Summer exhibitions at Jule Collins Smith Museum showcase prominent Southern artists

Thornton DialAUBURN – The exhibition “Facing South: Portraits of Southern Artists by Jerry Siegel” will be on display June 2 through Aug. 18 at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University.

“Facing South” features 100 images portraying some of the South’s best-known artists, from North Carolina to Louisiana, who share common cultural experiences that translate into a wide variety of artistic expressions. The collective group portrait by Siegel reflects an insightful examination of this multicultural community of artists and documents the richness of art-making in the South.

Siegel, a native of Selma, attended the Art Institute of Atlanta. After 29 years as a commercial photographer in Atlanta, Siegel relocated to Birmingham where he continues to shoot for commercial clients and to pursue his fine arts work through which he documents the cultural landscape of the South.

Accompanying “Facing South” is the related exhibition “Southern Artists/Southern Art?” featuring a selection of paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture by 25 of the artists that Siegel photographed. “Southern Artists/Southern Art?” will be on display through Aug. 11.

Friday, June 1, at 6 p.m., the museum will host the opening of the “Facing South” exhibition. Photographer Siegel and Dennis Harper, the museum’s curator of collections and exhibitions, will share the stage for a conversation about the project that led to the exhibition and its accompanying publication. The program will be followed by a reception with a cash bar. RSVP for the reception to Robbin Birmingham at (334) 844-3085 or RobbinB@auburn.edu.

“Facing South” is organized by the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art and will travel to select museums. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated hard-cover catalogue that can be purchased for $29.95 at the museum gift shop. The catalogue includes a foreword by museum director Marilyn Laufer with essays by curator Dennis Harper and Julian Cox, Founding Curator of Photography and Chief Curator of the de Young Museum in San Francisco. To reserve a copy, contact Carol Robicheaux at (334) 844-3096 or robiccc@auburn.edu.

(Contributed by Colleen Bourdeau.)

Contact: Colleen Bourdeau, Jule Collins Smith Museum, (334) 844-7075 (cst0001@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)