The Is of Lis

Charles Danforth Gallery, Jewett Hall, University of Maine at Augusta

November 13th – December 19, 2018

Maine artist Martha Miller collaborates with her daughter Lisbeth to make colorful, larger-than-life, mixed media paintings. Together, they tell the story of living with a traumatic brain injury.

AUGUSTA – Beginning on November 13th, the Danforth Gallery will present “The Is of Lis” by artist Martha Miller.  The exhibit will run through December 19th and a series of events have been scheduled at the Danforth Gallery to accompany this exhibition.

Miller from Woolwich, Maine, tells the story of her daughter, Lis, through colorful and unique multimedia paintings.  Lisbeth suffered a traumatic brain injury at age six and never recovered, experiencing uncontrolled seizures, severe behavioral disturbances, verbal and memory deficits, and anxiety.  Her life of love, hope, pain, desperation, anger, and beauty is depicted in Miller’s work.  Miller paints pictures of her daughter at different stages – dreaming, coming out of a seizure, exploring – and incorporates the portraits with a wide variety of images, some of which are based on drawings produced by Lisbeth.

Image of Martha Miller Courtesy of Gregory Ric
Maine mixed media artist, Martha Miller. Image of Photo courtesy of Gregory Ric.

Lisbeth’s own creativity has remained strong throughout her life.  The artwork that she produces after having a seizure are her attempts to communicate her experiences in that moment, even though she is not able to remember producing the work when no longer in postictal state.  Miller brings these works into her own, thus collaborating with her daughter to produce the artwork.

“Lisbeth IS an artist,” Miller says, “and I believe that on a spiritual and psychic level, she and I are collaborating in this series, and that at that level she understands and has entrusted me to tell her story.  She is also teaching me new and powerful ways to make images.  I am learning from her seizure drawings which are a direct line to the subconscious.  The paintings have become both portrait and self-portrait.”

This exhibition marks the first time that this ambitious series has been shown.  The artwork will literally excite and vibrate the gallery space with their awesome beauty and strength.  UMA and the Danforth Gallery community are honored to bring this incredible display to light.

Events scheduled throughout the exhibition includes “Figure It Out” a TV show incorporating a figure drawing session to be filmed at the Danforth Gallery; a Potluck Talk where Miller will discuss her work; and a Dinner Reception with a panel discussion.

These events are hosted by CAUSE (Community of Artists for UMA Social Empowerment) and are scheduled as follows:

Thursday, November 15th – Reception Dinner

Symposium on Art and Mental Health, A CAUSE Empty Bowl Event in the Danforth Gallery

Open reception – 5:00-6:00pm

Sit-down Dinner 6:00-8:00pm (Tickets required)

Proceeds go to support a local non-profit.

Tickets available at (click on Danforth tab).  $20; $10 with Student ID.

Tuesday, November 27th, 11:30am-1:00pm – TV Show Filming

“Figure It Out” a TV show incorporating a clothed figure drawing session and conversations with artists to be filmed in the Danforth Gallery.

Monday, December 3rd, 11:30am-12:30pm – CAUSE Potluck Talks in the Danforth Gallery:

Martha Miller will participate in an artist talk at the Danforth Gallery.

Follow Danforth Gallery on Facebook and visit their website at ArtSuma.

Gallery hours: Monday-Thursday 9:00am-5:00pm, Fridays 9:00am – 3:00pm