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Coburn Gallery hosts new exhibit

Christine Jenkinson

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The Coburn Art Gallery opened Feb. 15 at 4:30 p.m. with a new exhibit, “Dear Dr. Seuss,” and will run through Feb. 24.

The new exhibit will be open the same week of Seussical to compliment the Dr. Seuss theme of the musical.

Cynthia Petry, director of the Coburn Gallery and professional instructor of art, explains how the art of the show came to be.

“We wanted to do a brief show while it was running and we put out a call for student artists,” Petry said, “so young artists of all ages, professional artists, we have AU students and they work, also faculty, so it’s sort of a fun look at what inspired them about Dr. Seuss…The whimsical nature of his work, it’s very fantasy, everything’s sort of fluffy, and the different creatures, so I’m anxious to see the work altogether.”

Dr. Seuss’s books will be coming to life in the theater lobby with the help of Smithville schools.

“We have a high school and middle school coming in from Smithville and they’re going to be transforming the front of the gallery into a Dr. Seuss book,” Petry said. “So they’re going to paint the walls, they made furniture, so they whole thing is going to be a weird furry environment, so the activities will be the environment itself.”

Art Saturday is a free event where families can make their own fishbowl and a “Dr. Seuss creature of their own invention,” Petry said.

On Feb. 16, 17, 18, 23 and 24, it will go from 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m and 1:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. for the matinee.
An AU club will be part of this exhibition.

“Art club is also having a pop-up shop, so they’ll be selling some of their own works and then they’ll be doing a small canvas sale for the Beacon House, which is a local after school program, they’re raising money for that as well and that will be open the 15th, 16th and 18th.” Petry said. “It’ll be open prior to the production, during intermission and then after the show.”

So why is it called “Dear Dr. Seuss?”

“Any kid, whether you like science, or nature, or music or whatever your thing is, there’s usually someone that inspires you and I thought of it that way and this was sort of our visual letter to him,” Petry said. “A way of saying these cool things, I think for students it’s the style. Sort of this really loose feeling to the drawing when you see them and they’re very organic, sort of look like an aural but then they’re just not at all.”

This exhibition is free and open to the public, AU students, faculty and staff.

“People should come out,” Petry said. “It’ll be fun, I’m really excited to see the environment.”

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