Collaborative exhibition highlights talents of Auburn faculty and staff

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The Auburn University Faculty Exhibition is on display at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University from Jan. 23 through March 20. The exhibition reflects the individual interests and skills of the diverse studio faculty in the College of Liberal Arts' Department of Art and Art History and features paintings, sculpture, works on paper, ceramics and other media.

The collaboration between the museum and the department has been ongoing since the museum opened its doors in 2003, but the exhibition has existed in some form for many years.

"It's been a tradition as long as I've been in Auburn, so for 27 plus years," said Allyson Comstock, chair of the Department of Art and Art History. "It used to be every other year. Then when the museum was constructed and they agreed to exhibit our work, it shifted to every three years. Ideally a student who comes in as a freshman will, at some point, have an opportunity to go see what all of their professors do."

In the exhibit, works from tenured and tenure-track faculty are on display, as well as some of the faculty who teach part time.

"It's an opportunity for us to showcase what we do for students and the Auburn community at large," Comstock said. "There will be a wide-range of work because it's reflecting all of the various disciplines in which we work, and it represents our creative research for the past several years. I don't personally know exactly what everyone is presenting, so it's also a moment for us as faculty to see."

The faculty and staff in art are consistently creating work and exhibiting it throughout the world, but having it on display at the museum allows everyone to experience what the artists have created during their time at Auburn.

"The partnership with the museum is an excellent venue for our art faculty and staff to showcase their creative research, and also for the community and students to see the close relationship between the classroom and application," said Joseph Aistrup, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

During the exhibition, the Studio Faculty Exhibition will feature "A Little Art Talk" every Wednesday from Jan. 27–March 9, beginning at noon. The talks last 15-30 minutes and attendees will be treated to free iced tea or coffee.

"I think those that come will find work that they like and can connect to," Comstock said. "But I also think they'll find work that opens up new ways of thinking about art that may be new to them."

On Jan. 29, artist Sue Coe will give the opening lecture for this exhibition. Her presentation, "Animal Farm," will be held at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. Coe's work is among the most politically charged art produced today. She has been included in numerous museum collections and featured in exhibitions. While Coe's work covers a variety of subjects, she has spent years documenting the atrocities committed by people against animals. Coe was awarded the prestigious Dickinson College Arts Award in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Both Coe's lecture and the reception to follow are free and open to the public. It was made possible in part by an Auburn University Special Lectures grant. Seating for this event is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance registration is strongly encouraged online at, or by calling (334) 844-3085.

The exhibition also features free admission, courtesy of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art's business partners.

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