Milly West

Milly Moorhead West is a nationally recognized photographer whose works are in the collections of The Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, Louisiana, The Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi, The Meridian Museum of Art, Meridian, Mississippi, The Brooks Gallery in Memphis, Tennessee, The Center for Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi, and many private and corporate collections.

West is a two time recipient of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Photography and former owner of Southside Gallery in Oxford, Mississippi (1993-2002). Her photographs have been shown in many one person and group exhibits, including the traveling exhibition Visualizing the Blues, first shown at the Memphis Dixon Gallery.

After many years as an artistic photographer, West earned an MFA in photography at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. There she received the prestigious Gussman Award in Art and published newspaper editorials, along with numerous short stories and poems.

Since 1996, West has traveled to Cuba as an art dealer and photographer, and her photos from those travels have been featured in a number of galleries including Southside Gallery in Oxford, Mississippi (under new ownership); The Meridian Museum of Art, Meridian, Mississippi; The Center for Cuban Studies, New York; The University of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Delta State University, Cleveland, Mississippi;  Krowswork Gallery, Oakland, California; The Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi; and at The Powerhouse Arts Center in Oxford, Mississippi, where she presented a slide and video presentation along with a public gallery which was an open event for the community.

In 2013, a collection of her Cuba photographs along with a personal narrative was featured in a book titled Cuba for Keeps, published by Krowsworkbooks. The introduction to that book was written by Sandra Levinson, director of the Center for Cuban Studies, New York.

On annual trips to Cuba, West revisits artists she has known since her first visit in 1996. She shows their work and her own photographs in Tres Puertas Gallery, a small art space she has created next to her home in Oxford.

West continues her work in the American South, lately spending time in Arkansas, Mississippi’s neighbor to the west. Her images reflect her ability to get close to people and examine the relationship between place and ideology. Images from her one day photo shoot with photographer David Rae Morris was recently published; Clarksdale 1985 is a sampling of her early work and speaks to her ability to form respectful relationships with her subjects.

“My photos of the Delta landscape (flat and green) are beautiful, but a close up look at the various cultures sprung from the old plantation lifestyle is often not very pretty. The division of wealth and opportunity has created a contradiction in basic existence which breeds fear and resentment. It is nice though that with some people, rich or poor, just by taking pictures, I am hearing their stories…going “beyond the door” into the reality that only a good photo can provide.” – mw

Press and Links
Cuba for Keeps

Press Release Cuba for Keeps Exhibit, Krowswork Gallery, Oakland, California

San Francisco Chronicle
article December 2013

Cuba for Keeps Gallery show and talk at Delta State University

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal: Cameras and Connections

Clarksdale 1985



Milly West