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Power of Art Celebrated in New Community Exhibition Series

PRESS CONTACT: Julian Rankin jrankin@msmuseumart.org | 601.960.1515

For Immediate Release: November 17, 2015

Mississippi Museum of Art Launches New Community Exhibition Series Featuring Work by Participants in Nonprofit Visual Arts Programs

Painted by Willie Green of Panola, MS

(Jackson, Miss…) The Mississippi Museum of Art (the Museum) is proud to announce a new series of exhibitions showcasing work created through nonprofit art programs in communities throughout the state. The Art in Us All Community Exhibition Series was created in order to deepen the relationship between the Museum and its visitors and to cultivate creativity in the community for people of all ages and backgrounds. Through this series, the Museum develops partnerships with Mississippi nonprofits who incorporate visual art into their social service work. Art in Us All exhibitions are free and open to the public. The first exhibition in this series, on view through Sunday, December 13, features work made by the participants of HeARTWorks, an art ministry serving clients of Stewpot Community Services in Jackson. The motto of the ministry, embodied...

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Posted on Monday, November 16, 2015 by MMA

Marie Hull - Adventures in Abstraction

Part of an ongoing series on Mississippi artist Marie Hull, showcased in this Fall and Winter’s celebratory exhibition, Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull.

Marie Hull (1890-1980), Abstract Composition, 1950s. MMA 1981.279i_p.195

Over the course of the second half of her career—from 1945 onward—Marie Hull worked not in one but in various styles which reflect the different strategies of artists who made up the so-called New York School of Abstract Expressionism. These artists were on the “cutting edge” of modern art as it flourished in New York City in the second half of the 20th century, promoted by a phalanx of sophisticated dealers, gallerists, and critics who saw in that art a vigorous and genuine expression of the creative energy of the New World, as opposed to the Old. Mrs. Hull traveled frequently to New York but also to cities such as Chicago and Philadelphia where gallery exhibitions (followed, cautiously, by those at museums) celebrated their new heroes—much to the chagrin of the American public,...

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Posted on Sunday, November 15, 2015 by MMA

Marie Hull - New World, New Directions

Part of an ongoing series on Mississippi artist Marie Hull, showcased in this Fall and Winter’s celebratory exhibition, Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull.

Marie Hull (1890-1980), Colorado Landscape, 1930s(?). MMA 1981.279aa_p.14

So far as we know, there are very few paintings that are dated or documented to the years of the United States’ participation in World War II (1941-45). There is something of a gap in our knowledge of Marie Hull’s personal artistic evolution, but it may well be that these were years of consolidation for her. It seems likely she would have stayed close to home during the War years, when commodities such as gasoline were rationed, and therefore that many of the familiar depictions of rural life in Mississippi date from this period. It likewise would have been the perfect opportunity to use the drawings and watercolors from her travel-books to paint pictures of the American landscape, especially of the American and Canadian Rocky Mountains which the Hulls had visited shortly before the outbreak...

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Posted on Sunday, November 8, 2015 by MMA

Marie Hull - Hard Times: the 1930s

Part of an ongoing series on Mississippi artist Marie Hull, showcased in this Fall and Winter’s celebratory exhibition, Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull.

Marie Hull (1890-1980), Annie Smith, 1928. oil on board. Collection of the Fielding Wright Art Center, Delta State University. Photograph copyright ©Will Jacks.

The Wall Street Crash of 1929 began in October, while Marie Hull was still in Morocco. Once the Great Depression took hold, many aspects of life changed for most Americans. For the Hulls the Hard Times meant there was much less demand, from fewer clients, for Emmett’s architectural services, and for Marie it meant there was much less “spare money” to pay for little luxuries such as the classes she taught for both children and adults. Later she would recall that, with everybody in the same boat, friends and neighbors had to barter for goods and services and therefore she would happily exchange an hour of teaching for a gallon of gasoline for her car, or a peck of fresh okra. It...

