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Citizen Architect screening

August 12, 2010

The University of Mississippi Museum in association with the Oxford Film Festival and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture will present a screening of Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio on Tuesday, August 17 at the Lyric Theater in Oxford at 8:00 p.m.

Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio is a documentary film on the late architect Samuel Mockbee and the radical educational design/build program known as the Rural Studio.

“Citizen Architect is an incredible film.  We’re proud to be able to share the enduring vision of Sambo Mockbee and the Rural Studio through this experience,” museum director William Andrews said. “In an effort to expand our programming beyond the museum walls, we’re excited to be presenting the visual art form of film, especially in partnership with the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and the Oxford Film Festival.  We couldn’t have asked for a better venue than the legendary Lyric Theatre to present a memorable evening of music and moving pictures.”

Citizen Architect chronicles Mockbee’s career and the radical architecture design/build program known as the Rural Studio.  Mockbee was a fifth-generation Mississippian who practiced in the state for most of his career and worked for a time with Oxford’s own Tom Howorth.  Sambo’s daughter and Oxonian Carol Mockbee, who also produces the popular weekly radio show Thacker Mountain Radio, is featured in the film bringing to life one of her father’s last designs.

In 1993, Mockbee began the Rural Studio with Auburn University as an education program in which students create striking architecture for impoverished communities in rural Alabama. Guided by frank, passionate interviews with Mockbee, Citizen Architect shows how a group of students use their creativity, ingenuity and compassion to craft a home for their charismatic, destitute client, Jimmie Lee Matthews, known to locals as Music Man because of his zeal for R&B and Soul records.  The film reveals that the Rural Studio is about more than architecture and building, it provides students with an experience that forever inspires them to consider how they can use their skills to better their communities.

“Sambo was an internationally renowned architect with a deep connection to Mississippi and the South,” Sam Douglas, director of the film, said.  “It’s exciting for the film to be screened in the Oxford community near his AIA National Honor Award winning project, the Cook House.”

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for music by Jake Fussell, composer of the film’s soundtrack. The film’s screening begins at 8:00 p.m., followed by a question and answer session with Director Sam Douglas and Carol Mockbee.  To view the film’s trailer, visit The Oxford screening of Citizen Architect is supported by Hardy Reed Capital Advisors LLC, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the Lyric Oxford, the Memphis Flyer, and the Oxford Film Festival.

Event tickets are $20 Reserved Seating, $10 General Admission, and $5 General Admission for Students with valid student ID, and may be purchased at the Lyric Theatre box office, located at 1006 Van Buren Avenue in Oxford, or online by visiting  Tickets are also available at the University of Mississippi Museum, located at University Avenue and Fifth Street in Oxford.


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