Ralls County teen captures history with art

Posted: Aug. 23, 2019 1:06 pm

NEW LONDON , Mo. — A New London teen's school art project will have a new home in the Ralls County Courthouse, after being displayed with several other works of art during bicentennial festivities in May.

Corbin Miller, 14, began creating his artwork featuring a historic New London church during the last three weeks of his eighth grade art class at Mark Twain Junior High School. The project was halfway complete when summer vacation arrived, but Corbin worked on his creation every day for a month, perfecting details using a mechanical pencil and shading materials. After the bicentennial displays were taken down, Ralls County Clerk Sandy Lanier decided to purchase the artwork to display it in her Ralls County Courthouse office.

Lanier received numerous comments from visitors who were impressed by the level of detail and accuracy of Corbin's artwork. She decided to purchase the artwork with her money, reaching out to Corbin's parents, Jennifer and Donnie, to see if he'd like to sell it to display in the Ralls County Courthouse. The historical and artistic aspects of the piece resonated with Lanier.

"He just went in-depth with the detail," Lanier said, stressing her love of art and encouraging youth to share their creations.

"I love art — I'm an art fan," she said. "I think it's great when kids get to do art and display it."

Corbin always enjoyed painting, drawing and sketching in his free time, and he remembered when his passion for art blossomed.

"When I got to junior high and we did art, it was like an open door," Corbin said.

Corbin's art teacher, Josh McCurdy, encouraged him and fellow students to continue their work for bicentennial festivities that began May 30 during New London Park Days.

Corbin enjoyed the chance to display his creation with fellow artists' work in the Ralls County Courthouse during the celebration. Now his creation will be there to stay.

"I was surprised and happy at the same time, because I've never sold any art," Corbin said.

Corbin recalled how the final artwork was almost double the size of the photo he used. He ran into some challenges along the way — he hadn't drawn trees before, and he spent a great deal of time on the intricate details of the church's stone walls — but everything came together through his daily work.

Now that he's a freshman at Mark Twain Senior High School, Corbin is taking art classes and eager to continue honing his craft. He's not yet sure if he'll pursue a career in art, but he said he will definitely create art for fun in the future. In the meantime, he appreciates the opportunity to share his artwork in Lanier's office.

"It feels good to be able to display my art in the courthouse," Corbin said.

Lanier enjoyed seeing all of the artwork celebrating New London's 200th birthday and she hopes that more artwork will join Corbin's piece in the Ralls County Courthouse.

"I encourage the schools to bring their art in if they want to display it in our office," she said. "Even if it's for a couple weeks, they're welcome to do it."

More information about displaying art in the courthouse is available by calling 573-985-7111.



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