Bruton Memorial Library Displays Collection Of Folk Art Of Historic Plant City

By Kathy L. Collins

The Bruton Memorial Library located at 302 W. McLendon St. in beautiful and historic downtown Plant City, is hosting an extraordinary exhibition during the month of December. The library is showing its own collection of the works of art from Plant City native, Bill Miller.

Miller was an untrained artist who did his painting mostly from historical photographs of Plant City. You have to see the paintings to get a full appreciation of these fabulous works of art. Anne Haywood, Library Director for the Bruton Memorial Library said, “Mr. Miller would be characterized as a folk artist. He decided at an older age to learn to paint.”

There are a total of six paintings on display. Each one is adorned with a brass plate which advises the viewer of the scene. Each one of his paintings literally transports you back in time. Miller’s paintings are exquisitely detailed. He used a technique that used layers to make an embossed look for each painting.

The details in the painting make you feel as if you are “Looking south on Collins St.” circa 1894. Or perhaps you are “Looking north at 100 block of Collins St.” circa 1910 which at that time was a beautiful tree lined boulevard.

Haywood added, “Most of the paintings are of buildings or street scenes. The one I like best is called ‘My Parents and I in a Strawberry Field.’ It is more personal and primitive. He liked this one too, and he painted several versions of the same scene.”

The collection is available for viewing during the library’s normal hours of Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

For more information on the Bruton Memorial Library, please call 757-9215.