The Bennett Prize

2.0 Bennett Prize Finalist

Lavely Miller

Lavely Miller paints portraits that narrate the effects of trauma, exploring visual cues that speak to loss, suffering, recovery and salvation. Physically still, her figures exist in moments of emotional action, their frequently direct gazes challenge the viewer’s attention. This sense of movement is translated through transparent layers of glazes, sometimes upward of 100 separate applications of color combining to create the final surface. The quality of layering is heightened by the use of paper, as it moves and crinkles during its application to create physical depth. Classical Flemish glazing techniques — unusually applied almost exclusively with the artist’s right index finger — and the aged appearance of the painted surface give these figures a timeless quality, a frozen moment of physical time filled with universal human emotion.

A practicing artist with a BFA in painting and drawing from James Madison University, Miller also holds an Ed.D. and M.Ed. in clinical mental health. She exhibits throughout the Washington, D.C. and Virginia area in addition to group and juried shows across the U.S. Her paintings can be found in the collections of the University of Virginia, the New Salem Museum, the National Center for Transgender Equality in Washington, D.C. and in the Twenty-First Century Fox and News Corporation Building in New York City, among other public and private collections. Her work recently received a top prize award at Art Basel (2013) and a judge’s choice award from Camy Clough, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (2020). Miller is represented by Arcadia Contemporary in Los Angeles, California and Artist’s Proof in Washington, D.C.

Lavely Miller resides in Baltimore, Maryland.


Acrylic on paper on wood, 2020, 40x30 in.
God Shot Me in the Face and Then I Saw, Acrylic on paper on wood, 2020, 40x30 in.
Acrylic on paper on wood, 2020,  40 x 30 in.
Holly Rose, Acrylic on paper on wood, 2020, 40 x 30 in.
Acrylic on paper on canvas, 2020. 32 x 32 in.
MillerBuilt Tattoo, Acrylic on paper on canvas, 2020. 32 x 32 in.


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