Three years ago tomorrow, Deb left this world, and we still miss her very much.
Our homes are filled with images that she created. They remind us of the experiential art works that she conceived, some of which she was able to produce for a public showing.
One such realization of hers was the projection of images Deb created for Northern Spark 2011— the first year of Northern Spark’s Nuit Blanche: 24 hours of performance art hosted by Northern Lights. It was called MURMUR.
We found her contribution magnificent; it was fearlessly conceived and pushed well beyond the comfort of anything she had ever attempted before. Andy and Deb worked for months to build the back end of the tech together and, supported by many other people in the community, Deb created an amazing display that moved and inspired. We will always cherish the memory of that long day and night.
At the end of the night, Deb was tired but so deservedly proud. We believe that she was strengthened by this success, her spirit alight with new energy as she faced the next year—which was to be her last full year with us.
A grant from Northern Spark was instrumental in making that articulation of her vision possible. This year, to honor Deb’s memory we have donated $2,000 from the Debora Miller Memorial Fund to Northern Spark, and we take this opportunity to remember this special experience in our lives with her. With love.
Two years ago today our dear Debora Miller died. There was so much to celebrate in her, and so much to grapple with in light of her loss. Both are ongoing. Thank you to everyone who has been there.
In the meantime, we have reflected on how to best remember Deb through the grant project we loosely identified right after she died. We established the Debora Miller Memorial Fund, and received many gifts to help build a resource to use in some way. We thank all who gave for entrusting us and being patient as we explored our feelings and ideas about what the right use of those gifts would be. We have decided to use that to fuel an annual gift to an arts organization or body that we feel somehow reflects Deb’s spirit, artistic engagement, and edgy smarts. And, we are now preparing to make the first gift–which we will do before June 7, which would have been her 49th birthday. We will post here to share the news when we have made the gift, and we look forward to many annual gifts to come.
If you would like to help to continue to build the fund, please let us know (via Donate).
Today, as a remembrance, we share images of life in Deb’s honor. One is of the wonderful tree created with shards of pottery and stones throughout the memorial weekend. It now has a home in the shadow of a mountain in Missoula, MT, at her brother John and Nerissa’s house. The other is of two new Okame Cherry trees recently planted in the garden of the Floyd Memorial Library in Greenport, NY. We regard them and think of Deb.
Born a twin into a large family in Portland, Maine on June 7, 1966, she grew up largely in the western United States. She graduated from Wallace High School in Wallace, ID, in 1984 and went on to study international relations at Macalester College in Saint Paul.
After moving to Minneapolis she soon met and fell in love with John Andrew McQuigg of Ohio. They were married in 1992 and settled in the Seward neighborhood. In 2000, she gave birth to their son, Roan Zane McQuigg, whom she lovingly referred to as her Magnum Opus.
An artist who often found the sublime in the mundane, Deb transcended her six-year battle with breast cancer time and time again to create beauty through her photography and installation works. Major works include the solo installation with projection called “Accretion” at ARThouse New London (2009); “MURMUR,” a large-scale interactive projection presented as part of the first Nuit Blanche festival (Northern Spark 2011); and her exploration of twinship in “I’m not me, she’s over there” at the Susan Hensel Gallery (2013). She shared her ideas about her work on her blog at https://artsquall.wordpress.com.
Her parting has left a hole in the hearts of many, who take solace in her clarity of purpose, her embrace of joy, and her love of life. She will be dearly missed and always remembered by her husband of 21 years, Andy, and their 12-yr-old son, Roan; her parents, Martha Calabretta and Joseph H. Miller IV, and stepparents, Bennie Calabretta and Dana Roberts; her seven siblings: Joseph Miller V, Patrick Miller, her twin sister Rebecca Miller, John Miller, Ben Calabretta, Lisa Calabretta, and Noe Roberts; many beloved aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews; and innumerable friends.
Deb’s keen eye, loving embrace, robust humor, and joyful outlook will carry us through our saddest and happiest days. She will be celebrated at a memorial gathering and wake March 30, 2013 in Minneapolis (http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/debmiller ).
In lieu of flowers, the family is looking for support to endow an arts grant to be developed in honor of Deb (Donate). Donations can also be made in her name to the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center ( http://tinyurl.com/DMTribute ).
March 30, 2013
Family and friends will gather to remember and celebrate the life of Debora Anne Miller, June 7, 1966 – February 28, 2013, at two events on March 30, 2013 in Minneapolis, MN.
10:30 a.m: Cowles Conservatory at the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden
725 Vineland Pl., Minneapolis, MN
site map: sculpture_garden Wedding Sites Map
4:00 p.m. and into the night
Future home of Mother Earth Gardens Northeast:
2318 NE Lowry Ave (corner of Stinson Blvd and NE Lowry)
Parking is available on south side of Lowry, both sides of Stinson and on side streets within walking distance such as McKinley to the west of the future store.
In lieu of flowers, the family is looking for support to endow an arts grant to be developed in honor of Deb
(click the Donate menu above for more information).
Donations can also be made in her name to the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center at http://tinyurl.com/DMTribute.
When Debora Anne Miller passed away on February 28, 2013, we also lost her artistic vision. Her family would like to honor her commitment and love of art by creating a grant in her name, perhaps in partnership with an arts organization. It will take some time to develop this idea, but we want to offer everyone the opportunity to contribute to the fund if they wish. To learn more, click the Donate menu above.
My Show is up until February 22:
Debora Miller’s installation I’m Not Me, She’s Over There, and its companion outdoor piece Horizon Grid (viewable 24/7), is up until February 22nd at Susan Hensel Gallery. Open Mondays 10-5, and by generous appointments.
Please join us:
Closing Reception & Conversation with Debora Miller, moderated by Julia E. Babb, February 22, 2013, 7-9pm
Only a few days left before my show closes. Tomorrow the gallery will be open and on Friday we are holding a Dessert Reception and Conversation. Hope you can make it…