Emma Miller

It was an honor this September to unveil at a special dedication ceremony, the portrait I was asked to do by the School Committee of Savoy School District in Western Mass, a small, BEAUTIFUL school nestled in the Berkshires.  The school was being re-named Emma Miller Memorial Elementary School.  It was a challenge for me, as I do not usually work from photos, have not painted someone I did not know personally (with the single excpetion of the Spanish Civil War  series), and as Emma is no longer living, I could not recitify either situation.  But the school committee member, Chris Andersen,  who gave me the information, and some very sweet, but artistically uninformative photos, was so deeply committed to this woman and her goodness.  So I found myself getting to know Emma through the photos, through people who knew her, and finally I settled on pose and a commitment to capture Emma’s sense of wonder, which seeed increasingly  to be her  hallmark.  As I worked, I fell under Emma’s spell of wonder at all of life’s goodness, and I fell in love with Emma.

Later the wonderful art teacher, Jane O’Rearson, at the school sent me photocopies of portraits her students did of Emma, inspired by the portrait I had done, now hanging in the school.  I was blown away at how beautiful they all are.


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viola moriarty

(American, b. 1958)
Modern Expressionist Painter
2012-13 Recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

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Current and ongoing: New Works, Allegro Ristorante in Bennington on Main Street.

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