Ayako Abe-Miller is a sculptor and Japanese Sumi (ink) painter. She was born in the northern part of Japan, and has lived in Tokyo, Australia, Singapore, New York City, and currently resides in South Carolina. She earned her Associate of Arts degree in English Literature from Toyo University in Tokyo, Japan and her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in sculpture from Converse College in South Carolina, and her Master of Fine Art with concentration in sculpture at Clemson University in South Carolina. Her Japanese calligraphy has been published in scholarly journals in Japan and her sculptures, installations, and live performances have been accepted, exhibited and performed in galleries and museums both nationally and internationally including in South Carolina, Georgia, New York, California, Maryland, Florida, Missouri, Michigan, North Carolina, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Italy, Bulgaria, and Portugal. In 2012, she was commissioned to make a large scale, metal sculpture for the new medical school of the University of South Carolina in Greenville, South Carolina and in 2017, she was created a permanent, interactive public textile sculpture for Ballentine Library in Irmo, South Carolina. In 2018, she was commissioned to make permanent exterior sculpture for Edgewood Library in Columbia South Carolina, which is a brand new branch of Richland Library.
My work is like the clouds – made up of an almost infinite number of tiny, misty parts, each weighing less than air, that can come together dramatically in a heavy downpour. Like the never-ending cycle of rain, I explore, and imbue all my art with, the ethereal flow of energy and reincarnation between animate/inanimate and past/present.
My artwork consists of great number of small fragments. Placing each small piece next to each other, I created a transformative space that is permeated with accumulated energy, nature and labor. Yet, the multiplicity inherent in the piece produces serious tension between the viewer and the artwork: one vs. collectiveness.
The process of creating the piece is as important as the product itself. As I make the thousands of repetitive cuts, stitches and wraps in preparation for a piece, it helps center my mind and transfer all my energy into the artwork.
2015 MFA in Sculpture, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
2012 BFA magna cum laude in Sculpture, Converse College, Spartanburg, SC
1992 AA in English Literature, Toyo University, Tokyo, Japan
2015 Awakening Your Psyche, Spartanburg Headquarters Public Library, Spartanburg, SC
Sensations Recalibrated, Lee Gallery, Clemson, SC
2014 Pop-Up Live Performance: Connectivity, Live Performance with Textile Sculpture, Acorn Gallery, Clemson, SC
2013 Nostalgic Pilgrimage, Arts Off the Alley, Seneca, SC
2011 Ki: The Flow of Energy, BFA Senior Show, Milliken Gallery, Converse College, Spartanburg, SC
2017 Iteration, a national Juried Exhibition, Studio 263, Cambridge MA
The Book As Art Illuminated, The Periodicals Gallery, Decatur GA
2016 Colors, Providence Art Club, Providence RI
80 x 80: An Art Show, Mint Museum Uptown, Charlotte, NC
2015 Artsfield, The Thread Boutique, Lake City, SC
2014 Corporeal Complexity, MFA Juried Show, Lee Gallery, Clemson, SC
Sugar Rush, En/Em Art Space, Sacrament, CA
The New Paradigm, MFA National Juried Show, TAG, University West Florida, Pensacola, FL (Catalogue p. 11)
Fiber Fever, Foundry Exhibition, Foundry Art Center, St. Charles, MO
Creative Quarterly 34, On-line Juried show, New York, NY
2013 Process This!, Clemson University, Center For Visual Arts, Greenville, SC
2012 Best College and High School Photography 2012, Photographer’s Forum, Winner’s Gallery online, Santa Barbara, CA
Amateras Annual Mini Paper Art Exhibition/2012, Art Alley Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria (Catalogue p.178)
2011 Small Wonders, Maryland Federation Art, Circle Gallery, Annapolis, MD (Catalogue)
The Spiritual Essence of Art, TOPTEN International On-line Competition, ArtRome Gallery, Rome, Italy
Southern Appalachian Artist Guild NationalJuried Show, The Art Center, Blue Ridge, GA (Catalogue)
32nd Annual SC Juried Artist Exhibit, Pickens County Museum, Pickens, SC (Catalogue)
36th Annual Juried Show, Anderson Art Center, Anderson, SC (Catalogue)
Beyond the Fold, Desotorow Gallery, Savanna, GA
2010 31st Annual SC Juried Artist Exhibit, Pickens County Museum, Pickens, SC (Catalogue)
Students Annual Juried Show, Milliken Gallery, Converse College, Spartanburg, SC
