Day Trip to Bill Beckwith's Sculpture Studio
Holy cow! How many of us have actually been to a studio where a man makes a living as a sculptor? It's like walking back in time. William "Bill" Beckwith allowed us to pick his brain while we pored over every item in his space.
Bill is a Greenville native who showed great artistic promise as a teenager, studying with Leon Koury at the young age of 14. After earning a BFA and later an MFA at Ole Miss, he settled in the tiny town of Taylor, Mississippi, where he works out of his studio and has built a working bronze foundry for his sculpture.
Bill Beckwith has produced public and private bronzes for more than 30 years, His commissioned work includes statues that you may already be familiar with: the B.B. King sculpture in Indianola; the William Faulkner sculpture (seated on a park bench) on the courthouse square in Oxford; busts of Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty, Richard Wright; and the Jim Henson bust with Kermit the Frog inside the William Alexander Percy library in Greenville.
Bill Beckwith's numerous awards and honors include winner of the statewide Governor's Award of Excellence in the Arts in 2001, as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mississippi Institute for Arts and Letters in 2014. His exhibition venues have included Splashlight Studios and Frank Marino Gallery in New York City, National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C., Louisiana World's Fair in New Orleans, and Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson.
We were honored that he and his lovely wife Jackie allowed us to invade their creative space for a little while!