Roland Miller, a Chicago native, studied photography at Utah State University, earning his B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees. For 14 years, he taught photography at Brevard Community College (now Eastern Florida State College) in Cocoa, Florida; where he first gained access to many nearby secure NASA sites. He then taught at the College of Lake County (CLC) in Grayslake, Illinois for six years before becoming dean of its Communication Arts, Humanities and Fine Arts division in 2008. Miller has been photographically documenting and interpreting the United States’ space program for over 25 years. His series of images, Abandoned in Place, records the remains of the early space launch and research facilities around the country. Abandoned in Place is a unique body of work that documents the technology and facilities used in one of the greatest adventures of the 20th century. The University of New Mexico Press recently published this work as Abandoned in Place: Preserving America’s Space History. The book has a foreword by Dr. Roger D. Launius who is director for collections and curatorial affairs at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The book also includes essays by space journalist Craig Covault, art historian Dr. Betsy Fahlman, space archeologist Dr. Beth O’Leary, and astronaut and space shuttle commander Pamela Melroy.
Miller’s work has been featured in Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine, The New Scientist, Vantage, Wired.com, International Business Times, La Repubblica, Vice, Motherboard, Hyperallergic, C|NET, The Daily Mail, ABC News.com, Florida Today, Kodak’s Photo Educator International, and numerous other publications.
Miller’s photography has been exhibited at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center in Florida; the Huntsville Museum of Art in Alabama; the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, New Mexico; the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida; the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas; the Switzer Gallery at Pensacola State College in Florida; Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, China; and numerous other museums and galleries. A selection of images from the Abandoned in Place series was on display in the Astronaut Crew Quarters at the Kennedy Space Center from 1998 to 2000. Abandoned in Place will be on display at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver, Colorado through July 2016.
Images from Abandoned in Place are included in many permanent collections including the NASA Art Collection in Washington, DC; the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Illinois; the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, Albuquerque, New Mexico; the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Hutchinson, Kansas; the American Cultural Center, Xi’an International University, Xi’an, China.
Miller’s honors include receiving a 2011 Illinois Arts Council Individual Artist Grant, a NISOD Teaching Excellence Award in 2006, and being named one of the Top 100 New Photographers, 1987 Photography's Annual Awards, Maine Photographic Workshops.