HomeArticles Posted by Jane Clair Tyner

Author: Jane Clair Tyner

The ethos of Ira Hill’s work is that of diligence. A profession of creation requires some gravitas in the delivery of self promotion, and Ira has just the right amount of ego to carry the title of “artist” while graciously bypassing the title of “asshole.” Ira is a sculptor with an impressive CV. His work is always provocative and carries a dimension of grandiosity (whether that be its scale or the level of craft required to pull it off). His work bares all the markings of a true artist; it is ever-adapting, forward and prolific.

From the dynamic duo responsible for Frieda Fest comes “Dolly Should,” a festival in downtown Bay St. Louis to celebrate all that is fabulous about Dolly Parton. Ann Madden and Sandy Maggio, owners of the gallery Smith & Lens, are bringing another round of iconic female fun to Bay St. Louis on January 9.

“If I hadn’t been a woman, I’d be a drag queen, for sure.” – Dolly

The question isn’t why hold a festival to celebrate Dolly Parton, but rather, what’s not to celebrate?

“I’m blown away by her incredible talent! Her life story on its own is so inspirational,” said Maggio.

“Not just starting with so little and achieving so much, but by choosing to bring her fame and fortune home, so that her community could benefit from it too. Then there’s the iconic looks! That face! The Hair, lipstick, sequins…geez the whole package. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photograph where she wasn’t smiling. That’s enough for me right there.”

Miles Doleac, a Mississippi filmmaker and assistant professor of classics and film studies at the University of Southern Mississippi, recently finished post-production on his second feature film, “The Hollow.” His first, “The Historian,” was released in 2014 and received with critical acclaim. As writer, producer, director and lead actor, Doleac has created the world of “The Hollow” as a homage to some of his most revered southern authors such as Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner and Shelby Foote. His appreciation of southern gothic and desire to bring recognition to his home state of Mississippi all played a role in the creation of this latest work.

Put your money where your mouth is

While traveling through a small southern Mississippi town, the daughter of a U.S. Congressman becomes a victim in a triple homicide. The FBI’s involvement forces the local sheriff’s department to assist in the investigation while scrambling to prevent it from unraveling the town’s deep-seated corruption. It is not only the local sheriff’s department who is forced to battle their demons. Alcoholic FBI agent, Vaughn Killinger (James Callis), arrives in town with a suitcase full of his own. Doleac plays Ray Everett, a local sheriff who is involved in a drug ring run by the town’s deeply feared overseer, “Big” John Dawson (William Forsythe).

Due South Tattoo Expo January 29 – 31 The Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi, Miss. Tattoo artist, Matt Stebly, is the creator of what is hailed as some of Mississippi’s most recognized skin art. Heir of a prestigious lineage of artists, Matt’s home and pedigree are clearly visible in his


An Interview with Miles Doleac, Asst. Professor of Classics and Film Studies and Mississippi filmmaker

Miles Doleac will release his second feature film shot entirely on location in Mississippi, “The Hollow,” in early next year. Doleac wrote, produced, directed and played the lead role in this character-driven, murder mystery set in Mississippi. It will hit the festival circuit beginning in 2016. A veteran actor of stage and film, Doleac intends to continue extending his footprint in Mississippi’s burgeoning film industry as well as increasing awareness of the opportunities afforded by the state for film production.

JC: You received your undergraduate degree in drama. Did you find it was a difficult leap for you to go from theatre acting to the subtleties of acting required of film?

MD: There is certainly a learning curve. In the theatre, you’re told to project to the back row. That just simply doesn’t work on film. I was fortunate to go to an arts conservatory (North Carolina School of the Arts, that had a film program and offered film acting workshops. I was there at a particularly fruitful time. In the film program at that time were people like David Gordon Green who went on to direct “Pineapple Express” and Danny McBride who is most known as an actor now. There was at least an awareness, an understanding that TV and film is a part of this discipline, and the importance of knowing the stylistic differences. It’s something that I still wrestle with today just coming from the theatre, growing up in the theatre and attending a conservatory theatre program. When I’m on set today, I find I’m still wrestling with is it too big, is it too much. So, yes, for me it’s very easy to stand up and project to the back row and to be the biggest, loudest person in the room, but to be confident enough in your own skin to allow the subtleties of the character and to allow the script, the words, work their magic is kind of tricky. But the best actors on film and television do that. You have to get used to the idea that the tiniest little thing reads. I don’t guess I truly appreciated those differences until I started directing films and watching performances, watching the subtlest differences between take one and take four of a particular actor. So, yeah, there is certainly a learning curve. I look at stuff I did five, six years ago on camera versus what I’m doing now, and I’ve gotten a lot better. That’s not uncommon. Watch an actor like Brad Pitt when he first started and compare it to what he’s doing now. He’s learned how to be a good actor on camera. He wasn’t always a good actor. He was always Brad Pitt. In some of his early stuff, it just doesn’t quite work, but now he’s very subtle. He’s very believable within the reality of whatever world it is being created by the filmmakers, and that’s a learned thing for him. Some people, sure, they just have it, and some actors get away with being more theatrical than others. My favorite actor on the planet is Daniel Day-Lewis. He’s a great deal more theatrical than the naturalistic actors like Sean Penn or the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, but it works within the reality he’s creating. But yes, it is interesting, especially if you’re consistently doing both. I still work in the theatre a lot and then jump from the theatre to film and often from musicals to film. It’s a tricky dance.

An interview with painter Heidi Pitre on the frustrations of no-count husbands, today’s kids and what’s required to push through the BS to reach your dream.

Heidi Pitre moved from New Orleans to Bay St. Louis five weeks before that whore Katrina ripped her way up I-59. Unable to return to either city, Heidi and her family sought refuge in Hattiesburg and refuge she found. Her paintings soon lauded her as a darling of the Hattiesburg art community.

“I’m from New Orleans, but Mississippi has given me more encouragement and support than I ever expected,” Pitre said.

While living in Hattiesburg, Heidi watched her daughters spread their wings and leave the nest, began a business painting pet portraits and received several art grants including ones from the Andy Warhol and the Pollack-Krasner Foundations. Five years ago, she dropped her other hats to pursue her gift of painting full-time.