The South's Finest Artists highlighted in Auburn exhibition

  • AUBURN, Alabama
  • /
  • May 30, 2012

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Artist Thornton Dial
Jerry Siegel

June 2 through August 18, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University will host Facing South: Portraits of Southern Artists by Jerry Siegel, an exhibition featuring one hundred remarkable images of southern artists.

Photographer Jerry Siegel has captured some of the South's best known artists from North Carolina to Louisiana, each of whom shares common cultural experiences that translate into a wide variety of artistic expressions. This collective group portrait by Siegel reflects an insightful examination of this multicultural community and documents the rich depth of art making in the South.

Jerry Siegel, a native of Selma, attended the Art Institute of Atlanta. After twenty-nine years as a much sought after commercial photographer in Atlanta, Siegel relocated to Birmingham where he continues to shoot for commercial clients while also pursuing his fine arts work, which includes documenting the cultural landscape of the South, focusing on the Black Belt region as well as his ongoing series of southern artists.

Accompanying Facing South is the related exhibition Southern Artists/Southern Art?, which runs through August 11. Southern Artists/Southern Art? features a selection of paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture by twenty-five of the extraordinary artists that Siegel photographed. The hundred sitters pictured in Facing South number among the most significant artists that call the South home.

On Friday, June 1 at 6 pm JCSM will host the opening of Facing South: Portraits of Southern Artists by Jerry Siegel. JCSM's Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Dennis Harper, and photographer Jerry Siegel will share the stage for a conversation about the project that led to the exhibition and its accompanying publication. The program is followed by a reception with a cash bar. So that we may plan for refreshments, please RSVP to Robbin at or 334.844.3085.

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 JCSM gift shop. The catalogue includes a foreword by JCSM's director Marilyn Laufer with essays by JCSM curator Dennis Harper and Julian Cox, Founding Curator of Photography and Chief Curator of the de Young Museum in San Francisco. To reserve your copy please contact Carol Robicheaux at  or call 334.844.3096.


Colleen Bourdeau
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
901 South College St
Auburn, Alabama
About Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

Open since 2003, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University is Alabama’s only university art museum. Serving as the gateway into Auburn University, the museum is home to many pieces of culturally significant art. The collection includes 115 Audubon prints, a rare group of more than 40 Tibetan bronzes and works by important American artists, such as Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe and Lyonel Feininger. The museum rotunda hangs a three-tiered, hand-blown glass chandelier created especially for the museum by internationally-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. The beauty continues onto the grounds of the museum with fifteen acres of gardens, walking paths and water features, complete with an eleven and a half foot tall brass sculpture, Spinoff, created by Auburn alumna Jean Woodham.

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