Janet L. McCoy


AUBURN -- Completion of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art at Auburn University is nearly two years away, but museum staffers are already developing programs to bring the arts to the community.

A one-day bus tour from Auburn to view an exhibition of paintings by Vincent Van Gogh at Atlanta's High Museum of Art is scheduled for Nov. 2.

Also, a "Tailgate at the Museum" is scheduled Nov. 11 for museum patrons and others hours before the Auburn Tigers play the Georgia Bulldogs in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The unprecedented exhibition -- "Van Gogh's Starry Night: Three Pieces from The Museum of Modern Art, New York" -- will showcase "The Starry Night", "The Olive Trees" and a portrait of Joseph Roulin, a sympathetic postman who befriended the artist late in his life.

"The Starry Night" depicts the artist's expressive response to the night sky near the southern French city of Saint-Rémy in 1889. "The Olive Trees" represents a contrasting view of the bring sunlight of the Saint-Rémy landscape.

Michael De Marsche, director of AU's Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art, says the "Van Gogh exhibition offers our museum's patrons an exceptional opportunity to view masterpieces by one of the art world's greatest personalities and talents."

It is the first time such Van Gogh masterpieces have traveled to a Southern museum.

Cost of the tour is $65 and includes admission to the exhibition and lunch.

The "Tailgate at the Museum," set for four hours before the football game, will be at Greystone House on the corner of Magnolia Avenue and Debardelablen Street.

Festivities include appearances by former Auburn football coach Pat Dye, Auburn announcer Jim Fyffe and Aubie; a drawing for an AU football helmet signed by Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, face painting and big screen television for viewing other games. In addition, renderings of he museum will be on display and the first 100 new members will receive free "Tailgate at the Museum" T-shirts.

Tickets for the barbecue lunch will cost $8 for adults and $5 for children.

"Because the museum is privately funded, our future is dependent on the generosity of its members," De Marsche said. "We are confident that the Auburn community can help us reach our membership goal of 1,000 members before we open the doors of the museum in 2002."

Proceeds from the tailgate will got to the museum's Fund for Educational Excellence in the Arts, established to ensure that all school children in the Auburn area have the opportunity to visit the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art at least once every school year.

For information about either program, contact the museum staff at 334/844-1484.

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CONTACT: De Marsche or Haden Holmes Brown, special events and publication coordinator, 334/844-1484.