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Port Townsend native brightens the Big Apple

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A Port Townsend girl has grown up to make it big in the Big Apple.

Apryl Miller, a poet, collage artist and designer, has hosted photo shoots at her colorful and creative apartment for more than 10 years. She’s turned her apartment into an art piece itself, blurring the boundaries between art, design and fashion.

“I’m listed with location agencies,” she explained, and collaborates with companies such as Glamour magazine, Lee jeans, Working Mother and others seeking an eclectic background for their photos.

“Every photo shoot is like a collaboration,” she said. “They’re mixing their products with my art as a backdrop. They’re putting the models on my carpets, they’re putting them on my sculptures.”

A TV pilot episode was shot there – something involving cooking in her kitchen, which is no less extravagantly decorated than the rest of her 4,000-square-foot apartment, which overlooks Central Park East.

“It’s a really special environment, there’s no question about that,” Miller said. Everything down to the last detail is custom-designed for the space: the beds, the island in the kitchen, the vanities in the bathroom.

“I had an architect and a contractor, but I was the artistic director,” she said.

She was once “on hold” for a Britney Spears video; the producers asked her to reserve two days for the video shoot, but later went somewhere else. A video was made of a photo shoot done there with the actress, singer and model Zoë Kravitz, daughter of Lenny Kravitz, for ASOS, a large online fashion retailer based in the United Kingdom. Click here to see the video.

In July, Miller was featured in the first of a series of articles on the Saks Fifth Avenue blog about designers, tastemakers and industry insiders. The section is called “Ravishing Rooms,” and focuses on Miller, described as “the woman behind the home that’s known in many circles as one of New York’s most ravishing cornerstones of creativity.”

Miller’s father, the Rev. Marshall Miller, was chaplain at the state Juvenile Diagnostic and Treatment Center at Fort Worden in Port Townsend in the 1960s. The family lived in one of the duplexes that looked out at the parade ground; Miller had a view of the Point Wilson Lighthouse from her bedroom window. Her mother, Muriel Miller, taught music in local schools and also led a choir for kids at Fort Worden. Apryl Miller attended Port Townsend High School through her sophomore year, and last summer attended her 40th reunion here.

“I feel like my work has a very strong Northwest sensibility to it,” she said. “When they see my art, people say, ‘You’re not from around here,’” she said. “It’s not New York City art. It’s bright, it’s bold, it’s colorful.”

She said her work is not “all beachy,” but does have certain motifs: beach glass, seaweed, sand dollars, glass floats, crab shells, fish. “There’s no question that that stuff shows up in my work.”

See more about Miller at aprylmiller.com. Click here to see the Saks article and click here for the Zoë Kravitz video.

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