George A. Miller

Owner, Black Arts Plus & OSU Alumnus
Barnett Ambassadors
Portrait of George MillerWhat does a man who has “done it all” – PhD professor and teacher at Columbus Technical Institute, an entrepreneur creating businesses such as a car wash, a grocery store and a beauty supply store, and the first African American Director of the Franklin County Welfare Department - do for an encore? For the past 26 years Dr. George Miller has run the iconic Black Art Plus store on the west side of Parsons Avenue north of Oak Street. Without an artistic background how did he get involved in the arts? In 1984, while visiting Los Angeles he was invited to visit a very special store that haunted him. He felt compelled to open a similar one in Columbus. How did he choose Parsons Avenue? While driving around the neighborhood, the mother of a friend pointed to the mock Tudor row of storefronts and said, “That is where you will open your store.” And he did. His business specializes in art that honors the culture and history of marginalized groups, primarily African Americans, but also including Native American and immigrant groups. A stroll through this eclectic enclave will take you from ancient Egypt through WW II up to modern times with images highlighting the contributions of those who might have escaped the history books. Speaking of books – Dr. Miller also carries an impressive array of unusual books that are not easily found at other bookstores. Beautifully carved African sculptures, masks and figurines fill the nooks and crannies. While visual art seems to be the main focus of the store, framing (the “Plus” in the name) is what brings in the bacon. George’s plans for the future include possibly developing an Internet presence (Olde Towne Times - Summer 2013).