Buffalo Boss Babe: Rachel Adams Miller
Today's Buffalo Boss Babe is Rachel Adams-Miller, Senior Curator at the UB Art Galleries. Growing up art galleries were always something I was drawn too. I would spend hours and hours looking at every piece. I would dream of someday being a famous artist. Those days have since passed but I still love visiting art galleries. I always admire the people who work so hard on the galleries and bring in amazing pieces for the community to enjoy. We chatted with Rachel about Art and so much more.
According to my mother, I was always her most creative child—although I don’t really believe that. There is a lot of creativity between all of my siblings—one is a writer, one is a poet, one is a photographer. However, I did go to art school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for photography and while I was there, basically stumbled into working at the student run galleries. It felt very natural and honestly, I was struggling with being an artist. I enjoyed working behind the scenes and then writing about the art. That was in 2003 and since then I’ve curated dozens of projects with the most amazing artists. It started at Lloyd Dobler Gallery where my friend Patricia Courson and I put together exhibitions in her apartment, then off to graduate school at the San Francisco Art Institute and then to Austin where I worked at Arthouse at the Jones Center (now called The Contemporary Austin). I love working with artists—both to showcase their work and introduce them to new audiences but also to help them get to the next step in their career, whether that’s commissioning a new work or creating a great publication. I’ve now been at the UB Art Galleries for just over 3 years and it’s been an amazing experience. We have amazing gallery spaces that cater to a variety of artwork. Between the Center for the Arts Gallery and the Anderson Gallery, there is always something new on view.
What made you start or brought you to where you are today? Tell us your story and what makes you a Buffalo Boss Babe.
I feel honored to be a Buffalo Boss Babe! Buffalo has been such a great city to work in for the past several years and I’m very fortunate to get to work with an amazing team at the UB Art Galleries within a wonderful arts community, one that is very supportive. For me, being a boss is about sharing my skills with people who are interested in doing what I do. Mentorship is a really important part of my job.
What does being a Buffalo Boss Babe mean to you.
Who are your favorite people to follow?
There are so many! I spend way too much time on instagram, but then again, its kind of part of my job. So, just to name a few…my husband who is an unbelievably talented artist—NC Miller @ncmillerart, Jillian Mayer—who will have a show at the UB Art Galleries next winter @jillianmayer, my friend Rui Mateus Amaral—who is the Director and Curator of Scrap Metal in Toronto @ruimateusamaral (we have a lot of the same tastes), my lovely friend and very talented writer Molly Prentiss (@mollyprentiss), author of the bestseller Tuesday Nights in 1980 and other amazing women curators around the world who are constantly introducing me to new people, places and things. There are too many to list but here are some: Rujecko Hockley, Allison Glenn, Helen Molesworth, Lisa Sutcliffe, Yesomi Umolu, Ingrid Schaffner, Thelma Golden and Ann Lui.So many great things! We live just west of the Elmwood Village, so we spend a lot of time walking around that area with our dog and our son. We love picnics on the Bidwell Parkway and outdoor beers at Aroma and of course spending time at Delaware Park. We moved here from Austin, so we like to be outside as much as possible—even when its cold! My husband’s studio is in the Old First Ward, so we are at the Barrel Factory a lot and also Gene McCarthy’s. And of course, we tend to seek out art all the time—the Albright and Burchfield, galleries including Eleven Twenty Projects, Anna Kaplan, Indigo and Benjamins as well as Hallwalls, Squeaky Wheel and Cepa are all places we frequent. But then we like to get out of the city too, but don’t do it enough. Our friend has a beautiful farm in Boston near Chestnut Ridge and our other friends have a cabin near Almond, NY. Hopefully we’ll be spending more time at both those spots this spring and summer.
What are your favorite things to do in the area (Buffalo and greater WNY)?
At the moment, my husband and I are collaborating on a children’s book about our amazing dog Skeeter! Its slow going but we’ll hopefully have it finished later in 2018. I’m also working with the Israeli artist Maya Dunietz on her first solo exhibition in the US that involves an installation of 17 pianos, a work with ten thousand iPhone headphones and an Anechoic Chamber. Stay tuned for details on this show. It is going to be amazing.
Tell me about your favorite collaborations or a dream collaboration?
In terms of a dream collaboration…I’ve always had a serious interest in architecture and would love to work on an exhibition that would involve artists from past and present who have constructed or dreamed up actual rooms that we can build in one huge space—preferably the size of an airplane hanger! I hope its my next major project. Does anyone in Buffalo have an airplane hanger we can use?
If you could have coffee with anyone in the world who would it be?
Agnes Gund! She is a force in the art world, as a philanthropist, art patron, as well as an advocate for arts education. She’s been involved with the arts education in New York city since the late 1970s where she founded Studio in a School when art classes were cut in public school. It brings professional artists into the classroom to lead classes. She also recently sold a Lichtenstein painting to start an Art for Justice Fund that supports criminal justice reform and seeks to reduce mass incarceration in the United States. She is really an amazing role model and I would love to meet her one day. Also, it would be totally fine by me if Michelle Obama wanted to join us for that coffee.
Besides meeting Agnes Gund and Michelle Obama? I’d like the galleries to play a larger part in the lives of everyday Buffalonians! I always have the goal of reaching more people through the exhibitions and programs we do at the UBAG, but my dream is that when I ask someone new if they’ve been to the UB Anderson Gallery, they will reply yes. Personally, I’d also like to travel to more places I’ve never been to and adopt a few more dogs!
What are your hopes, dreams, goals? Big or Small.
As I mentioned, my husband Nick is an artist. We met in graduate school 9 years ago and Buffalo is the third city we’ve lived in together. He’s from Philadelphia originally—so our we are huge EALGES fans! We have a son who is 13 months (Conrad Xavier Miller) and also the best dog in the world we adopted when we moved to Texas. His name is Skeeter. His IG is @skeetertheadventuredog.
Tell us about your family (2 Legged , 4 Legged) ?
Feel Good Five :)
Color: Most shades of blue
Food: Cheese and things to put cheese on
Super Power: I can make pints of ice cream disappear
Animal: Dog but also my spirit animal is a whale
Season of the year: FALL
Favorite thing about Buffalo: the people!
Be sure to visit Rachel and everyone over at UB Art Galleries. You can also Follow them on Social Media. There HOURS & LOCATIONS are...
UB Art Gallery
201 Center for the Arts
Buffalo, NY 14260-6000
Tuesday - Friday 11 AM - 5 PM
Saturday 1 PM - 5 PM
UB Anderson Gallery
1 Martha Jackson Place
Buffalo, NY 14214
Wednesday - Saturday 11 AM - 5 PM
Sunday 1 PM - 5 PM
Until next time babes!!
Buffalo Boss Babes is a woman run blog series featuring women in and around the city of Buffalo N.Y.
If you know someone doing amazing things for our community, past and present, young and old..... send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be kind to everyone you meet.
Here's to strong women! May we know them. May we be them