The arts seem to be disappearing more and more around the country and even places closest to us. Luckily, the town of Hamburg has a local art alliance and gallery. A lot of small towns don't even have art programs in their schools. Thanks to the local support of the alliance, artist Kathy Miller has had great success with her photography book 'Chippy Chipmunk: Babies in the Garden.'
Miller grew up in Ottawa, Canada, and currently resides in New Ringgold, just north of Hamburg. She has been a member of the alliance since 2007. Her photography started with watching birds in her backyard. As a private teacher, she was inspired to use photography as a learning tool to get kids interested in nature again.
'Every kid seems to have a camera on them, whether it's on their phone or game system. Why not use it to get them interested in nature?' asks Miller. This then led Miller, as a member of the organization, to make cards out of her photography for the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in order to raise money for the organization.
The alliance is a benefit to all of the local artists and the town itself. It brings in art classes and events for all ages to enjoy.
'The alliance gives you exposure and the opportunity to meet your readers,' said Miller. Of course, for other artists, it's to meet their artistic audience. It also gives artists the opportunity to connect with outside vending and networks that the gallery may have.
The book has now received its 17th award from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. The awards were conceived in 1996 as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry. The accolades are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles produced each year, and reward those who exhibit the courage, innovation, and creativity to bring about change in the world of publishing. Miller is a perfect example.
'I highly recommend independent publishing because it gives the artists more 'creative control' over the final product. Plus it's flexible and you can easily make your book into an e-book,' said Miller.
'Chippy Chipmunk: Babies in the Garden,'as well as other artwork by Kathy Miller,is available for purchase at the Hamburg Area Art Alliance.