Faces of Change: Stella Miller
This month, KPLC is celebrating Black History Month with an exclusive series called “Faces of Change.”
All month long, we’ll be sharing the stories of those making changes - seen and unseen - who live and work right here in our own communities – all while celebrating the past, present and future of Black History in Southwest Louisiana.
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Black Heritage Gallery at Historic City Hall has been preserving African-American history and creating a safe space for emerging artists for more than 20 years.
Today, we take a look at its past, present, and future - and the woman behind it all, Stella Miller.
“I believe I got into art through my parents and especially my mother,” said Miller, the executive director of the gallery. “I’m from San Antonio and I had the kind of mother that took you to every museum. We went to the symphony - we did all those cultural and all of those art things.”
The Black Heritage Gallery got its start over 20 years ago.
“The first exhibit we had was at Central School, that was our first location.” Miller said. “We were on the third floor at that time. It was the Negro League Baseball Exhibit.
“There always was Black art in Lake Charles but artists didn’t have a place to exhibit the work and that’s always a little issue.”
Miller estimates that probably 500 artists have exhibited their work at the Black Heritage Gallery.
“Some people are only going to have maybe one or two pieces in their lifetime, and they really are very good artists.” Miller said. “But for them to be able to show their work and for their family to be able to come and see that work, that just does a lot for them.”
The gallery is open every weekday on the second floor of Historic City Hall in downtown Lake Charles.
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