Cheryl Miller, 46 Million Turkeys

Cheryl Miller, 46 Million TurkeysCheryl Miller is an artist whose life was changed while working at Farm Sanctuary in upstate New York.  One year, while at the Sanctuary, Cheryl experienced a Thanksgiving like no other.  Like most Americans, Thanksgiving is a major celebration for the farm’s staff. But at Farm Sanctuary, they celebrate Thanksgiving with a twist.  Staff would prepare and serve the resident turkeys a feast of greens, cranberries, squash, and pumpkin pie. “It was so delightful for me to watch the honored guests gather round, cluck, and peck at the offering prepared just for them,” explains Cheryl. “It was without question, one of my favorite and most memorable Thanksgivings since becoming a vegetarian in 1980.”

Following that experience, she created a personal and meaningful tradition to celebrate the holiday.  For the past 15 years she has painted turkey portraits on Thanksgiving. Now Cheryl is taking it to the next level by creating 46millionturkeys – a community participatory art project.

Many sources estimate that 46 million turkeys are killed and eaten each year on Thanksgiving.  Cheryl’s vision is to invite guests to a virtual Thanksgiving table by creating a  a mini portrait in honor of each of the 46 million turkeys destined for holiday tables this year.  This year, during the week of Thanksgiving, 46millionturkeys will be on display at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell, Maine.

Cheryl says, “while I cannot personally stop the slaughter of 46 million animals for a holiday tradition, it is my belief, that through this project I can help influence how people see a holiday, a tradition, and a bird.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if 46millionturkeys.com redefined an American holiday tradition!”

Pollination Project funding will be used for outreach and marketing materials.

GRANT AWARD DATE:  OCTOBER 30, 2013