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Mike Miller's exhibit puts his massive talents front and center

Kansas artist Mike Miller is a worker bee, a hunter/gatherer, and a human machine. With a shock of hair, a smile, and a heart as big as nature itself, he toils in a barn out in Butler County.

Mike takes components he has collected—tractor parts, a 100 pound rock, fan belt, 20 feet of wire, and a motor he may have stripped from an old fan—and constructs an electrified, sculptural work of art that does everything but explain the energy it took to manufacture such a thing in the first place.

Miller makes kinetic sculptures that combine elements from nature and man-made objects that become animated under the power of electricity, wind, or possibly, nuclear power. Owl feathers, tree roots or limbs, and tall prairie grass are also often incorporated into the work.

Miller has made a big name for himself due to his vast artistic and mechanical talents, wild imagination, and monumental work ethic. The fabulous thing about a Mike Miller sculpture is it baffles the mind while making the viewer smile at the fantastical whimsy of the work. The work is sublime.

We are lucky because Miller is having a show right now in Wichita where his massive talents are front and center. Titled “Be The Art”, the exhibition also features fired ceramic works that Miller somehow found time to create.

You can step into the world of Mike Miller, right now, at Reuben Saunders Gallery, through March 31st.

Curt Clonts is a Wichita-born artist who volunteers as KMUW's art reviewer. When Curt isn’t working in his College Hill studio he is usually spending time with his wife, kids, and grandkids. He also spends the spring and summer months kayaking and camping.