CCAD Photography Chair Darren Lee Miller receives Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award


Columbus College of Art & Design Associate Professor of Photography Darren Lee Miller has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award for a collaborative project in Brazil, according to the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Miller, who joined CCAD in 2019 as Chair of Photography, will spend the spring 2020 semester in Brazil conducting interviews and collaboratively producing a series of photographs and short videos with Dr. Lucinéa Marcelino Villela and her students in the School of Architecture, Arts, and Communication (FAAC) at São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Bauru, Brazil.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields. And Miller said he’s honored to be selected as a Fulbright scholar.

“This project will improve my studio art practice, gallery work, and teaching, providing me with greater empathy for an individual’s strongly held beliefs,” Miller said. “It will help me to more meaningfully connect my teaching, art, and curatorial work to the needs of domestic and international students, collaborators, colleagues, and gallery visitors.”

Miller, whose own work focues on queer identity, developed his project proposal after reading news stories about protestors who forced an LGBTQ+-focused exhibition called Queer Museum to shut down and find a new home.

The controversy sparked divisive rhetoric on social media.

So, his project, Palavras na Minha Boca (Words in My Mouth), aims to connect people with different viewpoints so they can have a civil conversation.

“Can those of us with strong opinions learn from people with whom we disagree? I hope the answer is yes,” Miller wrote in his project proposal. “This is what my project will address, and I believe it can be done by extending an invitation for people to talk, listen, and really hear each other.”

Photo: Emerging with a Bundle of Sticks, collaboration with Gwen Singer from CCAD Photography Chair Darren Lee Miller's Exercises in Empathy series. Photo courtesy of the artist. 

Read more about the project in Prizm.