For twenty-seven years Bewey Bowden, a Mississippi native, chaired the Department of Speech and Drama at Belhaven. It was here that she noticed that the same principles of using color to create mood on stage could be applied to canvas. As her interest in painting grew, she began playing with oils; and later, after studying with various teachers, expanded her areas of interest to pastels and watercolor. Her work has hung in prestigious places like the office of the Attorney General of Mississippi, Reformed Theological Seminary, and the Eudora Welty Library.
Back to Belhaven 2012 proved to be a homecoming for Mrs. Bewey Bowden. The Bettye Quinn Alumni House hosted a showing of Bewey’s art for the classes of 1962, 1977, and several additional visitors. While the show was a great success, my favorite part was just getting to know Mrs. Bowden. And I am not the only one who has enjoyed getting to know Bewey over the years. In the 1985 White Columns, the dedication to her reads like this:
This year was the last for a very special speech and drama teacher, Mrs. Bewey D. Bowden. She has taught classes at Belhaven from 1958-1985 and been continually successful with her theatrical productions which include “The Heiress” and “Spoon River Anthology.”Her inspiration as a Christian, talents in drama and art, and flair for fashion and style will be missed greatly by all who knew her.
During the show, she would comment, “You need a Bewey.” And many would respond with enthusiasm…purchasing an original painting or a giclee (it was a new word for me, too) of her Fitzhugh Hall piece. The Bettye Quinn Alumni House was buzzing with comments like, “That is beautiful!” and “I love the colors in that one.” One such comment came from my own lips as I moved a very colorful rooster. As we were taking down the remaining pieces to transport them back to her studio, she said, “Beth, you have worked hard…take this rooster.” My kitchen now proudly displays the very rooster with which I had fallen in love. I can say that I have a Bewey!