Porcelain Poetry/Textile Treasures at the Moraga Art Gallery

Sunset on the Sound  24" x 72"

Sunset on the Sound 24″ x 72″

I am so delighted to be doing a show with Donna Arganbright at the Moraga Art Gallery in Moraga, California. Donna is the ceramic featured member artist, and I am the textile featured guest artist. I will have my landscape art quilts for the wall, as well as some new silk scarves and smaller wall quilts. Our show runs from June 8 through August 13, 2016 with a reception on Saturday, June 11, 5:00 – 7:00pm. The gallery is located at 522 Center Street. 925-376-5407. This is a lovely gallery with 16 member artists showing in a variety of media. They have lovely receptions with music, food and wine.

I was recommended to the gallery by my friend and fellow artist, Marge Atkins, who is showing her beautiful watercolors of matileja poppies at the Harrington Gallery in Pleasanton during the same period.

Stories of Migration – The Textile Museum 4/15/16 – 9/4/16

Stories of Migration_Logoartwork by Denise Oyama MillerThis artwork is called “Connecting Threads.” It tells a personal story of my family’s history, spanning the last 100 years. It starts in Japan with an early photo of my grandfather, Zengoro Oyama, as a child and the birthplace of my grandmother, Chiyo Iwamoto. The story continues through Hawaii, Los Angeles, the relocation years of World War II, and the movement of the family back to the West Coast. I think our family history is similar to many other Japanese families, who migrated to the United States in the early 1900’s.

I was inspired to do this quilt as a result of our annual family Thanksgiving dinners, where we have shared the family history from the perspective of each of the four children of Zengoro and Chiyo. It was wonderful to hear the stories and see the old photos.

When I heard about the Studio Art Quilt Associates call for entries for this show, I knew what my subject would be. I was especially interested in this venue, as both my Father and Uncle got their graduate degrees in biochemistry from George Washington University.

Our branch of the family had very few photos left of our early history, but my Uncle Jiro, youngest and only surviving member of that generation, had many photos to choose from. I also collected photos from other members of our family.

I wanted to make a quilt that combined the textile traditions of both Japan and the United States, while at the same time showing the family ties. I started with a white piece of cotton fabric. I used shibori dyeing techniques to create the fabric in the body of the kimono. I used thermofax screens to discharge or remove some of the dye. I repeated these steps several times to get the exact color that I wanted. I used Transfer Artist Paper for the photographs. The hand stitching is done in the sashiko style of stitching, while the quilting is machine quilted.

Since we didn’t have a family crest, I created 4 alternatives and asked my siblings and their families to vote on their preferred image. I ended up with a circle design of a large mountain with water around it signifying the Pacific Ocean. The kanji in the middle of the design is our family name Oyama, which means “big mountain.”
artwork by Denise Oyama Miller

360°: Between Here and Gone

Jean and Shorebird Mural-reducedI would like to introduce you to an amazing artist, Jean Bidwell. She has a new show of her watercolor and acrylic paintings called 360°: Between Here and Gone. The theme of the show is birds, both shore birds and song birds. The show is at the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center at 4901 Breakwater Avenue in Hayward. The show runs through July 10, 2016. The Center is open Friday – Sunday from 10:00am – 5:00pm. If you would like to see the show outside of these hours, call the Center to arrange another time.

For additional information about this event, please contact the Center at

In addition, Jean does large outdoor murals, some of which are located in Hayward and Oakland. The wall across the Hayward BART station is a beautiful example of one of Jean’s incredible murals, all 2000 feet of mural. See Jean’s website at:


Bloom II at the Pence Gallery in Davis, California

01_DOMiller-2016-1_smlMy friend, Nancy Ryan, and I have so much fun showing our art quilts together. This time we have been invited to exhibit in the Main Gallery space at the Pence Gallery’s annual Bloom II Exhibit from March 8 – April 19, 2016, along with other artists working in a variety of other mediums. We will each exhibit 3 floral quilts. The reception for this exhibit is going to be held on Friday, March 11 from 6:00 – 9:00pm at the Gallery. Then on Saturday, March 12 from 2:00 – 5:00pm, there will be some gallery talks by some of the artists (including me) and floral arrangement demonstrations. My piece “Tulip Tops” will be included in the show. For additional information about this event, please contact the gallery:
Phone: 530-758-3370
Location: 212 “D” Street, Davis, California 95616
Website: http://www.pencegallery.org

Yosemite Renaissance 31 – 2016

Have you ever been to Yosemite in the Winter or early Spring? It is a glorious time to visit and enjoy the snow. One of the relatively unknown treasures of the valley at this time is the annual Yosemite Renaissance Art Competition, which debuts in late February. The show runs from Friday, February 26 through May 1, 2016 in Yosemite Valley. The opening night has a wonderful, well-attended reception at the main gallery next to the museum in the village. This year the reception is on Friday, February 26 from 5:30 – 7:30pm.

