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The historical Saenger Theater is one of the only seven Saenger theaters built and operated throughout the south by the Saenger brothers. Upon completion of the $3.75 million renovation, the Saenger Theater has once again become the celebrated arts venue in the heart of historic downtown. The Hattiesburg Convention Commission and the City of Hattiesburg saw the Saenger as an opportunity to help grow downtown. THe Hattiesburg Convention Comission began managing the theater in 2003. The Saenger Theater celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2009.
Every year, the Seanger Theater holds the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition along with several other productions and shows. To find out more about the Seanger Theater's schedule, click here.
Lucile Parker Art Gallery at William Carey University
The Lucile Parker Gallery is located in the Thomas Fine Arts Building on the Hattiesburg campus of William Carey University. The Lucile Parker Gallery opened on December 4, 1990. It was named for Miss Lucile Parker, a Mississippi artist known for her botanical drawings and paintings and her portrait work. Miss Parker organized the art department at William Carey and served as chairperson from 1974 until 1983.
The gallery stands as a testimonial to the legacy of Lucile Parker as a teacher who instilled in her students a love of beauty and inspired them to go beyond the possible.
The Lucile Parker Collection consists of 141 artworks by Lucile Parker, with the exception of a group of 17 by Marie Hull, which were donated to the college by Miss Parker from her private collection. Many works were given to the college by Miss Parker’s family after her death in 1988. Works in the collection include paintings and drawings of flowers, landscapes and portraits, beautifully done in watercolor, mixed media, etching, pencil, graphite, oils, and acrylic.
Exhibitions of local, state, and nationally known artists are scheduled August through May in the gallery. Usually five to seven exhibits are held with the permanent Lucile Parker Collection on display during the summer.
The gallery is open during the academic year from 1:00-4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, except during holidays and announced closings. It is open by appointment in the summer.
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The Sarah Gillespie Collection at William Carey University
The Sarah Gillespie Collection is considered to be the most comprehensive and extensive collection of art executed by Mississippians during the twentieth century. Numbering nearly 500 works and including work by artists from every section of the state, employing various media and exploring wide ranging subject matter, the collection is a true artistic, social and historical treasure which represents the work, determination and enthusiasm of Miss Gillespie.
In 1982 Miss Gillespie began donating works to William Carey College, (University since 2008). She continued throughout her lifetime and bequeathed a large number to the University. Though the Sarah Gillespie Gallery, located on the Coast Campus of WCU, was completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, the collection has undergone extensive conservation and preservation measures. These measures saved the collection and allow full representation of Miss Gillespie’s intent and life’s work.
Exhibits will be drawn from the collection, changing periodically to allow the entire collection to be exhibited over time. Works will be exhibited following the opening of the Sarah Gillespie Gallery scheduled for the spring of 2009 on the Hattiesburg campus of William Carey University.
The museum is open Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., except during university holidays.