Recently, local artist Natalee Miller created a mural in the girls dorm at The Chase Home in Portsmouth. For Miller, the opportunity to work with The Chase Home was special in a multitude of ways.
“I love doing murals and working larger than I do on a day to day basis,” she said. “They gave me total artistic freedom, which is very rare and kind of a dream project. Most of my work and style also revolves around the female experience in some way, so it was a no-brainer.”
An illustrator and designer, she said she has had the urge lately to “go large scale and play with interiors and spaces more,” which made the project at The Chase Home even more enjoyable.
“I love doing murals and treating walls like a huge sheet of drawing paper,” said Miller, who said all her works tend to reflect a revolving collection of themes and things that inspire her.
She does tend to work with common conceptual threads that generally relate to history, nostalgia and fashion.
“I also can’t seem to break away from the late 70s and 80s no matter what I do,” she laughed.
In total, the project took 15 hours to complete.
“I had to work in small time increments while school was in session so I wouldn’t be in the way,” she added.
While at The Chase Home, Miller said she did, however, have the chance to meet some of the youth who live there.
“They did keep me company a few times and it was fun and hilarious,” she said. “Everyone I met there was great.”
The Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler expressed appreciation for Miller’s artistic contribution.
“It is wonderful to have this place feel as much like a home as possible,” she said. “The girls love this mural and so does the staff.”
Miller said she is also thankful that she was “handed this wall and trusted to do [her] thing.”
“The whole experience was great,” she said. “Everyone was incredibly warm and accommodating, and I’m honored to have my work at The Chase Home.”
Founded in 1877, The Chase Home in Portsmouth is one of the oldest nonprofits in New Hampshire, serving more than 140 at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at The Chase Home.
To learn more about The Chase Home, visit www.chasehome.org.