2008 Students Annual Juried Show, Milliken Art Gallery, Converse College, Spartanburg, SC
2007 Students Annual Juried Show, Milliken Art Gallery, Converse College, Spartanburg, SC
2017 Constructed, Richland Library Gallery at Main, Columbia SC
2016 Artist Words and Text, Upstairs Artspace, Tryon NC
Filling a Void, Upstairs Artspace, Tryon NC
2015 Sculpture 2015, Tryon Fine Art Center, Tryon, NC
Fiberfusion, West End Art Depot, Las Cruses, NM
Sensory Overloaded, Whitdel Art, Detroit, MI
Drawing: Automatic Engine exhibit, Center for Visual Art, Greenville, SC
2014 Automatic Engine Exhibit, Lee Gallery, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Contextile 2014 Contemporary Textile Art Biennial, Guimaraes, Portugal
Salon Saturday, Techbnology And Art, Village Studio and Gallery, Greenville, SC
2013 Holiday Art Show, Cox Hall Gallery, Pendelton, SC
West Main Co-opOutdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Spartanburg, SC
2012 Japanese Contemporary Paper Art 2012, Sofia, Bulgaria (Catalogue p16)
2011 Snapshot Spartanburg, The Showroom, Hub-Bub, Spartanburg, SC
Drawing Connection, Sienna Art Institute, Sienna, Italy
Arts Infusion, Anderson, Art Center, Anderson, SC
2009 Artist Book Exhibition, Mickel Library, Converse College, Spartanburg, SC
2013 Sofia International Paper Art Biennial 2013, Sofia Bulgaria (catalogue p.288)
2014 Runner-up, Creative Quarterly 34 On-line juried Show, New York, NY
2012 College Finalist, Best of College and High School Photography 2012, Photographer’s Forum, Santa Barbara, CA
2011 Special Recognition Award, Spiritual Essence of Art, TOPTEN International On-line Competition, ArtRome Gallery, Rome, Italy
Honorable Mention, Art Infusion, Anderson Art Center, Anderson, SC
Excellence in Studio Art, Converse College, Spartanburg, SC
2010 Mac Boggs Sculpture Award, Converse College, Spartanburg, SC
2018 Inman Elementary School Art Project, Inman SC
2018 Public Art Commission, Exterior Facades, Laser cutting Aluminum panels with Kynar Coating, Richland Library, Edgewood Branch, Columbia, SC
2017 Public Art Commission, Textile Installation, Organza Fabric cubes hanging from the Ceiling, Richland Library, Ballentine Branch, Irmo, SC
2013 Outside Sculpture Commission, Large-Scale Sculpture (6 x 4 x 4 ft.), Welded Steel, West Main Art Coop, Spartanburg, SC
2012 Public Art Commission, Large-Scale Sculpture (6 x 8 x 8 ft.), Welded Steel and Air Craft Cable, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville, SC
2012 University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville, SC
2011 Converse College, Spartanburg, SC
2013 Monica Kreber, “Capturing People’s Memory,” The Journal , November 16, 2013, B1
2013 Converse Magazine, Spring 2013, p.7
2012 Best College and High School Photography 2012, Photographer’s Forum, College Finalist, p. 2031
2012 Felicia Kitzmiller, “Converse Grad Starts Big with Public Sculpture at Medical School," Herald Journal, December 13, 2012, C1-C3
2004 Nippon Shodo Bijutsuin, Kanji Competition and Critique of November 2003, “Jinshawa Sono Juwo Eru,” Shodo Bijutsu, Vol. 572, December 20th, pp. 29-30
2004 Nippin Shodo Bijutuin, Kanji Competition and Critique of August 2004, “Kokou Shuhaini Shitagau,” Shodo Bijutsu, Vol. 581, September 20th, 2004, pp. 29-30
Felicia, Kitzmiller. "Converse Grad Starts Big with Public Sculpture at Medical School."GoUpstate.com. www.goupstate.com/article/20121213/ARTICLES/212141007, 13 Dec. 2012. Web. 15 Jan. 2013.
"Ayako Abe-Miller '12 Wins Commission for USC School of Medicine Greenville." Converse College, January 1. http://www.converse.edu/news-article/2012/12/ayako-abe-miller-12-wins-commission-usc-school-medicine-greenville,15 Jan. 2013.
“12 Wins Commission for USC School of Medicine Greenville” Conversationalist, On-Line Student News Paper, Converse College, http://www.theconversationalistonline.com/page.php?id=7, 15 Jan. 2013.
Converse College Art & Design, “Ayako Abe-Miller with Sculpture, http://www.flickr.com/photos/millikenartgallery/8265552124/, Jan 15, 2013.
“College Finalist,” Winners’ Gallery, Photographer’s Forum, http://pfmagazine.com/wp-content/plugins/p-gallery/index.php?level=picture&id=11031 , 15 Jan. 2103
“The Spiritual Essence of Art,” Artrome Gallery,International Juried On-Line Art Competitions, Exhibitions, Contemporary Art Sales and Promotional Services for Artists, http://www.artromgallery.com/Spiritual_Essence_of_Art_Winners_Exhibition/special_recognition.htm, 15 Jan. 2013.
“Beyond the Fold,” DeSotoRow Gallery, http://desotorow.org/beyond-the-fold/,15 Jan. 2013.