Desribe Image HereSeptember 26, 2014 (Jackson) -Officials at Belhaven University announced a major cultural project named in honor of one of its most distinguished alumnae, famed Mississippi artist Marie Hull. The project, named the Marie Hull Society for the Arts, will provide financial support for the advancement of the nationally accredited fine arts programs at Belhaven University through membership in the Marie Hull Society.

Dr. Roger Parrott, President of Belhaven University, in making the announcement stated, “As one of a select number of universities in the nation with four nationally-accredited fine arts programs, it is our objective through the Marie Hull Society for the Arts and the various components of this project to support these distinguished arts programs on our university at the highest possible level. By naming this project for Marie Hull, our university seeks to honor her for her magnificent artistic legacy. She is certainly one of our most widely recognized alumnae and one of Mississippi's most respected and admired artists.”

A major cultural component of the Marie Hull Society will include a retrospective exhibition of her art scheduled for 2016 at the university. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog. As part of the project, the university also seeks to develop a permanent collection of Hull paintings, drawings and historic memorabilia, primarily through donations of her artworks.

Membership benefits in the Marie Hull Society for the Arts include the presentation of a series of guest speakers ranging from foreign ambassadors and international museum directors to outstanding artists, dancers, actors and other luminaries. Members will be given the opportunity to participate in a members-only, personally guided trip to a major international cultural destination. The first trip is scheduled for 2015 to Berlin and Dresden, Germany, two of the most outstanding cultural destinations in Europe.

Hull graduated from Belhaven University in 1909 and is acclaimed as Mississippi's most influential artist/teacher of the 20th century.

Marie Atkinson Hull (1890-1980) was born in Summit, Mississippi. After graduating from Belhaven (College) University in 1909, she attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Art Students League of New York. She lived most of her life in a Spanish-style house designed by her husband, architect Emmitt J. Hull. The house is located on Belhaven Street near the Belhaven University campus.

Famous for her portraits of sharecroppers, farmers and domestic help during the Great Depression, Hull was also admired for her floral still-lifes. Her impressionist and abstract expressionist paintings are recognized today for their originality and skill in demonstrating her command of color.Hull's paintings are owned by many Mississippians, many of whom knew her personally. Her works are in a number of important museum collections including the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Johnson Collection, Delta State University and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

A pivotal point in her artistic career occurred in 1929 when she won the 2nd Prize in the Texas Wildflower Competitive Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas. With the cash award of $2,500, Hull travelled to Spain, Morocco and France to paint and visit important museum collections.Among her many honors, in 1965 Hull received the Bellamann Foundation Award. In 1980, Belhaven University awarded her the Doctorate of Fine Arts degree. As a teacher, she either directly or indirectly inspired most artists in the state. She has been called the “Mother of art in Mississippi.”

Belhaven University is seeking donations of Marie Hull's paintings, drawings and historic memorabilia for the development of the Marie Hull Permanent Collection.

For further information regarding the Marie Hull Society for the Arts and related projects, please contact Jack Kyle, Senior Director of Arts Development and Chair of Arts Administration at Belhaven University by calling 601-968-8937 or by e-mail at