Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

(Illustration: Eliot Faine/The Citizen)
CoA to host blood drive
College health coordinator says blood donations fell during pandemic
Eliot Faine, Staff Writer • April 13, 2024
Childhood photo of Burgess
Tea with Tamara: Drew Burgess, art faculty at College of Alameda
Tamara Copes, Columnist • February 21, 2024

    Women of the world

    New exhibit spotlights Laney student Adrienne Miller’s globe-trotting photography

    “Adorned,” a photograph by Adrienne Miller, features a Akha woman chewing a betel nut near Chiang Rai, North Thailand. The image is on display through May 20, 2017 at the Laney College Photography Department.

    By Lauri Bloom

    Adrienne Miller’s brilliant portrait photos from Siberia and the Far East are on display through May 20 in the Laney Photography Department in A-185.

    Miller is from Burbank, north of Los Angeles. So why did she travel the world and photograph humanity so far from home?

    “I think definitely in my twenties I was restless, and I think that I did not love Los Angeles,” Miller said. “I was trying to find my own sense of home. I traveled far and wide to find what home felt like for me.”

    Miller is an environmental engineer, meaning she studies and works to improve the quality of land, air, and water. Environmental engineers investigate suspect contaminants and the effects of those contaminants on the environment.

    While traveling as an engineer, Miller found herself on the Trans Siberian Railroad.

    “At the time I was living in Stockholm as a guest researcher,” she said. “I wanted to travel from Stockholm, Sweden, to Hong Kong. While traveling across that entire time the landscapes changed.”

    Although Miller sometimes found herself travelling alone, she was never too far from a friendly face.

    “One time I was in India, and my long skirt got stuck on a horse-drawn carriage — it nearly tore off,” she said, explaining what happened during a solo voyage across Asia.

    “Nearby, there was a woman, she grabbed me and guided me into her home. Then without exchanging words she hand-sewed my skirt and I thanked her and could be back on my way.

    “This was necessary as I could not travel without being covered. We didn’t speak the same language but it did not matter.”

    Miller met an astonishing variety of people like that women on her journey, yet she “came away with the message everyone was fundamentally the same. It had a very lasting impact on me.”

    “Reflection,” a photograph by Adrienne Miller, features a Burmese refugee in Paduang Village near Chiang Rai. The image is on display through May 20, 2017 at the Laney College Photography Department.

    Her Inspirations

    Miller’s photography skills began soon after her father bought her first camera at a second hand photo store.

    “I remember the day when we went shopping for the camera, a Nikon F-2 with a 50mm Prime lens,” she said, beaming about her choice of camera. “Non-digital, of course.” Some of the photos in the Laney exhibit were actually taken by that same camera.

    Her beloved camera wasn’t her only source of inspiration. “My biggest life influence was Rachel Carson, a scientist and writer,” Miller said. Carson wrote ‘Silent Spring,’ an influential book.

    “Carson was influential on banning the pesticide DDT, because she was able to interpret the natural world for the general public to understand.”

    Another inspiration was the photographer Gracele Iturdide. “She took lots of photos of queer and minority cultures,” she said. “She is more of a documentarian and environmental portraiture photographer… I love her.”
    But maybe the largest sources of inspiration are her subjects: women of the world.

    Miller has no trouble choosing what to shoot.

    “I’m more naturally drawn to women. I think it is because there are so many images of women that are sexualized, romanticized, and objectified,” she said. “The opportunity to get a positive interaction with my photos is why I do this.”

    Adrienne Miller stands beside an exhibit featuring her work in the Laney College Photography Department in A-185. (Tower/Lauri Bloom)

    Miller chose photography as her tool to express her art because “it came most naturally to me. Both my brothers are artists, my dad is an artist and my mom is a nurse. The aspect of photography does not scare me; it is intuitive.”

    Her favorite photo in the Laney exhibit is “City and Country Family.”

    The black-and-white photo seems timeless except for the contemporary clothing of one subject. Miller favors the element of contrast the garments have in this photo.

    Her next project will be what she had wanted to exhibit this time.

    “I actually wanted do protest art theme this time,” she said.

    Miller has photographer the Occupy movement, the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, D.C., and other displays of activism.

    “I am an activist and feminist,” she declares, “two things that are part of my personality.”

    Her exhibit will be on display through May 20. Her work can also be seen in the Laney Tower, where she works as a writer and photographer.

    Lauri Bloom is a Tower staff writer. Contact her at thelauriverse(at)

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
    Leave a Comment
    Donate to The Citizen
    Our Goal

    Comments (0)

    All Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *