Adia Millett
San Francisco, CA


Artist’s Statement

My process is informed by taking things apart, removing, replacing, cutting, pasting, sewing, and building in order to discover the sublime moments of transition, the space where meditation occurs and where stories of impermanence unfold.

Through the placement of often, solitary objects (a chair, an embroidered bird, a window, a stack of books, a single house, etc.), I insert my own inflection into a language of craft, empowered by symbolism and technique.

For the past 13 years, I have used installation, sculpture, embroidery, photography, video, drawing, collage and quilting to explore these metaphorical spaces. Traces of untold stories linger in each object. Often devoid of humans, the spaces/objects reveal the illusion of an ephemeral ghost-like atmosphere, where we witness a push and pull between the familiar and the unfamiliar.

In addition, the objects and images I use, speak to the multiplicity of cultural identity, how they overlap, mesh, collide, and separate. Dark, light, imperfect, detailed, yet simple, the work reveals as much as it withholds. Each piece asks us to imagine a place or an object as a person… or even as ourselves.


Adia Millett, originally from Los Angeles, California received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. In 2001, she moved to New York City for the prestigious Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, followed by the Studio Museum in Harlem residency program.  Millett has been a standout in numerous group exhibitions including the well-received “Greater New York” show at PS1 in Long Island City, New York and “Freestyle” at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.  In the past, she has been included in exhibitions at the Barbican Gallery in London; The California African American Museum, Los Angeles; The Craft and Folk Museum in LA; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta; The Santa Monica Museum of Art; and The Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans.  Millett has taught as an artist in residence at Columbia College in Chicago, UC Santa Cruz, Cooper Union in NY,  and currently at California College of the Arts. She is a recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship.  In 2008, she had a major solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia. Adia is represented by Mixed Greens Gallery in New York.

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