Alexander Millar’s Everyday Heroes:
FDNY Museum and Millar Fine Art Pop-Up Gallery
April 3rd-20th, 2018
New York’s firefighters (FDNY) are renowned across the world for their valour, dedication and sacrifice. Now, they have inspired the acclaimed UK artist Alexander Millar to create a new body of work that honours the city’s ‘Bravest’ and celebrates the qualities that make them some of the most extraordinary working people on the planet.
Taking inspiration from archive material from the New York City Fire Museum, and the Vulcan Society (a fraternal organization of Black Firefighters), including photographs of the 18th, 19th and 20th century firefighter, Millar has created a collection of portraits and cityscapes that show respect, humor and warmth for the everyday heroes of the city, communicating a strong sense of the people behind the uniforms.
Millar launched his new collection, Everyday Heroes • NYC, at the New York City Fire Museum on April 3rd, where visitors had the oppotunity to view original artwork in oil and pencil, plus limited edition customized prints available for purchase, all of which have been created in Millar’s trademark contemporary impressionist style. The show then transferrred to the Millar Fine Art Pop-Up Gallery, in Soho, New York for an expanded exhibition that presented critically-acclaimed work from recent years, alongside his new collection inspired by New York and its working people, from the fire department and beyond.
Millar has donated 20% of the profits from sales of one of his new artworks, ‘We Can Be Heroes’, to the city’s Fire Museum and the Vulcan Society.
“The New York firefighters are an iconic representation of the spirit of New York in many ways, I am in awe of what they gave and the courage they showed during 9/11 and to this day. I wanted to create an exhibition that shows not only a hero, but also a father, brother, son, daughter, mother and sister. I’m honored and humbled that the New York City Fire Museum has welcomed me to showcase my work there,” states Alexander Millar.
Alexander Millar is a Scotsman who has built his considerable artistic reputation on capturing the spirit and simple humanity of working men and women living in industrial environments in his native UK, in a characteristic style full of warmth and humor.
He has drawn on this background in his attempts to capture the special atmosphere of New York, a city he has long admired and loved. He is a regular attendee at the annual Tartan Week celebrations, which coincided this year with the opening of his exhibition.
Working in partnership with the Vulcan Society, Millar has been strong to demonstrate the diversity of those who protect and serve the city. The collection includes a commemorative portrait of Wesley A. Williams, the man who became the first African American Battalion Chief in the New York City Fire Department, which Millar presented to the Vulcan Society on the opening night, on April 3rd, 2018. In addition, Millar also presented the city’s Fire Museum with a painting of unsung hero Walter ‘Wally’ Malone, a former Fire Department lieutenant who volunteered at the museum for many years after 9/11. A wonderfully outgoing man who spent many hours with visitors telling them firefighting stories, Wally died last year at the age of 83. The painting of Wally is to become a part of the Fire Museum’s permanent collection.
“Just as the NYC Fire Museum displays firefighter portraits from the 19th and 20th Centuries, Alexander Millar’s work will be viewed as documenting the FDNY in the 21st Century and will be looked upon with great admiration by past, current and future generations. We are proud to sponsor his exhibition and we are grateful for his support of our mission to ‘Educate, Celebrate and Preserve.’” – The New York City Fire Museum
“The Vulcan Society is very excited to be a part of this important project. We are honored that one of our heroes and founder Chief Wesley Williams will be recognized through art to display his greatness. We are excited to have this realistic image of people of color serving their community and hope that this inspires others to embrace this profession and do the same. Thank you to Alexander Millar for your vision and labor of love. We appreciate you in every way.” – The Vulcan Society