Anna Althea Hills, alumna of The University of Olivet from 1898-1901,
will be an upcoming featured artist at the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, California. The exhibit, entitled Miss Hills of Laguna Beach – Anna Althea Hills Art, Education, Community will be displayed from Oct. 16, 2016 to Jan. 15, 2017. Hills gifted the painting The Blue Pacific, Laguna Beach (pictured right) to The University of Olivet, which will be on lend to the museum for the exhibit. The painting has been displayed in the Hance House on campus. The oil on canvas painting depicts a rocky Laguna Beach coast crashing with waves, created in May of 1928. The vibrant colors of the painting reflect a post-impressionist style, differing from Hills’ earlier work.
Hills, born in Ohio but raised in Olivet, attended The University of Olivet when she was only 16-years-old. She followed with studying in Chicago and New York and continued painting while traveling through Europe. In 1912, Hills moved back to the United States and was settled in Laguna Beach a year later. Hills’ passion for art led her to invite many other painters and students to her studio. She also founded the Laguna Beach Art Association and led fundraising efforts with the goal of building a gallery for the association’s use. Hills’ goal was reached in 1912 and the gallery is still used today which will house her own paintings for the upcoming exhibit.