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Posted on Sunday, November 1, 2015 by MMA

Marie Hull - Painting Flowers

Part of an ongoing series on Mississippi artist Marie Hull, showcased in this Fall and Winter’s celebratory exhibition, Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull.

Marie Hull (1890-1980), Magnolias (detail), 1953. oil on canvas. Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art, gift of the artist.

The floral still-life paintings of Marie Hull constitute a large and important component of her entire output; for many they continue to be the most easily recognizable (and most popular) of all her works. It seems likely she will forever be remembered as the most prolific painter of the magnolia, Mississippi’s state flower, and the sheer quantity of examples bears witness to the truth of her comment to Andrew Bucci that “painting magnolias saved my life” – by which she acknowledged there had always been an eager market for them. If they are occasionally boring it is because she was bored with painting them, out of necessity. But at their best the magnolias are magisterial: her sophisticated, mesmerizing drawings of them—preserved in her sketchbooks—demonstrate that she...

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Posted on Sunday, October 25, 2015 by MMA

Marie Hull - A Chance to See the World

Part of an ongoing series on Mississippi artist Marie Hull, showcased in this Fall and Winter’s celebratory exhibition, Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull.

Marie Hull (1890-1980), U.S. Highway 80 in Arizona, graphite on paper. 16x10in. Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art. Bequest of the artist. 1981.279i_pp. 64-65

The Hulls did not remain long in Florida, apparently not more than one year. Nor were they content to “settle down” in Jackson and get on with a typical domestic life. Instead they took advantage of the better automobiles and better roads of the 1920s to see something of the vast country which was now linked from coast to coast by highways such as U.S. 80 (which stretched from Savannah to San Diego). They clearly made more than one long journey by car to the deserts and mountains of the West, and up the entire Pacific Coast from San Diego to Seattle. Everywhere they went Marie filled sketchbooks with drawings and watercolors of the landscape,...

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Posted on Sunday, October 18, 2015 by MMA

LaRita Smith’s Mississippi Meaning

Dozens of Mississippi artists, past and present, are represented in this year’s Art by Choice: Home Edition exhibition. The fundraiser benefits both the artists and the Museum. Work can be viewed now through the evening of October 29, when the public is invited to the main event sale and live auction.

LaRita Smith is 91 years young. Her paintings, like the one now hanging at the Museum in the Art by Choice: Home Edition exhibition, are vessels for stories far older than she. Home on the Railroad; Home on the River in 1871 (2015), a striking canvas tapestry, was sketched out and begun forty years ago. Smith’s reference material was an old 5x7 photograph, but the painterly sprawl soon eclipsed that narrow frame. As far as the artist is concerned, it isn’t – and likely will never be – finished. The history of her personal South that it contains is too stacked and intersecting to be fully contained. In the artwork, these stories are revealed, one begetting the next, the offspring of the past perpetually piercing the present in aesthetic...

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Posted on Friday, October 16, 2015 by MMA

Marie Hull - Birds of Paradise

Part of an ongoing series on Mississippi artist Marie Hull, showcased in this Fall and Winter’s celebratory exhibition, Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull.

Marie Hull (1890-1980), Great Blue Heron, 1925. graphite on paper. Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art.

It was not until around 1920 that Marie Hull’s distinctive stylistic personality began to emerge. It had been a long gestation, for she turned 30 that year; during the 1910s she had been both a student and a teacher of art and most of what we can infer about her development is preserved in her sketchbook drawings. From the end of that decade, however, and the beginning of the next, there exist a few floral still lifes executed in a “divisionist” technique which can be described as Neo-Impressionist; they were most obviously influenced by French painter Paul Signac (1863-1935), whose work she would have seen in the Armory Show of 1913. Three relevant examples are included in the “Painting Flowers” section of this exhibition, while a landscape from 1924, rendered with the...

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Posted on Sunday, October 11, 2015 by MMA

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