Archive for ‘A Somewhat Secret Press Release’

May 21, 2013

Event: Manuscript Reading and Lecture


A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art 

Manuscript Reading and Lecture

By Catherine J. H. Miller

On June 25, 2013, the artist Catherine J. H. Miller will read from her manuscript and lecture on her new book’s universally-designed layout.  This project was funded in part through the generous support of a Regional Art and Culture Council (RACC) 2012 Project Grant to Individuals award.  Miller’s writing charts the provocative crossroads of disability and the fine arts.  She writes on works made by people with and without disabilities in fine art, literature and performance, suggesting new ways for us to understand the aura of disability in art and how to talk about it from her perspective as a legally blind artist.  Her book holds the potential to create a lasting impact on how art is presented in the gallery and in publications.  In her research she has raised awareness for access with organizations such as the Community Foundation Sonoma County, Oliver Ranch Foundation, Oregon Women’s Causes for Art (OWCA), Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), PRESENTspace and RACC, the effect of which is only beginning to be realized.

Event: A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art Manuscript Reading and Lecture by Catherine J. H. Miller

Where: Jack London Bar (in Rialto) 529 SW 4th Ave., Portland, OR 97204

When: Tuesday, June 25, 2013.  Doors at 5 p.m.  Lecture 6 -7 p.m.

Please note: Must be 21 or older. Accessible lift located in Rialto Off-Track Betting Bar.  Please arrive early, as the lift may have a line.  ASL provided.

Miller’s project, A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art, an exhibition (A Somewhat Secret Place) and book project, has spanned three years and involved countless organizations and individual collaborators.  Miller points to the exhibition A Somewhat Secret Place as her manuscript’s primary case study.  The show took place in the Portland Pearl District from July 7- 30, 2011 in partnership with the OWCA and PRESENTspace Gallery.  Miller made changes to the architecture of the gallery, used ASL interpreters, Braille, enlarged print, and atypical display strategies to make an art show and performance venue which was previously inaccessible accessible for the first time.

The show featured 28 works of art including paintings, sculpture, literature and performance created by 21 artists, writers and performers with and without disabilities.  The show featured ten events: a donor preview, First Thursday, writer’s workshop, opening reception with literary readings and a performance by Yulia Arakelyn, three artist talks (by Andrea Rosselle, Carmen Papalia and Erik Ferguson), ADA 21st birthday party and panel discussion, a story telling by the artist Joy Corcoran for young children and a closing reception with literary readings and a performance by singer song writer Elie Charpentier.

Miller speaks with a passion and enthusiasm that is infectious.  Miller says, “The book and the exhibition are not a product, or art object, of my project.  The real product or ‘art part’ is something less tangible and more powerful.  The ‘art’ is the conversation that the visitors and readers have in the gallery and beyond.  It is the interaction between the arts communities, the disability communities, and the wider community around words like ‘disability in the arts,’  ‘disability art,’ disability aesthetics,’ ‘disability pride art’ and un-named areas of artistic practice.”
Miller was born legally blind in Portland where she has lived her whole life.  She graduated from the PNCA class of 2008.  Currently, she presides as President and PR Secretary of the OWCA.

A special thanks to RACC.

May 11, 2011

A Somewhat Secret Place Exhibition

We have found the location for our show. We are happy to announce that our show will be open July 7th through the 30th at PRESENTspace located 939 NW Glisan, Portland, Oregon, 97209 (enter on 10th Avenue). Our hours will be Monday-Saturday 11 am-5 pm, excluding the event days listed below.

July 6th Pre-Opening

Our Pre-Opening Party is a V.I.P. event with invitations available only through Kickstarter for pledges of $50 or more. Invitations are for two guests and can be gifted. To get your invitation today, go to[to]=1356445924

July 7th First Thursday

Please come at 6:00 pm for a talk with Carmen Papalia in Northwest Portland. First Thursday is when all the galleries officially open their doors with newly hung work and the Portland Pearl District turns into one big gallery walk!

July 9th Grand Opening

Our grand opening is a two-part event. At noon we will host a writing workshop facilitated by Write Around Portland. This event is free and there is no need to be a seasoned writer. We hope to have about 80 people in attendance.

In the evening at 6:30pm we will host author readings and performances. This is a free event with complimentary refreshments

July 26th ADA 21st Birthday Party and Panel Discussion

This event is completely devoted to the lived experiences of people with disabilities and the Americans with Disability Act. ADA is turning 21, so there will be cake and drinks. There will be a fun group drawing and writing activity where guests will be encouraged to leave their mark in pen or Braille. Just for fun and art we will have a Helen Keller piñata crafted by Catherine J. H. Miller.

