AUBURN – “Monument: Images by Jerry Siegel, ” an exhibition of photography by the Alabama native of his hometown of Selma, remains on view through Feb. 22 at Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum. To put the exhibition into the larger context of his work, Siegel will give a presentation on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 5 p.m. in the corridor gallery of the museum.
“Siegel approaches place with the sensitivity of a portraitist,” said Scott Bishop, Curator of Education for the museum.
Bishop said that while photographing the places of his past – the house where he lived as a child, the town of Selma and the Black Belt landscape – Siegel has created a monument to this Southern town where important political and personal histories unfolded and where the future seems uncertain.
“The collection of images, oddly empty of the human figure, speaks of life’s transience and the power of memory and of photography to make manifest the beauty of nostalgia,” said Bishop.
Siegel studied at the University of South Alabama and the Atlanta Institute of Art. Since the 1970s he has maintained a studio in Atlanta as a base for a wide range of photographic commissions and projects. Active as a painter, photographer and collector of work by self-taught artists, Siegel has shown his photography at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Atlanta; and the Alabama State Council for the Arts in Montgomery. In addition, his works are included in the collections of many museums and corporations.
Siegel’s commercial work is primarily portraiture, and his recent exhibition at the Ogden, “Jerry Siegel: Portraits of Southern Artists,” brought together 55 portraits of three generations of artists taken over 15 years.
Siegel’s talk is part of the museum’s Free Night programming. The museum and its galleries will be open until 8 p.m. For more information about the Jule Collins Smith Museum and its programming, go to http://jcsm.auburn.edu/.