Miah Lager: An artist sparking reflection

Posted: Thursday, August 24, 2000

Making people think: Miah Lager, 21, grew up in Juneau and has pursued art since her childhood. She is a visual artist, although the presentation of some of her works has crossed over into performance art. Painting is her first love, but her portfolio includes charcoal and pastel drawings, multi-media works, clothing, sculptures and cast metal objects. She's painted portraits and self-portraits, interiors and still-life pictures and made paintings purely from her imagination.

She's interested in doing a series of portraits as her next project.

"In-depth portraits where you can really feel them looking out," she said.

She said creating beautiful pictures is nice, but she's most interested in making people think.

"I'm interested in things that bring people back to their own world. I like to spark reflection," she said.

She said her parents are both artistic and encouraged her to explore art from an early age. She studied and painted during her years at Juneau-Douglas High School, taking advantage of special art classes and opportunities. She also studied drawing with Jane Terzis at the University of Alaska Southeast.

Her work has been exhibited in local galleries, at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council Gallery and in a juried group show at the Alaska State Museum.

Matching the idea to the medium: She has completed two years at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. She's taking the next year off from school to paint and work in Juneau. She said she went into art school saying, "I just want to paint," but now wants to learn as much as possible about all kinds of art. Different ideas are best expressed through different artistic media, she said.

Bronze wishbones and a giant can opener: Lager built a four-foot-high hand-crank can opener out of a cardboard, a sculpture with moving parts, as one project. In another she cast a set of wishbones in bronze, intrigued by the ritual of breaking wishbones and the wishbone as a symbol for wishes and dreams.

"You could have the idea that you can't break it, so you'd never get your wish, or that neither could break it, so both would get their wish," she said.

The bronze cast bones were later incorporated into a sculptural piece that used a birdcage and four pounds of table salt.

Full potential: "When I get out of school, I just want to make art. I was thinking about teaching for a long time, but I don't think I would do as much art if I was. You've got to do it 100 percent. Otherwise it's not going to happen, you're not going to make your full potential," she said.



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