Currently, we are looking for volunteer facilitators and panelists. So far the activist Brian Crosby Paynn has volunteered. This means only 5 seats to be filled.

July 30th Gallery Closing

tba [12-2 pm]

In the evening at 7:00 pm we will host author readings and performances. This is a free event with complimentary refreshments.

9:00 pm: After-Party will be held to encourage art enthusiasts, critics, collectors, intellectuals, publishers and scholars to mingle with the artists and organizers. The after closing party will be open to the public with snacks, nonalcoholic and alcoholic beverages.

March 26, 2011

Reading Frenzy Has This To Say

“This artist and project are brand new to me, but they’re addressing a vital issue in the arts community — accessibility and inclusion of individuals with disabilities — in a really cool and holistic way.” Check them out.

January 18, 2011

Accepting Applications Now – Febuarary 14thts


New application due date: Monday, February 14th. There will be an updated version of the terms of application posted tomorrow specifically for applicants outside of Oregon. Please check our website for more information tomorrow.

On the page Apply to A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art you will find the application checklist(s) which are designed to aid in the creation and organization of all applications.

Please use the fallowing links to learn about the application process

Please note: Due to time considerations, we have extend the project to 2012. The exhibition will still take place in July as scheduled. However, the book will not be released until a later date . I feel that this change will allow me to create a stronger exhibition and will allow me to create a more comprehensive and substantial manuscript. I am pleased to announce here that Memewar may be our publisher, which makes this project a international endeavor.

-Catherine J. H. Miller

January 17, 2011

Portland Stock Dinner Grant


Supper with A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art

at Portland Stock Dinner

Portland, Oregon December 18th 2011

Soup’s On!!!!

And we need you to eat it!!!

Just $10 and your vote is what we need the night of January 23rd at PNCA

We have been accepted to be in the Portland Stock Dinner this coming Sunday. Please join us there.

What is Portland Stock Dinner?

About Stock

“Stock is a monthly public dinner event and presentation series which democratically funds Portland-area artist projects. Diners pay $10 for a homemade meal and the chance to vote for which artist proposal will receive the evening’s proceeds. The dinner’s profits immediately become an artist grant, awarded according to the vote of the diners. Winning artists present their completed work at the next Stock dinner{…]” Read more 🙂 and RSVP.

Why is  A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art asking for a Stock grant?

A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art desperately needs money for advertising and mailing costs for the promotion of the exhibit in July. We hope to receive enough votes to get the first Stock Grant of 2011.

Please remember that the grant amount is dependent on the level of attendance, so this is why we need all who know and love this project to attend.

Please mark you calendar and RSVP today.

RSVP by email:

Date: January 23rd 2011

Time: 6-9 pm

Place: PNCA

1241 Northwest Johnson Street
Portland, OR 97209-3023
(503) 226-4391

Thank you for all your support and time,

—  Catherine J. H. Miller

A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art
Artistic/Project Director and Fine Arts Curator
September 25, 2010

A Somewhat Secret Call For Artists And Writers

Portland, Oregon; September 25th 2010

Submissions will be accepted for A SOMEWHAT SECRET PLACE: DISABILITY AND ART beginning October 15, 2010 through January 14, 2011. Applications from the following categories will be considered for inclusion in an art exhibition and fine art book: dance, drawing, essay, fictional narrative, small-scale installation art, painting, performance art, photography, poetry, printmaking, sculpture, theater and video/film. $100 stipends will be awarded to 12 fine artists, 4 performing artists, and 12 writers selected for inclusion in the exhibition and book.

The A SOMEWHAT SECRET PLACE: DISABILITY AND ART exhibition will open July 2, 2011 and run through July 30, 2011. It will investigate the intersection of contemporary art and disability in Oregon and demonstrate that the relationship of contemporary fine art to disability is valid and accessible to people with and without disabilities.

Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications received after the January 14, 2011 deadline will not be reviewed. Application materials will not be returned. Please make sure you have duplicate copies.

Application Assistance is available for all artists who are unable to organize application materials independently. The deadline for Application Assistance requests is December 10, 2010. The early Application Assistance deadline ensures that all artists using the service will have their application submitted by the January 14, 2011 deadline.

Applicants must be 18 years or older and live in Oregon. No formal art or literary education is necessary. Applications may be organized by a second party. Collaborative applications will be accepted. Only complete applications received by the January 14, 2011 due date will be considered. Applicants must agree to the Terms of Application go to:

Apply to A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art


Go to:

Apply to A Somewhat Secret Place: Disability and Art

To request a hard copy of the application, mail a self-addressed, stamped envelope to 1040 NW 10th Avenue Portland, OR 97209. Postage must be $0.88. Please indicate if you need enlarged print.


If you have questions or comments, please contact Catherine J. H. Miller at