March 10 – May 16, 2023 @ Create Appalachia Center for Arts & Technology
Create Appalachia opened a new exhibit, 'The Masked Man," featuring the thought-provoking photography of Glade Spring, Virginia, photographer Mike Miller.
In"The Masked Man," Miller shares 28 masked self-portraits as powerful as they are otherworldly, several times pushing the boundaries into a surreal territory filled with weirdlings and shapeshifters who use smoke and fire to ward off the darkness.
Miller’s central theme is the exploration of his own psyche in an effort to better understand himself and the world he inhabits. At first glance, Miller’s photographs appear threatening, but a closer look reveals that the masked figures in them are more complicated. They suggest an unwilling outcast like Frankenstein’s monster, belonging neither to the world of the living nor the dead, condemned to remain isolated and misunderstood.
In a recent interview, Miller said he has been fascinated by masks since childhood: “I’ve always covered my face a lot even when I was younger,” he said. “Maybe I think it will hide the other side of me. Or maybe it’s a way to let people know I have another side without letting it out.”
Jacy Richardson, Board Member for Create Appalachia and Assistant Professor of Digital Media at ETSU serves as Exhibit Committee Chair for Create Appalachia. She is excited about the upcoming exhibit, noting that “Mike Miller’s work is full of depth and emotion. It pulls the reader in to see things through the masks. Our gallery is meant to be a place for showcasing the talent from our region, and Mike’s work is a perfect example of the remarkable art we want to show. We can’t wait for everyone to see his work.”
The Masked Man closes May 16. An artist’s reception is held Thursday, May 4 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Visitors can see "The Masked Man"at Create Appalachia Kingsport Center for Art & Technology, 225 W. Center Street, Kingsport, tennessee. The exhibit is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.For more details, visit Create Appalachia’s website (createapppalachia.org) or use their handle, @createappalachia, to follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.