What do the Fargo City Hall mural, Community Family Market mural and fiberglass beavers at W.H. Davy Memorial Park in Moorhead all have in common?
They were all designed by Minnesota State University Moorhead alum Catie Miller.
Catie graduated from MSUM with her B.S in art education and a BFA in ceramics in 2013. Her love for the craft has pushed her to pursue nontraditional opportunities during her time in and beyond college.
Today, Catie is an artist turned one-woman business. She runs an online ceramics store in which she fulfills orders from her studio in the F/M area.
She had first designed a mural through an art contest held by Fargo City Hall. She developed designs for 12 panels that reflected the community. She represented Fargo through fun representations of the past, present, and future.
“I began my research chronologically looking at archives of Fargo through primary images and written accounts,” she says. “A focus on the Red River, the railroad, and agriculture became the central themes seen throughout the 12 panels.”
Since then, she has created murals and public art throughout the town’s shops, markets, and parks.
Catie's original plan was to be an art teacher. While in school, she was able to work with children enrolled in MSUM’s College for Kids and Teens. She worked as an art instructor and helped kids develop pottery skills.
“I always said yes and took those opportunities,” she says. "You always learn something no matter what job it is.”
The day after graduation, Catie left for an art residency in Kansas City, Missouri.
She worked for a community studio and in return, was able to use the space for her creative work.
The residency was competitive and accepted few students. She was able to apply her educational background to provide classes to the community.
“I asked what if we also did outreach in our neighborhood and taught more workshops?” She said. “That's how I was able to use my art education.”
After her residency, Catie moved back to the Fargo area in 2015 and started her ceramics business. Her style in her art represents florals and animals like in children's illustrations and books. She finds inspiration through her two young boys and how they curiously view the world.
While Catie is not in a typical school setting, she has been able to put the educational aspect of her degree to good use.
Along with her shop, she teaches online classes relating to pottery and screen printing through her studio and social media.
You can find more of Catie’s work through her website www.catie-miller.com.
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