Shala Miller

Shala Miller's work in photography and film meditates on the intersection of desire, mourning, pain, and pleasure. Taking up skin as a site of history and intimacy with the self and across generations, they hold space for the body’s vulnerabilities and maladies.

She has a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and teaches at Parsons, Pratt, and ICP. Her book, Tender Noted, was voted best photo book of 2022 by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and her art work is in the collections of MoMA, the Hessel Museum, and The Lumber Room among others.

Also known as Freddie June when she sings, Shala was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, by two southerners named Al and Ruby. At around the age of 10 or 11, Miller discovered quietude, the kind you’re sort of pushed into, and then was fooled into thinking that this is where she should stay put. Since then, she has been trying to find her way out, and find her way into an understanding of herself and her history, using photography, video, writing, and singing as an aid in this process.

Shala’s Classes

As a black-and-white photographer without any art education beyond crayons, I knew I needed to learn color someday. Shala taught me how to think and see in color, so I now seamlessly switch between color and black-and-white based on the emotions I’m trying to convey. She excelled at facilitating our group’s discussions and had terrific links to things we needed to read and look at to help us expand our vision. I am forever grateful for her mentoring and guidance.
—Kevin (New Jersey)