My next show will be Southern Masters II at the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama. Come see it if you can. www.mobilemuseumofart.com/exhibitions/southern-masters-ii-marion-pinky-bass-ruth-miller-miriam-n-omura/
This is a photo of my sister Bebe (choreographer, dance teacher and founder of Bebe Miller Company) with "Congregants", one of my pieces. It was on view in a group exhibition titled "Southern Threads" at the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center in Portsmouth OH from September through November, 2019. The other artists in the group show were Anita Cooke and Nonney Oddlokken, both Mississippi Gulf Coast Artists. SOMACC www.somacc.com has a serious mission to bring the best of thoughtful, quality art to southern Ohio and community groups who often don't get included in arts events. I had not heard of them before this year but that's the reason I chose to be part of the Southern Threads show. See them in action here:
In the Fall issue of OxfordAmerican.org, there's an article by a great Mississippi journalist William Browning. This one covers a lot of my life story, especially as it concerns my art and how this New York City-born artist came to be a Mississippi artist. The Oxford American is a national magazine with deep insights on what's going on down South. Check it out here:
The Mississippi Arts Commission has announced that I'll be receiving the Mississippi Governor's Award for Excellence in Visual Art.
If you'd like to see what else is going on in the arts in Mississippi, visit MAC's site:
Had a great time in Gatlinburg TN at Arrowmont! This past summer, I applied to attend the Figurative Association Symposium. All the presenters were wonderful artists whose work is thoughtful, technically proficient and soulful. I couldn't wait to hear about the wonderful ways the figure is being handled in contemporary art. Not one of them let me down! I came away from it so full and eager to apply what I'd learned from their approaches. It was heartwarming just to be among all the artists Arrowmont draws.
An extra blessing was that, upon receiving my application to be an attendee, I was asked to give the closing keynote speech. I am so pleased at its reception. Folks said they especially appreciated my closing remarks which I'd like to share with you, my readers.
While I still lived in New York City, I had been approached by a gallerist who offered me a solo show. She felt that ten pieces would be adequate. But, since my works take on average a year to complete, that number required a 10-year commitment to fulfill. That was what precipitated my move to Mississippi where there was nothing between me and the required focus. That focus cost me the company of my closest family and friends as well as all the benefits of living in New York. On top of that, amassing a collection - even one as small as that - required that the work could not be sold. That limited my income. Focusing on small sections of a piece, seated hour after hour, is also hard on the body. I was willing to do it all. But now, after 9 years, I realize that that approach - while good for production - was a form of violence to the Self. I recommended that artists aim for some amount of moderation. Art is only part of our lives and even art is benefitted by healthy minds and bodies.
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts
556 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN 37738
Penland is some kind of gorgeous! Once you arrive, you don't want to leave. The property is a beautiful, art-filled landscape (hand-forged railings, mosaic signage, bead-sprinkled paving, exotic plantings.) Atmospheric housing. Even better, it is filled with committed artists. It did my heart good to soak it all in.
Many of Penland's buildings have evocative names. The one I slept in was called "Heavens Above". It was enclosed by natural stone and filled with wood walls and furnishings. Like a camp cabin but several notches up. (Refined Rustic?) This is the path toward the "Lily Loom House" that housed the clay, metals, main office and the two textile studios. My class was in "upper textiles," above weaving and adjacent to dyeing. Below is the back door, seen below, where I entered twice a day.
Just before my arrival, there was an exhibition in which my work was included at the Penland Gallery & Visitors Center. It was entitled "I dwell in Possibility: Unconventional work by Penland instructors" (March 27 - May 13, 2018).
If you ever want to learn from the country's finest instructors in the company of committed artists in this beautiful setting, please contact:
Penland School of Crafts
Post Office Box 37
Penland, NC 28765-0037
There are scholarships and work-study opportunities available.
I'm back in The City participating in a Mackey Twins exhibition which is on view weekdays 9:00am until 5:00pm until May 31, 2018. The exhibition is titled: Intellectual Property: Art and Politics. This group show is being held at the Interchurch Center Gallery, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115, directly across the street from the famous Riverside Church. Art is by participating artists Xenobia Bailey, Stacey Brown, Leroy Campbell, James Denmark, Essud Fungcap, Magno Laracuente, Charly Palmer, TWIN and myself. All works are for sale.
Teacup Fishing (illustrated above) is one of folks' favorite pieces by me. At the Interchurch Center Gallery, you can see from a distance how what appears to be a painting becomes something else entirely when you're up close. You might think it's similar to a painting created with a palette knife or some other highly textured technique but it's not. If you're in town, see it for yourself.
It didn't occur to me before but maybe my interest in teaching others about the processes I use to create my art came from my mother who was an elementary school teacher. If so, my sister, choreographer Bebe Miller, seems to have picked up on it too. Here's a recent article in the New York Times that links to one of Bebe's sites.
I will be teaching at a famous American arts and crafts school next June. In thinking about that session, I've been wondering... If you could attend a class taught by me, what would you like to learn?