“Miller’s paintings are tenderly intimate, allowing us to experience small glimpses into her world. What we can see through her paintings are powerful colors, intense emotions, love, healing, and togetherness. She brings all of her subjectivity into her work as a daughter of Jamaican Christian ministers responding to her environment in Boston today.” – Juror Martina Tanga
“Miller creates uncanny, color-saturated scenes of close-cropped intimacy, exquisitely framed and fragmented by interior architecture and the canvas’s edges. Her paintings, layered with symbolism, are marked by intense absences, connections, and exploration of identity formed by faith traditions and Black feminism.” – Juror Daniel Byers
Shantel Miller is Jamaican-Canadian visual artist (born in Toronto, ON) who lives and works in Boston, MA. She received an MFA in Painting at Boston University and a BFA in Drawing and Painting from the Ontario College of Art and Design. In 2021, she received the Dedalus Foundation MFA Fellowship in Painting and Sculpture, the Elizabeth Greenshield Award, the Esther B. and Albert S. Kahn Career Entry Fund and is currently the Ujima Boston Project Artist Fellow for 2022-2024.
Miller’s figurative paintings represent lived and imagined experiences that often situate the body in moments of vulnerability and introspection. As part of her creative process, she uses body language symbolically to suggest relationships of tension and intimacy, often depicting interior spaces with isolated moments of realism, alternating perspectives and high contrast color relationships. Working in this way, Miller negotiates notions of a public and private self, and explores ideas relevant to spirituality and existentialism in ordinary depictions of Black life.