Christopher Miles is a Los Angeles based artist and educator. He grew up in Southern California surrounded by a family ceramics business.
Chris began his undergraduate studies at Illinois Wesleyan University as a double major in Art and Religion/Philosophy, and completed his BA with emphasis in Art at the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara. He earned his MFA at the School of Fine Arts (now the Roski School) at the University of Southern California, where he worked in ceramics, drawing, painting, and sculpture.
Chris has taught at Art Center College of Design, the Claremont Graduate University, Los Angeles Mission College, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and the University of Southern California. He joined the CSULB Art faculty in 1998 as a part-time lecturer. He was subsequently hired on as a full-time lecturer in 2000, appointed Assistant Professor in 2003, tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 2006, and promoted to the rank of Professor in 2011.
In his early years at CSULB, Chris taught some studio classes, but focused his instructional efforts mainly on seminars, critiques, lecture courses, and work with graduate students in studio areas as well as art history. This emphasis in his instructional activity paralleled his professional trajectory during this period, when he focused on work as a curator and as a writer of art journalism and criticism while maintaining a studio practice on the side. Between 1995 and 2010, Chris published numerous writings in journals including American Ceramics, Art & Auction, Artforum, Art in America, Art Lies, Art Nexus, Art Papers, artext, Artweek, dart, Flash Art, Flaunt, Frieze, The LA Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, TATE ETC., Tema Celeste, X-Tra and other publications. He has contributed catalog and exhibition essays for projects at venues including the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Las Vegas Art Museum, the Luckman Center at Cal State L.A., the Montgomery Gallery at Pomona College, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt. Chris received a 2004 Penny McCall Award for his work as a writer and curator, and received a 2005 award for “Best Thematic Exhibition Nationally” from AICA/USA, the United States chapter of the International Association of Art Critics, for the Hammer Museum's survey exhibition Thing: New Sculpture from Los Angeles, which Chris co-curated with James Elaine and Aimee Chang. In 2010, Chris worked with co-curator Kris Kuramitsu to organize the Los Angeles participation in the 2010 ARCOmadrid International Contemporary Art Fair, and the exhibition L.A. Invisible Cities at the Instituto Cervantes in Madrid.
In the early 2000s, Chris began shifting the balance of his professional/creative life gradually back to the studio, with an interest in reconnecting with ceramics and other material practices. In 2008, when Chris was awarded a sabbatical, his CSULB colleague, Professor Tony Marsh, invited him to work as an artist in residence in the Ceramic Arts area. Chris took up residence in the Ceramic Arts area and never left. He remained an active presence in the Ceramic Arts Program even while serving in administrative capacities for the CSULB School of Art and College of the Arts, and in 2014, Chris returned to teaching, primarily in the Ceramic Arts Program. He has served as Ceramic Arts Program head since 2016.
In recent years, Chris has focused primarily on working in the studio and exhibiting his sculptures. He has participated in multiple group exhibitions at ACME gallery, Actual Size gallery, L.A. Louver Gallery, Mount St. Mary’s College, the Pacific Design Center, and the Torrance Art Museum. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at ACME gallery, Cuesta College, and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. His work has been reviewed in ARTLURKER, Artillery, Artweek, Art in America, the L.A. Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Notes on Looking, and Sculpture Magazine.
Chris has served on panels and lectured at venues including Art Center College of Design, California Institute of the Arts, the Claremont Graduate University, Cornell University, the Getty Museum, the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, the Hammer Museum, Otis College of Art and Design, the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and USC.
At CSULB, Chris has served in multiple leadership and administrative roles. From 2006 to 2009, he served as Associate Chair of the Department of Art, and from 2007 to 2009, he also served as Graduate Advisor and Gallery Director for the Department of Art. From 2009 to 2010, he served as interim Associate Dean of the College of the Arts. From 2010 to 2012, he served as Chair of the Department of Art and oversaw the department’s redesignation as the School of Art. After serving briefly as the school’s inaugural Director, he took on the role of interim Dean of the CSULB College of the Arts from 2012 to 2014. He has served multiple years on the CSULB Academic Senate and Academic Senate Executive Committee, and has been actively involved in shared governance.
Chris has been active in CSULB assessment efforts, has twice served on steering committees and writing groups for the Department of Art/School of Art self-studies and reaccreditation with the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (2005-06, 2017-18), and has served as an external reviewer for the MFA art programs at Otis College of Art and Design and UC Riverside as well as the undergraduate art programs at Pomona College and CSU Bakersfield.
- MFA, School of Fine Arts, University of Southern California
- BA, College of Creative Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
Ceramic Arts, Sculpture, Art Theory and Criticism, Modern and Contemporary Art