Shantel Miller intentionally works with oil paint to make portraits as it allows for a kind of appropriation to take place. Traditionally, portraits made with oil usually connote power, class and gender. As a black woman choosing to use oil paints to make portraits, her paintings hope to renew and reinvest possibilities that can democratize image making. She understands painting as a tool for exploring autobiographical themes that reinstate the multiplicity of blackness. Her artistic practice interrogates societal constructs of blackness to examine the varying ways black bodies occupy space is visual culture. Miller layers symbolic figures, familiar imagery and events to further complicate representations of blackness.
In 2013, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCADU), majoring in Drawing and Painting.
Miller has exhibited her work extensively across Canada and has recently completed a residency on Cuttyhunk Island along the coast of Boston, Massachusetts.