|Faulkner – Oxford Square, Oxford, MS 1997|
There is a natural beauty to Oxford, MS with it's rolling hills, flowering trees, and sunny skies. However, the town and the university have done a great deal to enhance that beauty by preserving historic buildings, dotting the town with parks, and keeping Oxford clean and safe.
Exquisite landscaping and hardscaping have earned the University of Mississippi 'beautiful campus' rankings in national surveys, and Oxford is frequently mentioned in national publications as a great place to live. USA Today called Oxford "a manicured oasis of culture and prosperity in Mississippi" and Dwight Garner of the New York Times wrote, "Oxford has become one of the South’s artiest and most literate college towns."
One of my favorite things about Oxford is its bronze sculptures. Crafted mostly by Mississippians, these amazing art pieces are charmingly set in unexpected places all over town and the campus while at the same time perfectly highlighting Oxford's character.
This will be a five-part series on Oxford's bronzes and the artists who created them.
Part I: William Faulkner and Chucky Mullins by William Beckwith
From William Beckwith's website: William Beckwith has produced public and private bronzes for over 30 years. His work is mainly figurative. He is widely known for his portrait busts, many of which are modeled from photographs of deceased subjects. Originally from Greenville, MS he now lives & works out of Taylor, MS, winner of the “Governor’s Award of Excellence in the Arts” for 2001. His work has been exhibited in Splashlight Studios and Frank Marino Gallery, New York, NY, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS, Louisiana Word’s Fair, New Orleans, LA, and the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Museum, Washington, DC. He has won numerous awards & honors and is represented in public & private collections nation-wide. He currently teaches sculpture part time at the University of Mississippi Art Department.
“ My fascination with the figure, particularly the head, grows each day. I find the challenge of imparting a little life into the clay never ending.” --Bill
|William N. Beckwith|
Bust of Chucky Mullins – University of Mississippi Athletics Department, Oxford, MS 1997
William Faulkner is a literary giant who needs no introduction. Chucky Mullins was an Ole Miss football player who was tragically paralyzed from injuries sustained in a home game in 1989. Chucky demonstrated amazing courage and persistence despite his condition, returning to school a year later to finish his degree. These pieces memorialize two important figures in Oxford history as well as two important aspects of Oxford culture: literature and football.