We continue heading west on Beach Boulevard in Biloxi with stops along the way to photograph some homes and some more of the tree sculptures.
"Ravaged in August 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, the coastline is dotted with fallen trees that once were towering cedars and centuries-old live oaks. The stark trunks that remain are grim reminders of Katrina’s wrath, but to Miller, 49, they are blank canvases. Since 2007, he has transformed nearly 50 tree trunks into dramatic carvings of coastal marine life and, in the process, transformed the spirits of Mississippians.
"Some strangers try to give him money to help pay his expenses, but when Miller refuses to accept cash, he ends up with gifts of homemade jellies, ceramics, Christmas cards and even a prayer shawl. 'I do all this for free,' he says. 'I don’t want to mess with the integrity of this project.'
"Visitors to Biloxi rank Miller’s sculptures as the city’s top tourist attraction.
“'We recover, we replant, and we renew, but not everything that passed out of life should be cut down and moved on,' Dickinson says. 'Let’s celebrate what’s been left inside those majestic trees that have been here for so very long.'
"For Miller, his Katrina tree project has been a surprising journey that began with a single carving in Biloxi and kept drawing him back. 'I’m along for the ride,' says the artist, his eyes welling with tears. 'I have been driven by something much bigger than me'” (americanprofile.com/articles/sculptor-carves-hurricane-katrina-ruins).
Sculpture by Marlin Miller, named in honor of Woody Bailey