By Chelsea Hackney, Student Reporter
One ACU alumnus recently had the opportunity to demonstrate her artistic talent on the reality television show Extreme Home Makeover, an Emmy Award winning series that provides home renovations to deserving families.
Rebecca Hull (’05) landed a position on the show partly because her cousin is on the crew of Makeover.
“About a year ago, I mentioned to my cousin that I would love to work on the show if it ever came to Dallas,” Hull said.
When the design team headed to Keller in December, he told her he would pass along her information. He did; she heard nothing.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday went by. Hull waited on a phone call that never came. Finally, she said she gave up worrying.
“If God wants me to do this, they’ll call,” Hull said.
While sitting in a Taco Bell drive-thru, Hull received a call on her cell phone from Ann Cummings, the show’s producer.
“She just asked, ‘How soon can you get here?'” Hull said. She rushed home, grabbed her paint and some clothes and drove straight to Keller, just outside of Fort Worth.
“I blew in and got right to work,” Hull said.
She was responsible for completing a faux finish, which involves using paint to create the illusion of another material such as marble or plaster. She also helped another muralist with some stenciling work.
What seemed like an easy task turned out to be more than she expected.
“I didn’t finish until 1 a.m.,” Hull said. “I had to be there early the next day, so I just slept in my truck.”
But in spite of the cold and the stress, Hull was glad she chose to go.
“I wanted the opportunity and the experience of working with this caliber of designers,” Hull said. “I would love to do it again.”
Many skilled and unskilled volunteers assist in the rapid construction of the houses featured on the show, and all the materials are donated.
Hull worked on a house for the Augustin family, replacing an irreparably flood-damaged dwelling the family vacated last year. The show’s producers chose the family as part of their current “Heroes in the Community” season. Amber Augustin founded the non-profit Tiny Works of Heart, an organization that takes pictures of families and their premature babies at local hospitals free-of-charge, and Peter Augustin frequently volunteers at Habitat for Humanity.
Hull might have been surprised by the opportunity to showcase her artistic skills on an award-winning television show, but one of her former professors was anything but.
“I remember that she always paid a lot of attention to detail,” said Dan McGregor, associate professor of art and design. “She had a good eye for decorative design.”
Hull began her stint at ACU in 1997, taking a break from her academic career to launch a professional one as a muralist. Besides being a non-traditional student, her career choice is not a typical one for art students.
“The thing about murals is that there’s this heritage of great mural artists that she can look toward, like Michelangelo and da Vinci,” said Jack Maxwell, chair of the Art and Design Department and Hull’s uncle. “Today, murals probably aren’t thought of as high art, but they give the artist an opportunity to work with [the] same challenges that the great artists of past had to work with.”
Hull’s interest in murals, however, began much earlier than her college career, partly influenced by her uncle and aunt, Jack and Jill Maxwell.
“I grew up listening to them talk about art,” Hull said. “They had murals everywhere, and they were the real deal.”
Hull’s work can be seen on walls around campus, including the University Counseling Center, Development Operations and the first floor of the Brown Library. Visitors to University Church of Christ also can see her art on the walls of the children’s wing.
“I love murals because you don’t have to bridge a gap between canvas and a wall,” she said. “It’s just like painting on vertical paper.”
Hull takes her work seriously, on and off the camera.
“I want my murals to get more interesting the longer that you look at them,” she said. “They have to transcend that particular moment. They have to have some staying power.”
The Extreme Home Makeover show is scheduled to air on ABC Sunday at 7 p.m. More of Hull’s work can be found on her Web site, www.rebeccahull.com.