The exhibit features more than 100 pieces from the Southeast’s master artists and has works in ceramics, woodworking, basketry and other traditional media.
The show was organized by the Southern Arts Federation and showcases 58 regional artists, with some being as local as Opelika.
Auburn is the only city in the state of Alabama to host the event.
Marilyn Laufer, director of JCSM, said the museum welcomes the opportunity to be the only venue in the state and they look for- ward to people attending the programs planned to go with the exhibition.
“Since JCSM always looks for opportunities to bring the very best to our community, we felt this would fit that mission and also present some artwork that would be new and en- gaging for our audiences,” Laufer said.
The show features some eye catching works, such as a full Mardi Gras costume and a quilt which tells the stories of countless unjust lynchings.
Laufer said the museum was able to host all the pieces intended for the ex- hibition.
“It is a very full installation, but we did not want our audience to miss out on any part of it if we could avoid that,” Laufer said.
Gwendolyn Magee is a textile artist from Jackson, Miss.
Magee said she has two quilts featured in the show, including the lynching piece, titled “Blood of the Slaughtered.”
Magee said a single line from “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson haunted her for months until she addressed it.
“Somehow through the medium of my art form I gave voice and recognition to thousands of lynch victims, all of whom died tragically, most of whom died so all alone, and most of whom no longer are remembered or known,” Magee said.
Magee said it is an honor to have her work in this exhibit.
Magee said quilting has especially deep roots for African Americans, honed from necessity during slavery.
“It became one of the primary methods used by ancestors trying to keep their families warm when ‘the hawk’ came swooping
through the cracks and crevices of the dilapidated shacks and shanties in which they were forced to live,” Magee said.
Kate Grill, senior in philosophy, said she was intrigued by everything she saw at the exhibit.
“It’s all so different and not like anything I thought it would be,” Grill said. “They used the materials in ways I wouldn’t expect.”
Grill also said the full Mardi Gras costume created by Darryl Montana looked like something Elvis might have worn.
Laufer said it may be too early to tell the response to the show, but she said two local artists attended the opening lecture and reception Jan. 21.
“The old saying that ‘there is something for everyone’ certainly applies here,” Laufer said. “It is a delightful show.”
Admission to JCSM is free.
The museum is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
The third Thursday of each month is Late Night with extended hours to 8 p.m.
For more information on events at the museum or the art exhibit, visit http://jcsm.auburn.edu/ index.php.