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The DIA Ofrenda Exhibit – Opening Reception 10/24/14

Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will exhibit 28 ofrendas created by local artists from Friday, Oct. 24, to Sunday, Nov. 2. An ofrenda (offering) is an essential part of the traditional Mexican Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) holiday, a day to remember and honor the memory of deceased loved ones.

Opening reception is Friday, October 24th from 6:30-8:00pm. The reception will be followed at 8pm with a few remarks about the exhibit by Detroit Council Member Raquel Castaneda-Lopez in addition to a short preview of the Michigan Opera Theater’s Frida opera performed by singer Catalina Cuervo from 8:10-8:20.

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The Royal Oak Patch Article

Two Royal Oak Dads Team Up to Design Ofrenda 10/13/14

Alex Goecke and Steve Miller collaborated on a piece for Day of the Dead Exhibit at Detroit Institute of the Arts


Royal Oak residents, Alex Goecke and Steve Miller, teamed up to create an ofrenda (offering) for the Detroit Institute of Arts Mexican Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) exhibition. Their work, along with 28 others, will be on display from Friday, October 24 – Sunday November 2nd.

Miller and Goecke’s ofrenda will be a tribute to Robin Williams. They plan to showcase a paper mache Robin Williams departing our world in the egg from which he came (on the hit TV show, Mork and Mindy.)

The two artists met at Northwood Elementary School drop-off, where they each have two children attending. Goecke is an art educator by day, often hosting folk artists from Oaxaca, Mexico, thereby inspiring this particular Dia de los Muertos display.

Miller is a stay-at-home dad and painter who draws from his background in advertising/graphic design and his skills as a pseudo-rusty-improvisational drummer to create artwork. This creative-minded duo of dads also likes to collaborate on music projects at night. So, it’s also important to note that they both have loving, supportive wives who try not to hinder their inspiration — unless they need to pick the kids up from school.

Detroit Institute of Arts hours and admission: Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults; $6 for seniors; $4 for ages 6-17 and free for DIA members and residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

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Accepted – The DIA Ofrenda Exhibition

Great News – 10/6/14

Alex Goecke and myself are going to have a collaborative art installation in the DIA. Needless to say, we are thrilled to be accepted. Here’s part of the email we received.

Thank you for submitting to the DIA’s Ofrenda Altar program! The selection committee has reviewed all of the proposals submitted this year and they have chosen yours as one that they would like to include in the upcoming museum exhibit. This year the exhibit will be open to the public from October 24th to November 2nd and we will be in the main exhibition space on the second floor of the museum (for those of you who saw the recent Samurai exhibit, we will be in the first three rooms of that gallery.)…

Now it’s time to get to work. More info to come.

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A Cow Not On Parade

A Cow Not on Parade – 9/30/14

Well, unfortunately, my cow was not selected by a “donor” at auction. However, the good people of Cow Parade are not ready to give up on seeing this idea become a reality, and neither am I. So I thought I’d put the word out and see if anyone is interested in becoming owner of “Infra-Red-Meat”, a supporter of public art in Detroit and a charitable donor to cancer research.

My artist statement about the cow:

My name is Steve Miller. No, not that Steve Miller. Although I do write songs and play guitar, my primary interest is fine art. Specifically, painting.

I paint to see what my head, heart and hand can produce. My visual stories capture moments in time, abstract ideas and layered feelings. I explore abstraction as well as representation and sometimes I work in an exaggerated color palate.

My cow, “Infra Red Meat” is inspired by thermal photography. Thermal imaging cameras take pictures of heat. Different temperatures show up as different colors. Violet and blue represent cooler temperatures, green is in the middle and red and yellow are warmer. White is hot. Warmer colors appear where there is less insulating fat and lots of blood flow.

Because this isn’t a ‘real’ cow, I don’t find it important to depict ‘real’ thermal imaging. For me painting is about expression, not mimicking. So, in order to integrate my head, heart and hand, I chose to imagine and interpret what the cow might look like as if my eyes where thermal cameras, using my own body and limited understanding of bovine anatomy as a reference.

I hope that when you look at a fiberglass cow decorated this way, it makes you think about cows in more ways than just a public decoration.

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My New Studio – The Hiatus

Introducing My New Studio – The Hiatus – April 2011

A special thanks to my friends Wendy and Troy Griffin for helping design the architecture and interior of the space, and Chris Swek of Total Home Construction Inc., for rebuilding my new studio.

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My Old Studio

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My Studio On Fire – May, 2010

Back in May 2010, a strong thunderstorm blew through my neighborhood in the morning. A lightning strike hit the power lines hanging above my art studio and I watched as it burned to the ground. The entire Royal Oak fire department helped with the emergency. However, there was little they could do until DTE came and shut the power off a hour later. I lost over 170 paintings, all my supplies, everything.


The good news is, I’ve rebuilt and I’m painting again.