Embroidered portraits bring life and lessons to Biloxi

The beginning

In Ruth Miller’s early childhood, she was taught the skill of needle-artwork. Her love for art and creation didn’t stop there so she continued to gather a range of other skills like drawing, sketching, sewing work and more throughout the years. Originally from New York, New York but now Picayune, Miss., she designs contemporary embroidered art. Often mistaken to be painting, each piece Miller create tell stories through portraits. Transition (list or explain).

Embroidery versus paintings

Though paintings could be quicker for Miller to use, she chose warm fiber instead. She describes her fiber as comforting and attractive and her pieces hold a mystery told by each stitch. The mysteries are larger-than-life portraits of African American models that hold stories and a lesson. Some pieces have more than one lesson. Her methods are calculated yet constantly forming. The work isn’t done overnight either; some of her pieces take months and even years to complete with hours of consistent attention. Sometimes art slows the process.

Details and enjoying process

Some of Miller’s concepts rarely come together in its’ entirety before the stitching begins. Once started, she spends weeks to months crafting and shaping the pieces. Her pace provides a sense of intimacy.

Her soft stitches cast shadows and reflect light. At times, spectators were unable to tell they are used with yarn.

Her pieces take shape in her hands and with the realistic drawings, they develop into stories. The stories could be considered as mysteries. Mysteries, of detail, like ‘Flower’, it features Japanese woodcuts and rose-like folds of fabric and bold colors. Miller even mixes color if they are unavailable. Her meticulous and sharp needle-work creates the embroidered and life-like detail.

Featured in Biloxi

Miller’s exhibit will be featured at the Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, Miss. through August 19, 2017.The gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. There will also be a gallery talk on July 29 from 1 to 3 p.m.

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