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?
This is a snap from the opening by artist Joey Rice shows four of the artists with Sandy and Ann of Smith & Lens Gallery in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The month-long group show is ending now but it had some wonderful pieces. As they say, "A good time was had by all."
Had to get back to you about the Gallery Talk yesterday. It was fabulous. After a morning of rain, even the weather cooperated. Do I have a photo? No indeed; I was having too much fun. If one of the others who were taking pictures will send me one, I'll share it with you. The folks at the Ohr-O'Keefe said that yesterday's event was a record turnout for an artist talk. Standing room only. At one point the staff had to step out of the hall in order to not go over the fire department's occupancy limit. I was so pleased to have seen all those faces - almost every one is now a new friend. (The rest were old friends.) After my short talk, they asked great questions about my approach to art and I have no doubt that many of them will take my advice that it's never too late to embark and follow through on their own creative endeavors.
I want to thank Debbie Stringer at Today in Mississippi, Keith Wilson at The Biloxi-D'Iberville Press, Tammy Smith at The Sun Herald, all the people at WLOX and WXXV television stations, and Alanderia Whitlock at JZ94.5 radio station for helping us get the word out and for being so hospitable when I was with them. I tended to worry about my public speaking abilities but they really put me at ease. In my previous post, I mentioned some of the Ohr's staff but didn't have everybody's name. It's important that I call them by name because each one helped to make the event and the exhibition a success. The docents are: Effie Clark, Annette Franklin (who wrote me a lovely poem "One Stitch at a Time"), Margaret Browne, Pamela Cevallos Amores and Sharon Barnes. They have been my eyes, ears -- and mouth too -- because they intently and continuously inform themselves about my work and daily pass it on to any visitors who have questions. That the Visitor Services Supervisor Adriaan Simpson is sharp and efficient, I have no doubt. The quality of the docents says it all. Christina Broome, Admissions Representative, and Erin Herrera, Museum Store Manager, pave the way with ready but not pushy info on all the exhibitions. I've seen them both in action greeting visitors at the front desk. No museum these days can work full-throttle without the help of volunteers. I've met some of them but all of them have aided my exhibition by doing their part. They are: Kathy Bristol, Ike Edwards, Dora Faison, Gigi Gunter, Diane Kiser, Linda Mabry, Dudley McAllister, Dale Nunnery and Susan Pollard. I can't close this post without mentioning the Mississippi Arts Commission which has supported me since my arrival in Mississippi. They funded and promoted this exhibition and this month awarded me a Visual Arts Fellowship with support from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Mississippi state legislature. Each of these people and organizations has more than just done his/her job; they've been enthusiastic supporters of me and my work. Many thanks to them all.
And you still have time. The exhibition remains at the Ohr-O'Keefe until August 19, 2017.
Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art (228) 374-5547
386 Beach Boulevard
Biloxi MS 39533
My show at the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art has been going great. The museum has been really supportive. First of all, Rhea Miner and and rest of the curatorial team has hung the show so nicely. It is really pristine and easy to navigate. All the docents are eager and able to explain the fine points of the exhibition. Natalea Thomson in marketing is getting the word out. Executive Director Kevin O'Brien has appeared on live TV with me... twice. On June 13th we appeared on WXXV Fox 25 and this past Wednesday, July 26th, we were on WLOX interviewed by Dave Elliott. And it's working! Everywhere I go people are enthusiastic about it. I've dropped in a couple of times in the past few weeks and some folks tell me they've come back more than once to take it all in. Not only do they like the art itself, they love the fact that they can see the everyday decision-making that is part of the artistic process. All that has brought the Ohr's visitor-numbers up up too, I'm proud to say. And there are about 3 more weeks until closing, August 19th.
The museum has granted me another Artist Talk scheduled for Saturday, July 29, 2017 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. So find out what the fun is all about. Come talk with me, one friend to another at the:
Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art (228) 374-5547
386 Beach Boulevard
Biloxi MS 39533
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The other good news is that one of my pieces, The Evocation and Capture of Aphrodite, is on view simultaneously at the Huntsville Museum of Art, Alabama's leading arts center. The exhibition is called The Red Clay Survey: 2017 Exhibition of Contemporary Southern Art.
