Sunday, July 19, 2009

Woodville, Mississippi: Home To Jefferson Davis & William Grant Still

The historic town of Woodville, Mississippi was home to both Jefferson Davis and William Grant Still:
Niche: A weekly peek at an area artist
James Miller
By Aarik Danielsen
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The essence of James Miller’s art is his ability to capture the essence of others. A University of Missouri theater professor with credits on more than 100 musicals, Miller has used a wide array of creative tools to equip his actors, inspiring them as they bring a playwright’s words to life. Of those tools, perhaps none is more necessary to achieving his vision as a director than his ability to cast his vision onto a piece of paper.”

A long-deserved sabbatical — Miller requested his first respite from the university after 28 years rather than the typical seven — provided Miller three months to apply the same skill he uses in depicting a character’s face to completing a far more intimate task: putting a face on his hometown. Applying the first rule of writing — write what you know — to his art, Miller set out to capture the essence of Woodville, Miss., the historic town once inhabited by Confederate president Jefferson Davis and composer William Grant Still.

“His exhibit, 'Facing Home: Paintings and Drawings from Mississippi,' runs through Aug. 6 at the Bingham Gallery on the MU campus. The exhibit shows the translation of Miller’s talents from all the world as a stage to the real world.” “The other prevailing theme of 'Facing Home' is human dignity. Miller sought out to portray Woodville residents of all different backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses.”
[William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma is also found]

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