Referencing both art history and our national parks, Wild Olympia, by Michael Paul Miller explores the preservation of external and internal wilderness. Circular shaped paintings of grand wilderness are interrupted by negative space drawings, breaking up traditional landscape imagery, and challenging expectations of places as pristine and untouched. Like Tondo paintings of the Renaissance, the works reference an eternal Utopian vision, while simultaneously showing the tension of idealized spaces being torn open or pulled apart.
Michael Paul Miller grew up in Wisconsin, and received his M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Since 2008 he has been based in Port Angeles, Washington where he is on the faculty of Peninsula College. He has had solo exhibitions in Washington at Lower Columbia College, Longview; the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, Port Angeles, and the Phinney Center Art Gallery, Seattle; and was featured in 2013 at Oregon State University’s Fairbanks Gallery. He has also had one-man shows in Iowa, and Wisconsin. Miller has been included in group exhibitions at multiple college and university galleries, as well as at venues including the Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, OR; the Seattle Art Museum Gallery, Seattle, WA; the HP Garcia Gallery in New York, among others. He was recently included in the exhibition Neo Naturalists at the Museum of Northwest Art, in La Conner, WA.