Miller Horns (1948 – 2012) graduated from Cleveland Institute of Art with a B.F.A. in 1986. His professional career as an artist spanned from this time until his death at the age of 63 in 2012. Horns was born in Alabama, but moved with his family to Akron, Ohio in 1953 where he lived for the rest of his life. He spent one tour of duty with the United States Navy, a year in Rome, Italy when he was awarded a fellowship to the American Academy in Rome, and one year in Peterborough New Hampshire where he was a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, and a guest artist at Yaddo, Saratoga Springs New York.
While he completed many public commissions including the Matthews Hotel Monument, and a play and dance produced by Weathervane Theatre, Miller is mainly known for his innovative use of electrostatic and thermal color transfers of drawn and photographed images onto a variety of surfaces. His subject matter was often intensely personal – drawn from documentation of his everyday life experiences, and his many art projects revolved around series of works that are related in style and theme, such as emotion (e.g. grief) or historical events (contributions of African-Americans to the development of Akron and Northeast Ohio).
Miller’s commissioned works can be found in the collections of The Children’s Hospital Medical center, Akron Ohio; Kaiser Permanente, Akron Ohio; Advanced elastomer Systems, Akron Ohio; Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Ohio; Maple Velley Branch of the Akron Public Library. His exhibitions include The Canton Museum of Art, The Akron Museum of art, The American Academy in Rome, Italy, The Butler Museum of art, The Cleveland Museum of art and many more.
The last sixteen years of Horn’s life were spent in raising public awareness and support for his design for The Matthews Hotel Monument in Akron Ohio. This monument, built in the year of his death, commemorates the former African-American entertainment district of Howard Street. World famous entertainers like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzie Gillespie, Count Basie and Cab Calloway would come perform in the district and stay at the Matthews Hotel because they were not allowed to stay at hotels catering to whites. When the Hotel was torn down and the district demolished to make way for new development, Horns felt so strongly that this site should be remembered for future generations that he began his tenacious push for his design. Sixteen years later he lived to see the monument completed.