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Miller explores societal view on insecurities

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Weeding

Art major Kyra Miller is a talented, creative genius who uses life experiences to produce masterful pieces of art. 

Having spent a great deal of her childhood drawing every chance she got, Miller would often find herself in trouble at school. 

Miller recalls fond memories of people who pushed her to follow art as a career path.

Originally from Valley Falls, Kansas, Miller spent much of high school and middle school in art class seeking inspiration from a former teacher.

“I think he saw something in me,” said Miller.

Washburn faculty member Harvey Flowers, who started in 2018 teaching a summer ceramics class at the Mulvane Art Museum, had the same feeling about Miller.

“Along with her achievements, she is involved with student organizations and is the active secretary for the Art Club,” said Flowers. “She gives her time to the community and cares about what she is doing.” 

Washburn University wasn’t always Miller’s first choice - as she applied to the Chicago Art Institute and was offered a scholarship. After calculating moving costs, Miller shifted her search.  

Washburn awarded Miller with a full ride through the Buzick scholarship - it was official - Miller became an Ichabod.

“It’s been a wonderful experience, and I’m happy that I chose Washburn,” said Miller.

Miller wants others to join Art Club on campus and wishes to see it grow and inspire.

“Something that needs to be improved is extracurricular involvement,” said Miller. “We have a lot of students in the art building, but they are not participating in Art Club.”

Miller believes these students are missing out on discovering new opportunities and developing professional networks. 

Recently, Miller finished a series of drawings inspired by creatures and their insecurities. The images below are from the collection.

Miller’s inspiration to create the drawings came to her while weeding a garden. She explains that weeds represent insecurity. 

“As a creature tries to remove the weeds from itself, it is also trying to pull out its imperfections,” said Miller. “Weeds can be beautiful, but we still see them as flaws and try to get rid of them.” 

Miller’s work shares an underlying message of the importance of self-acceptance. Attempting to fit society’s ideals - a person can instead end up hurting themselves. 

“Kyra is an extremely talented and hard-working artist who I believe will make a difference in the world with her work,” said Flowers. “She is extraordinary in the way that her mind works and this translates into wonderful works of art.”

While preparing to take the next big step in her own life, Miller is confident she will find fulfillment no matter what lies ahead. 

“I’m interested in going to grad school and teaching at the college level,” said Miller. “I also want to be a children’s book illustrator. That’s kind of my dream.”

Edited by Abbie Barth, Diana Martinez-Ponce, Hannah Alleyne

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