AUBURN – The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art , along with honorary chairs, Auburn University President Jay Gogue and his wife, Susie, will host “Art in the Garden – En Plein Air” April 16-17. The festivities for this fundraising event will take place “en plein air,” or, in the open air, with the museum’s gardens as the setting.
Self-taught topiary artist Pearl Fryar, whose work has received international acclaim, will demonstrate the art of topiary beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 16. In 1984, Fryar began creating what is now a visually whimsical garden covering three acres at his South Carolina home. The story of Fryar and his topiary art are the subject of a 2006 documentary, “A Man Named Pearl.”
Also beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, guests will have an opportunity to paint their own masterpieces under the guidance of art instructors while tasting an array of French wines.
Ursula’s Catering will offer guests a sampling of French hors d’oeuvres and Route 66 will provide music for dancing on the terrace. Guests can bid on a variety of items during silent and live auctions.
A luncheon at 11 a.m. on Saturday will feature Mary Pat Matheson, director of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, as the guest speaker. Matheson will talk about her institution’s success at placing art into the botanical garden. Following the program, guests will enjoy a French inspired lunch served in the grand gallery.
Tickets are $75 for Friday night’s events and $60 for Saturday’s luncheon. The proceeds from this weekend will be used to fund exhibitions and educational programming at Jule Collins Smith Museum.
To purchase tickets, contact Cindy Cox at (334) 844-3005 or go to www.jcsm.auburn.edu and click on Special Events, Art in the Garden.
(Contributed by Colleen Bourdeau.)