Bernie Miller (1948-2017)
Bernie Miller was an interdisciplinary Canadian artist who worked across a range of mediums including public sculpture (for which he is best known), multimedia installation, photography and digital rendering. Through this work he was interested in exploring “monumentality, history, and identity relating to place.”¹ Miller was born in 1948 in Toronto and spent much of his life there, graduating from the Ontario College of Art (OCA) in 1974 and receiving the OCA Medal. While there he also served on the board of YYZ Artists’ Outlet for 17 years as a founding member. It was during this time that Miller participated in the group exhibition “YYZ World Tour”(1986) at the Embassy Cultural house. He later moved to Winnipeg, sitting on the board of the Plug-In Centre for Contemporary Art for 9 years.
Miller’s public sculptures inhabit cities across Canada. The first of which was installed on a Yorkville sidewalk in 1975. Other notable commissions include “Learn To Throw Your Voice,”(1986) at the Toronto Peter Street Slip, “The Poet, the Fever Hospital” (1993) across from Roy Thompson Hall, “Street Light”(1995) in Vancouver’s Marina Drive, and “Light Through”(2013) on Winnipeg’s Disraeli bridge. In addition, his gallery work has been exhibited in the USA, France, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Poland, and Germany. Toronto galleries Sable-Castelli and Paul Petro Contemporary Art represented Miller’s work during his career. His estate is now managed by Paul Petro.
Bernie Miller’s final work “Bloody Sunday”, a monument to commemorate the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, was made in collaboration with friend Noam Gonick and partner Jeanne Randolph. The public sculpture in Winnipeg's Exchange District serves as a life-size recreation of a streetcar overturned by demonstrators during the height of the protest. Inspiration came from a famous photograph documenting the event. Sadly, Miller passed away during the making of “Blood Sunday”, his ashes are interred in the work’s foundation.
¹ Bernie Miller, Plug In Centre for Contemporary Art
Work by Bernie Miller