The show is open to all mediums, and I entered one of my landscape pieces called “Yosemite Reflections.” Out of a record 364 artists and 973 entries, they selected 55 pieces by 50 artists. I am thrilled to announce that my piece got into the show. Here’s my piece.

Yosemite Reflections - reduced
I hope you can come and see the show sometime while it is in Yosemite Valley. It will also travel to Kings Art Center in Hanford, CA (June through July) and Carnegie Art Center in Turlock, CA (August through September) after it closes in the Valley. If you want additional information about the exhibit, this is the link to the website.


Strata: New Works from the Studio Art Quilt Associates

Solitude I am happy to announce a new exhibit of art quilts called “Strata-New Works from the Studio Art Quilt Associates.” There are 50 pieces of art (wall quilts and sculptures) that demonstrate the wide range of work being done in textile arts. The show was juried by Yvonne Porcella, who is an artist, teacher, writer and the founder of the SAQA organization. The 33 artists in the show are from the Northern California/Northern Nevada region of SAQA.

We are fortunate to be able to show at the Harrington Gallery in Pleasanton, which is located in the Firehouse Arts Center at 4444 Railroad Avenue. The exhibition dates are November 12–December 16, 2015. The artists reception is Thursday, November 12, 7:00pm-9:00pm. The gallery is open on Wednesday–Friday, 12:00pm–5:00pm and Saturday, 11:00am–3:00pm. I hope you can come by to see the show and join us for the reception.

I have 2 quilts in the show, and this one is called “Solitude.”

Billabong Dreams at the Seattle Art Museum

Warringaari - Coming Together

Warringaari – Coming Together

While my husband and I were in Seattle last month, we visited the Seattle Art Museum, specifically to see a small collection of the Abstract Expressionists. We were even more impressed by the Aboriginal artwork from Australia. This is what the museum said about the work:

“BILLABONG DREAMS – Water is a complex subject to capture visually on dry bark or flat canvas. Australian Aboriginal artists remind us that observing water can guide life. as people consider the depth of rockholes and billabongs, the tidal ebb and flow, the rough and calm, to be an analog for ancestral knowledge. Artists do their best to render water’s reflections, transparence, surface, depth and many symbolic references.”

I was very impressed by these extraordinary pieces of art and thought they were actually on fabric, but they were done on eucalyptus bark and canvas. I loved the simplicity of the designs and the similar palette. The theme of water is one that I have been thinking about for my own work, given the drought situation in California. It is funny how ideas germinate in your mind for a while, then a spark makes them come alive. After seeing this work, I may just get a new series started.



Waarlla - Rockholes

Waarlla – Rockholes

Messsge Sticks

Messsge Sticks

Tjamu Tjamu

Tjamu Tjamu

47th Annual Textile Exhibition at Olive Hyde Art Gallery

PetrosIt’s time for the Olive Hyde Art Gallery 47th Annual Textile Show. This is a wonderful show for all types of fiber artwork from sculptures and felted objects to mixed media collages and art quilts. This is one of the most popular shows at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery each year. I have been fortunate enough to have participated in this show several times.

The show runs from Friday, June 19 through Saturday, July 18, 2015. The gallery is located at 123 Washington Boulevard in Fremont, California and is open Tuesday – Sunday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm. Hope you can join me at the reception on Friday, June 19, 7:00pm – 9:00pm.

Fresh Works V at the Harrington Gallery

Dark Woods - reducedFresh Works V is coming soon to the Harrington Gallery at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton, California. This is always a wonderful show of unique artwork from Bay Area artists. The show runs from May 2 – June 6, 2015 with a reception on May 2 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm. The Firehouse Art Center is located at 4444 Railroad Avenue. I am delighted to have one of my mixed media pieces “Dark Woods” included in the show.

Here is the link to the e-postcard.
E-Postcard for artists – Fresh Works V

Impressions in Fabric at La Conner

It is now getting close to the start of our show, Impressions in Fabric, art quilts by Denise Oyama Miller and Nancy Ryan. This exhibit will be shown at the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum from April 1 – June 28, 2015. The reception has been rescheduled to Wednesday, April 1, 2015, from 4:00pm – 7:00pm. The show consists of 37 quilts inspired by the landscapes of the West from Antelope Valley in California to the Pacific Northwest.

We will also be teaching our technique for these impressionistic landscapes from April 1 – 3, from 10:00am – 3:00pm at a site close to the museum. Registration is handled through the museum’s website at www.laconnerquilts.com.

The museum is located in the Gaches Mansion, which is a 5,000 square foot Tudor-style Victorian located at 703 South 2nd Street, La Conner, Washington. It has been recently restored. Our show will be on the third floor. The hours for the museum are Wednesday – Sunday, 11:00am – 5:00pm. The phone number 360-466-4288.

I am looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones at the reception.

This is one of my quilts that will be in the show. It is called Sunset on the Sound (76″ x 24″).

Sunset on the Sound - Denise Oyama Miller