Looking for my next
to make a difference.
In 2014, I left an unfulfilling job under traumatic circumstances and everything felt upside down. As a creative and knowing myself, I simply couldn’t imagine returning to a 9-to-5. I knew I wanted an entirely different life. People thought I was losing it, but I knew I was finding myself.
That summer, I subletted my apartment and decided to live in a tent. I tried to think about what I’d want to do if money didn’t matter, so I experienced a life where money wasn’t really a pressing need and started painting everyday. I also volunteered down the street at a newly opened local arts and community outreach organization helping raise awareness.
I started what I called an “open studio,” where I asked local businesses to donate paint, boards and whatever materials I could scrounge together. I brought all the art materials I had resourced and personally invited everyone I knew to come make art. I didn't teach anything specifically, I facilitated and encouraged, but mostly I created an opportunity for people to come together and be creative.
Anyone could keep the art they made, or they could donate it for "Free Art Friday" where I would hide it around the city for people take home as a gift. Along with the artist's signature and social information was an invitation to make art with us at the center.
Realizing my love for sharing and creating a community in art, I started volunteering with Living Walls, a local organization that sponsors and facilitates muralists and mural paintings around the city. Through Living Walls, I volunteered as an artist assistant to an Italian street artist “Moneyless.”
Seeing the impact that public art had on community members absolutely changed my life, and I felt for the first time like I had found my passion. My journey inspired me to seek paid work as an artist assistant, which led me to Formations Studio, where I was hired on an 8 week contract that got extended and extended for about 2 years. I still do a lot of work for them today.
The process of collaboration and sharing a passion for creative has driven me to positions where I can assist, project manage, collaboratively fabricate and all the while growing my own work as an independent artist. I consider myself a friend, creative, and passionate activist for public art.
My ultimate goal is to use art to inspire hope and possibility across the globe
- Miriam Robinson
Miriam Robinson is a conceptual artist, painter, and metal worker. She lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia.
Working across multiple disciplines, Miriam Robinson works with the mission of using art to inspire hope and possibility across the globe. Predominantly auto-biographical in nature, Miriam’s work expresses personal narratives involving relatable human experiences and current social issues in approachable ways.
In 2017, Charles Gaines published “Interview with Kerry James Marshall,” where Marshall described using an “oblique” approach to social topics in art, so as viewers can remain open to receive the content. This is the kind of approach Miriam seeks to use in her own work. Using experimental methods, often-humorous abstraction, and deep insight, this self-taught artist uses her past to connect with her audience over similar feelings and sensations. Although they come from micro- life moments, Miriam works to connect these isolated incidences of her personal experiences with larger social patterns and macro- issues that many people can relate to in their own ways.
Repurposing found objects for assemblages, turning trash into usable sculptural material, and employing unconventional methods like painting with a leaf-blower, Miriam’s work aims to meet people where they are. There are a lot of ways to make art approachable without removing all controversial content and depth. Sometimes even the materials and processes themselves can speak to a greater meaning.
In 1971 Linda Nochlin published “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists,” declaring that:
"The insistence upon a modest, proficient, self-demeaning level of amateurism--- the looking upon art, like needlework or crocheting, as a suitable “accomplishment” for the well-brought-up young woman--- militated, and today still militates, against any real accomplishment on the part of women."
It is this type of preconceived notion, putting crochet into the realm of meaningless and minimalized domestic handicrafts (this and a prior apprenticeship with Jin Choi of Choi and Shine Architects working on her amazingly delicate large-scale crochet installations), that has drawn Miriam to seek out crochet as a process for producing monumentally-sized versions of crochet designs originally intended as miniatures. In many ways, this reflects Miriam’s desire to upturn gender stereotypes --- crafting metalwork as a support structure for crochet works-- and to imagine a world where instead of women experiencing constant pressure to be small/smaller/the smallest in body and in the world at large, what would it be like for women to be BIG-- to grow and expand and take up space?
Miriam often uses plants as an allegory for the female experience in space, for this reason, signifying growth and expansion beyond the domestic sphere and into an influential and monumental presence in the world. Through using allegories such as plants and processes such as crochet to broach issues of larger social significance, Miriam takes an “oblique” approach.
Miriam’s practice is informed by a background in public art production, having assisted artists and designers such as Italian street artist “Moneyless,” Christopher Derek Bruno, Tristan Al-Haddad + Formations Studio, DEX, People of Resource, Choi and Shine Architects, William Massey, Corrina Sephora, Hopare, and more. She attended Atlanta Technical College in 2019, getting her welding certification, and will complete her B.A. in Studio Art from Georgia State in 2021.