The 2017 Survey will be up from July 9 - October 1, 2017. It's solid work shown in a grand piece of architecture. Check out the artists of the Southeast US:
The Huntsville Museum of Art (256) 535-1743
300 Church Street South
Huntsville, AL 35801
Many people have asked me, "How do you do this?" If you're one who'd like to know, now is your opportunity to find out. In a show entitled Thinking Art Into Being: Ruth Miller's Contemporary Embroidery, I will be laying out my entire working process from inspiration to finished tapestry. In conjunction with the art itself will be written descriptions of all I think may not be immediately evident just by looking. If you love working with your hands and are unable to attend one of my tapestry seminars or you're an art-lover who simply wants to peek behind the curtain, you can spend time soaking it all in. This exhibition will be on view at the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art
www.georgeohr.org/admissions/ in its Beau Rivage Resort and Casino Gallery of African American Art from June 13, 2017 until August 19, 2017. It is funded by the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art, located at 386 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi MS 39530, was founded to preserve and promote the unique legacy of Biloxi potter George E. Ohr, emancipated craftsman Pleasant Reed and artist/architect Frank Gehry who designed its award-winning campus. This location is one of the high points along Highway 90 which stretches from Alabama to Texas along the scenic Gulf of Mexico. In addition to the museum, the Mississippi section of Highway 90 is lined with stately mansions and majestic Live Oaks interspersed with exciting attractions, welcoming accommodations and enticing eateries to help you make a day or a week of your visit. Are you more laid-back? Come visit the museum and then sip a lemonade on the sand while watching the sun set over the gulf.
We don't often hear about the emerging contemporary art scene in Mississippi but there is a growing number of artists (many of them top notch) scattered in various parts of the state. Although reared in a city that is one of the major art hubs of the world, in my search for time, space and trees, I've found that thoughtful, well-crafted art is made here too and been lucky enough to meet several local artists who have now become friends. On Saturday, April 8, 2017, I'll be meeting some more of them when I serve as juror for the visual arts competition at the Cotton District Arts Festival (CDAF). For those of you who haven't seen my tapestries in person, one of them will be hanging in the exhibition.
Art encourages people to think deeply and make new discoveries within themselves and among others. By shining a light on the skills of regional artists of all stripes, the forward-looking Mississippi arts establishment hopes to incite engagement with creativity in people who may not have been encouraged to participate in the past. In Starkville, they've brought visual, auditory, gustatory and literary artists together to act as inspiration for festival-goers.
Presented by the Starkville Area Arts Council and Maxx South Broadband, the Cotton District Arts Festival is held each April in the historic Cotton District in Starkville, MS. Named one of the top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association, CDAF hosts a Visual Arts Competition, a Writers' Village, a Taste of Starkville restaurant competition, all bordered by stages for musical performances. I expect that a good time will be had by all who show up. Why don't you be one of them? I'd love to meet you there.
For more information about the Cotton District Arts Festival, visit www.cdafestival.com
There's a lot more support for Mississippi artists than you might imagine. For example, last December I was awarded a $500 Mississippi Arts Commission mini grant. I'll be using it to purchase framing and yarns. In 2011, MAC awarded me an artist fellowship with an even larger grant attached. MAC offers mini grants twice yearly and fellowships on a yearly basis. These are funded in party the the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
Other Mississippi artists who are interested in these benefits can apply for the fellowship before the March 1, 2017 deadline and the mini grants by June 1, 2017 or by November 1, 2017. Visit MAC's web site at: www.arts.ms.gov
Many people find out about my art by visiting this web site. It's hosted by www.weebly.com which provides site-creation tutorials but I began erecting it by attending classes held by the Hancock County Public Library. The Starkville Area Arts Council contacted me via this site. It hosts the Cotton District Arts Festival, (CDAF) to be held this year on April 8, 2017 in Starkville Mississippi. The CDAF was named one of the top 5 festivals in MS by Mississippi Magazine. The Council invited me to act as juror for the festival's art competition to be held at the MSU Visual Arts Center Gallery. CDAF invites the participation of adult artists, student artists, vendors and local musicians (through their Songwriters' Competition and presentation stages on the East and West sides of the festival.) With all that going on, I hope you'll attend this year and try out for next year. Find out all about it by visiting www.cdaf.com or emailing them at CDAFestival@gmail.com.
Cotton District Arts Festival, Starkville MS
I'll be back in New York City with Mackey Twins Art on Friday, November 11, 2016. When the twins put on a show, it's done right! They're having a reception, sale and panel discussion from 5:30p.m. until 8:30p.m. Live jazz, light food and wine will be provided. They've assembled many fine pieces of art created by wonderful artists working in various media. The exhibition will be shown from October 31st until December 1st in Manhattan at Interchurch Center Gallery, a beautiful, elegant, well-lit space in a 19-story limestone-clad office building on Riverside Drive by 120th Street across the street from the (famous) Riverside Church.
Riverside Church is in Morningside Heights near Columbia University in upper Manhattan. It is also one block south of President Grant's Tomb. This inter- denominational Christian church conceived by industrialist John D. Rockefeller and minister Harry E. Fosdick opened its doors on October 5, 1930. Its congregation consists of more than 40 ethnic groups and its programs and services reflect that. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke there and so did, Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Anan, Cesar Chavel and Fidel Castro. Patti Smith and Yoko Ono are among many others who have made appearances there. Check out Wikipedia.org for more info.
This is the second panel discussion presented by the Mackey Twins that I will have participated in. The first was at the landmark Schomburg Library in Harlem. The audience enjoyed the meaningful discussion as well as the high-quality art and refreshments. You will too; come and join us. The twins are currently re-vamping their website but you'll be able to find out more about them when it's up and running.