Article courtesy of Shelly McPherson, launchengine.io
Sometimes, the darkest moments in an artist’s life can inspire them to create beauty, find deeper meaning, and produce something that brings people a fresh perspective. Such is the theme for visual artist Anne Goetze’s “Down a Country Road III” Art Show. After 14 months of COVID-19 gripping the state, the art show comes to Columbia’s historic Theta General Store on May 22-23 to showcase a collection of nature- and travel-themed paintings, photographs, and mixed-media pieces from artists in the region. Such vistas of life outside were sorely missed during the pandemic as many people felt compelled to stay inside.
While each artist offers a unique perspective for “Down a Country Road III,” Native American musician and painter Bill Miller stands out from the others for what his creativity represents. From his website, “Bill Miller is an award-winning Native American recording artist, performer, songwriter, activist, painter, and world-class native flute player. Over the entirety, Miller has produced over a dozen albums, received three GRAMMY Awards, numerous Native American Music Awards and Association (NAMA) awards (including a “Lifetime Achievement” Award) and led Wisconsin’s La Crosse Symphony Orchestra.”
Before COVID, Bill says that he had been working on a painting to honor his late son Garrett, which he wound up selling to Billy Ray Cyrus. After selling the painting, Bill felt that he still had some creative fuel left in his tank. So he wrote a song entitled “Stone Tree,” which refers to both petrified wood and an indigenous name for a strong warrior in the Mohican language. “Stone Tree” was actually Bill’s family’s original last name before they adopted “Miller.”
Bill embraces the fact that life’s many experiences—both good and bad—are the price one must pay to make truly meaningful art. Bill says, “And me being a mature native man now, I do see things quite uniquely..”
To read the complete story, see more work, and get information on his show May 22-23, 2021 click here.