, and how much does your life experience define what you call home?
“It is a very tricky thing to define what home means for each of us, but equally difficult is trying to define what your future might look like,” Miller said. “Time and circumstance often take you places you don’t expect, and we all have to be open to a possible sliding scale of what we use to define home. I guess the old adage of ‘home is where the heart is’ holds true.”
“HOME-ING” will run from Oct. 10 through Dec. 31 at the Civic Center Public Gallery, inside Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3948 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251.
In addition to the exhibition itself, there will be an opening reception to meet the artists from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 12 at the Civic Center Public Gallery.
Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation has also organized two creative workshops and an artist talk in association with this exhibition. “Pieces of Home,” an artist talk on Oct. 18, features Miller and Dauncey as they reflect on their places of birth and discuss their art-making practice. At 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, Miller and Dauncey will walk participants through a printmaking process using gel plates in a hands-on workshop. And at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, Miller will show how objects from around the home can turn into keepsake box assemblage art that can be displayed or gifted to a loved one.
Both workshops are free, but RSVP is required. They will be presented at Scottsdale Civic Center Library. Learn more about the workshops and the reception at ScottsdalePublicArt.org/events.