Artist Statement:

“My process is informed by taking things apart, removing, replacing, cutting, pasting, sewing, and building, in order to discover  the space where transitions occur and where stories of impermanence unfold.”

Weaving threads of African American experiences with broader ideas of identity, and collective history, my work investigates the fragile interconnectivity among all living things. Fragmented, constructed, and reassembled, I shed light on the multifaceted and complex parallels between the creative process and the nature of personal identity.

My paintings feature abstracted, geometric shapes that imply movement – colorful forms expand and collapse freely among glittery backgrounds with hints of landscape and structural objects such as rooftops, windows and doors. While the textiles draw on the domestic and artistic traditions of quilt-making, they are pieced together, combining culturally diverse fabrics.

While my work pays homage to the past through the use of repurposed fabrics and historical iconography, its bright atheistic imagery is informed by the future. The art reminds us of the importance of renewal and rebuilding, not only through the artistic process, but also through the possibility of transformative change.


Adia Millett, originally from Los Angeles, California received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. In 2001, she moved to New York City for the prestigious Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, followed by the Studio Museum in Harlem residency program.  Millett has been a standout in numerous group exhibitions including the well-received “Greater New York” show at PS1 in Long Island City, New York and “Freestyle” at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.  In the past, she has been included in exhibitions at the Barbican Gallery in London; The Craft and Folk Museum in LA; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta; The Santa Monica Museum of Art; and The Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans.  Millett has taught as an artist in residence at Columbia College in Chicago, UC Santa Cruz, Cooper Union in NY,  and California College of the Arts. Millett currently has a solo show at the California African American Museum.




2000    MFA California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA

1997    BFA University of California at Berkeley, CA


Selected Exhibitions

2019    Infinite Edges, Traywick Contemporary, Berkeley, CA

2019    The Privilege to Breathe, TheSan Jose Quilt and Textile Museum, CA

2019    Breaking Patterns, The California African American Museum, CA

2019    Black Refractions, Museum of African Diaspora, CA

2018    Transition to Freedom, KP Projects Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2018    Borderline, Trestle Gallery, New York ,NY

2018    Burning Bright,  DZINE Gallery, SF, CA

2017    Divide and Connect, State Space Gallery, San Francisco ,CA

2017    Home Economics, Woskob Family Gallery, Sate College, PA

2017    The Guest House, Patricia Sweetow, Oakland CA

2017    Where is Here, Museum of African Diaspora, CA

2016    Re-Connect, Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CA

2016    Solo, East Bay Mud, Oakland, CA

2015    Who is Oakland? Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, CA

2014    Homeland [IN]Security: Vanishing Dreams, Dorsky Gallery, NY

2014    Solo, Mixedgreens, New York, NY

2012    Solo, Mixedgreens, New York, NY

2011    Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2011    Mini Size Me, Bakersfield Museum, Bakersfield, CA

2011    Discovery, Stumble Upon, New York, NY

2011    An Exchange with Sol LeWitt, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA

2011    An Exchange with Sol LeWitt, Cabinet Magazine, Brooklyn, NY

2010    Open Engagement Conference, Grotto Gallerie, Portland OR

2010    Process in Product, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL

2010    Day to Day, Martos Gallery, New York, NY 

2010    Some Assembly Required, Craft and Folk Art Museum, CA

2009    Solo, Mixedgreens, New York, NY

2009    Some Assembly Required, Sesnon Gallery, Santa Cruz CA

2009    Living Beyond Our Means, UCR Sweeney Art Gallery, Riverside, CA

2008    Stages, Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, LA

2008    Stretching The Truth, John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI

2008    Proofs and Illusions, Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, VA

2007    Solo, Mixed Greens, New York, NY

2007    Homegrown, David Krut Projects, New York, NY                              

2007    Swab, Barcelona, Spain

2007    Shaken, Not Deterred, New York, NY

2007    The View From Here, Skylight Gallery, Brooklyn NY

2006    REVOLVER, Plataforma Revovler, Lisbon, Portugal

2006    Beast, Finesilver Gallery, Houston, TX

2006    Passing Shadows, Mixed Greens Gallery, New York, NY

2006    The Space Between Us, University at Albany Art Museum

2006    The Harlem Arts Project, Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, NY

2006    Harlem Postcards, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY

2005    A Universe of Art 2005, Credit Suisse First Boston, New York, NY

2005    The Greater NY Show, PS1 MOMA, Queens, NY

2005    New stArt, Sotheby’s, New York, NY

2005    BAM Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY

2005    Solo, Mixed Greens, New York, NY

2005    Propeller, Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2005    African Queen, Studio Museum in Harlem, NY

2004    Black President, Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, OH

2004    Remembering, The Sweeney Gallery at UC Riverside, CA

2004    Solo, Comme Ca, Manchester, UK

2004    Seeds and Roots, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY

2004    Solo, Cherrydelosreyes Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2004    Black President,Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK

2004    Black President, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Fransisco, CA

2004    Hubris, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL

2004    Fade,Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA

2003    Undomesticated Interiors, Smith College Museum of Art, MA

2003    Urban Aesthetics, California African American Museum, ,CA

2003    Black Pesident, New Museum, New York, NY  

2003    Better Homes & Gardens, Zoller Gallery, PA

2003    Living Units, Triple Candie, New York, NY

2003    Off The Record, Skylight Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2003    Towards A Low End Theory, Minn. Center for Photography,MN

