Born as Patti Miller, Patris grew up in northwest Montana, surrounded by mountains, towering pines, and flowing rivers. However, teen years turned turbulent and after high school, two choices emerged: Go to art school or enroll in bible college and straighten out her troubled life. Leaving art dreams behind, Patti enrolled at Crown College. She befriended and tutored Southeast Asian refugees whose struggles in a new language and culture made their studies nearly impossible. They taught her about their culture, customs and language and she considered teaching English in the Thai refugee camps. Instead of Thailand, she moved to Minneapolis and worked to pay off her college debt before moving to California where a multitude of Southeast Asian refugees had settled. In Sacramento, she enrolled at Sacramento State University to obtain a teaching credential and a Masters Degree in English Language Development. For several years, Patti worked as a Language Development Specialist, teaching English to Southeast Asian refugee children in a model ESL program.
Restlessness prompted her to work part-time and devote her time to neighborhood improvement projects in Oak Park where she lived. Volunteer work offered invaluable experiences, new acquaintances, and opportunities to help launch some major accomplishments in the community. When her mother died of cancer, questions about life and purpose plagued Patris’ mind. Months of soul searching rekindled a love for art repressed since high school and in 1998 she enrolled in art classes at Sacramento City College. Choosing the artist name Patris, she resolved to support Oak Park revitalization efforts, pay tribute to her mother and honor God with her art. In addition to her vivid images of local landscapes and urban images, her work focuses on the beauty and charm of Oak Park – as one of her greatest aspirations is to help her community overcome the negative influences embedded there. Patris celebrates the renaissance of Oak Park and invites others to discover the treasures of Sacramento’s earliest established suburb. On July 14, 2012, Patris relocated her studio, gallery and art center from the corner of 12th and S in downtown Sacramento into the Oak Park Historic District to become a major player in the flourishing revitalization efforts underway there. Now the Patris Studio and Gallery- Northern California’s premier art venue for art classes, live drawing/painting sessions, art exhibits and much more– is a flourishing mecca for artists and art lovers from near and far, from beginner to professional, from young to old, to come together in the creative art spirit.