Courtney Miles at Ross Akard Gallery Tomorrow
If you happen to recall, we did a piece in April about artist Courtney Miles being the latest artist-in-residence at The Fairmont Dallas. For the past three months Miles has resided in the hotel’s 24th-floor penthouse by night and has been working in the hotel’s in-house studio by day in preparation for her month-long exhibit at the Fairmont’s Ross Akard Gallery (that opens tomorrow).
Miles is eighth in a line-up of 10 artists in residence. Next on the docket is Oak Cliff’s Erica Felicella, who you probably recall from her reality live-in-a-box for three days “artwork.”
Katie Norwood, public relations and marketing manager at the Fairmont, explained that the program’s goal is to support local and regional artists who are emerging in their careers. “We’re the only hotel in Dallas that’s doing this,” she said. “It’s our way of giving back to the artists.”
The 35-year-old artist’s work is inspired by images of herself through photography and videography. Miles depicts herself as a celebrity via oil and watercolor paintings, but she’s quick to add that it’s not about materialism. “It’s a comment on our society and how we’re a very celebrity-obsessed culture,” she said. “People might see my work and misinterpret it. But it’s a fun nod toward our obsession with celebrities. It’s really not about me. It’s a persona. Pretend.”
Miles describes her work as a form of “performance art,” which combines painting, photography, video and text. And she always tries to incorporate a dash of neon. “It looks very Dallas. There’s a lot of neon in our city,” Miles said. “Some of my friends call me me ‘Neon Courtney.’ My work reflects that we’re a flashy city, but down-to-earth at the same time. Dallas is the flashy side of my work. I’m the down-to-earth side.”
Miles emphasized that her paintings are not true self-portraits, but created personas. She’s done more than 100 self portraits on a small scale, but for her residency-capping show, she will show larger-than-life self portraits.
Tomorrow evening, beginning at 7, the Fairmont’s Ross Akard Gallery will hold an opening reception for Miles’ show, replete with wine and yummy hors d’oeuvres. Miles’ work will be on display through Aug. 4, and at the conclusion of her show, she will contribute a piece to the hotel’s permanent art collection.
Personally, I can’t wait to check out Miles’ work. Then we get to see what Felicella will be up to in the artist-in-residence gallery — that’s open for public viewing by the way. No doubt we’ll be entertained.