2003    Color, Culture, & Complexity, Museum of Contemporary Art, GA

2002    A Moments Notice,  Inman Gallery, Houston, TX

2002    Staged/Unstaged,, Riva Gallery, New York, NY

2002    Modern Living, Mixed Greens, Philadelphia, PA

2002    The Brewster Project, Brewster, NY

2002    Ironic/ Iconic, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY

2002    Friends and Family, Lombard-Freid Gallery, New York, NY

2002    Material World, Susquehanna Art Museum, PA

2001    Freestyle, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY;

2001    Freestyle, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA

2000    Sitegeist, Porter Troope Gallery, San Diego, CA

1999    CalArts Postal, Studio 9, London, England 

1999    Absolute Biennial, Watts Towers Art Center, Los Angeles, CA


Teaching Experience


2017     California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

2013    Berkeley Arts Magnet, Berkeley, CA

2013    Museum of Childrens Art, Oakland, CA

2011    California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA

2009    Cooper Union Teaching Artist, New York, NY

2009    First Five, Richmond, CA

2009    University of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz CA

2008    Master Classes, Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, VA

2007    Cooper Union Teaching Artist, New York, NY

2006    Children’s Museum of Art, New York, NY

2004    Columbia College Visiting Teaching Artist Residency, Chicago, IL

2004    Leadership Program, New York, NY

2000    Oakwood High School, Los Angeles, CA

2000    Armory, Pasadena, CA


Grants, Fellowships, Residencies



2015    Fountainhead Residency, Miami, FL

2010    Three Walls Artist Residency. SAIC, Chicago, IL

2009    The Nest, Oakland CA

2009    University of California at Santa Cruz, Visiting Teaching Artist, CA

2007    Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin, CA

2006    Cooper Union Teaching Artist, New York, NY

2004    Columbia College Visiting Teaching Artist Residency, Chicago, IL

2003    New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, NY

2002    Studio Museum in Harlem Residency, New York, NY

2001    Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York, NY

2001    Van Lier Fellowship, New York, NY

2000    Philip Morris Fellowship, Santa Clarita, CA

1997    Alumni Scholarship UC Berkeley, CA

1994    Rotary Club Award, Pasadena, CA



Lectures, Symposiums, Panels


2017 Artist Talk, Museum of African Diaspora, CA

2008     Slide Lecture, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

2008     Slide Lecture/Class, Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, VA

2007     Slide lecture, Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin, CA

2005     Slide lecture, Columbia College, NY

2004     Slide Lecture, University of California at Riverside, CA

2004     Slide Lecture, Albany Center Galleries, Albany, NY

2004     Slide Lecture, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL

2004     Slide Lecture, Penn State, University Park, PA

2003     Slide Lecture, Columbia College, Chicago, IL

2003     Slide Lecture, Smith College Museum of Art, MA

2003     Artist Speaks, New Museum, NY

2003     Panel Discussion, California African American Museum, CA

2002     Artist’s Voice, The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY

2002     Interview, New York One, NY

2001     Interview, Charlie Rose, NY

2001     Panel Discussion, Santa Monica Museum, CA



Selected Reviews, Articles


2015      Marchell Salgado, Lodown Magazine,

2014      Cynthia Nadelman, Adia Millett at Mixed Greens,  Art News

2010      Alex Hanson, Wall Drawings, Valley New

2010      Maura Ahern, Interview, Three Walls, Chicago,

2010      Adia Millett, You Are Here, Studio Chicago, August

2009      Maureen Davidson, Some Assembly Required, Artweek, May

2009      Wallace Baine, Sesnon, Santa Cruz Sentinel, March 13

2008      Eric Bookhardt, Best Of New Orleans, September 23

2008      Betsy Dijulio, Agitation & Beautiful Illusions, Portfolio Weekly, VA,   

2007      R.C. Baker, Enjoy Every Scapula, Village Voice, September 25

2007      Sarah Schmerler, Domestic Brew, Village Voice, June 27

2007      Miguel Amado, (Re) Volver, Artorum, October,23

2006      Greg, Ideas For Dozens, October

2006      Wendy Goodman, Brooklyn Style, New York Magazine, May 1

2006       Christopher Bollen, Craft, Domino, March

2006       Chioma Nnadi, Nobody’s Home, Fader Magazine, March

2005       Linda Yablonsky, Why Small Is Big, Art News, December

2005       Eileen Kinsella, Where the Buys Are, Art News, November

2005       Carly Berwick, Where the Scenes are, New York Magazine, March 7

2005       Lauren O’neil-Butler, Domestic Disturbances, Bitch  Magazine

2005       Aram Moshayedi, Remembering, NY Arts, January

2004       Andrew Lavallee, NYPress, NY

2004       Leah Ollman, It’s always marching on, Los Angeles Times, CA

2003       Doug Ashford, Time Out, May 29

2003       Derek Murray, “Ironic/Iconic”, Art in America, March

2003       Holland Cotter, Off the Record, New York Times, May16

2003       Catherine Fox, Shades of Racism, The Atlantic Journal-Constitution,

2003       Kelly Klaasmeyer,  Memory Lane, Houston Press, Nov.7-13

2002       Christopher Bollen, Ironic/ Iconic”, Time Out, September 12-19

2002       Goings On, The New Yorker, September 9

2002       Holland Cotter, Ironic/ Iconic, New York Times, August 2

2002       Franklin Sirmans, “Friends & Family”, Time Out, July 11-18

2002       Tonya Foster ,(Re)Direct(ing) Light, NY Foundation for the Arts,

2001       Amelia Jones, the post-black bomb, Tema Celeste, Issue 90

2001       Holland Cotter, A Full Studio Museum…, New York Times, May 11

2001       Jerry Saltz, Post Black, Village Voice, May 16-22