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auburn’s growing arts scene published by The

Auburn Plainsman



The Auburn Plainsman: Gogue Performing Arts Center

August 22, 2019


Singer, songwriter and Broadway actress Morgan James performs at a reveal party for the Gogue Performing Arts Center’s inaugural season on March 6, 2019.

Lineup announced for Grand Opening Festival STAFF REPORT Fall 2019

The lineup for the Grand Opening Festival of the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center was announced Friday. Here are the scheduled performances: THURSDAY, AUG.22 LANY and special guest COIN will headline a free concert for Auburn students, faculty and staff in the amphitheatre. The show, scheduled for 7 p.m., is presented in partnership with UPC. FRIDAY, AUG. 23 Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with special guest Molly Tuttle will perform for a sold-out crowd in the amphitheatre. SATURDAY, AUG. 24 Michael Feinstein and Friends with Storm Large and special guests Santiago Ballerini and Jeremy Samolesky will perform in a black-tie fête in the Woltosz Theatre at 8 p.m.

SUNDAY, AUG. 25 The festival will host a community day that will feature outdoor activities and performances by local and regional artists. The community day will be held in the amphitheatre from noon to 4 p.m. LANY, an indie-pop trio, released their second album, “Malibu Nights,” in 2018 and will be making their Grand Opening Festival appearance at the end of a six-month world tour. “We are proud to kick off our Grand Opening Festival weekend with a show produced for and by Auburn University students,” said Amy Miller, director of programming and education for the Gogue Center. “This first GPAC event sets the stage for an incredible season to come and demonstrates our focus to develop campus-wide partnerships through a diverse mix of programming and educational experiences.” Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit will play to a crowd of more than 3,000 people at the amphitheater on Friday evening. The concert sold out in less than six days, according to a press release from the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center. “Jason is a supremely talented songwriter and lyricist whose music is deeply influenced by his Alabama roots,” said

Christopher Heacox, executive director of the Gogue Center. “He’s the ideal artist for our premiere ticketed show.” Bluegrass and country folk musician Molly Tuttle will join Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit as the evening’s opening act. Saturday evening’s black-tie Grand Opening Fête will be headlined by Grammy- and Emmy- nominated Michael Feinstein. The evening will also include a performance by Santiago Ballerini, a bel canto tenor, and Auburn University’s own Jeremy Samolesky on piano. “We are thrilled to welcome Michael Feinstein and Friends to celebrate the opening of the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center,” Heacox said. “With music from the big band era all the way to opera, we will be able to show off the beauty and acoustics of the Woltosz Theatre.” The evening will conclude with a champagne toast and building dedication, along with a surprise closing spectacle. Tickets to the Grand Opening Fête are available for $150. The festival will close with a community day on Sunday. The event, free and open to the public, will have food trucks and outdoor family-friendly activities. The afternoon’s musical lineup includes performances by Kidd Black Disco Show, Don Clayton, Ella Langley, The Pine Hill Haints and Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness.

August 22, 2019

The Auburn Plainsman: Gogue Performing Arts Center




23 | Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit 24 | Michael Feinstein and Friends 25 | Community day

3 | DIAVOLO: Architecture in Motion 12 | Larry, Steve and Rudy ­— The Gatlin Brothers 18 | Chris Botti 30 | 42ft — A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels by Cirque Mechanics




24 | Renée Fleming 27 | An Evening with Sutton Foster 29 | Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox

1 | Allman Betts Band 21 | Béla Fleck and the Flectktones

3 | Montrose Trio 4/5 | Escape to Margaritaville 17 | VOCES8 tickets available online



17 | Dino-Light by Lightwire Theater 31 | Dorrance Dance

1 | Pablo Sáinz Villegas: Americano Trio 3 | Matt Haimovitz and Simone Dinnerstein 20 | Sierra Hull Band 24 | Dover Quartet and Bridget Kibbey 26 | Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

FEBRUARY 13 | The Beach Boys 18/19 | RENT 20th Anniversary Tour 21 | Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience 25/26 | Waitress



7 | Alfredo Rodríguez and Pedrito Martinez 18 | Camille A. Brown 21 | Zakir and Friends

8 | Air Play by Acrobuffs tickets available online


The Auburn Plainsman: Gogue Performing Arts Center

August 22, 2019

Constructing the center The Gogue Performing Arts Center has been under construction for nearly three years, starting as a large plot of land and shell of a big building, to what it is now.


August 22, 2019

The Auburn Plainsman: Gogue Performing Arts Center

A Shade mORe daRing


Former Auburn University President Jay Gogue speaks during reception celebrating his legacy on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 in Auburn, Ala.

‘It’s going to be awkward’ Gogue speaks on cutting the ribbon for the center named after him. By STEPHEN LANZI Campus Editor

As retirement loomed, former Auburn President Jay Gogue and his wife Susie were honored at his final Board of Trustees meeting when it was made official that the historic performing arts center would be named after them. What he didn’t know is he would end up cutting the ribbon at the grand opening. “It’s kind of embarrassing,” Gogue said with a heavy laugh. After Gogue’s successor Steven Leath abruptly parted ways with the University two months prior to the grand

opening of the $75 million center, the Board of Trustees asked Gogue to serve as interim while the university found a permanent replacement. Remaining active in the community in retirement, Gogue would likely still have been a part of the event in some capacity, but never would he have imagined he would be the one cutting the ribbon at the building that was named after him. “If you were retired, in a way, you come back, it’s very nice, you feel good,” Gogue said. “But it’s a little awkward to be there at this circus now,” he said with a self-deprecating laugh.

John and Rosemary Brown, who donated $25 million for the construction of the center, were inspired by the Gogues’ appreciation for the arts and honored the president and First Lady with the name of the center. Regardless of the awkwardness, Gogue said the performing arts center is a huge achievement for the University, and it is an honor for the building to be named after him. “It’s going to be awkward, I haven’t thought much about it,” Gogue told The Plainsman after being named interim president. “It’s a huge deal for the community and all of us.”





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The Auburn Plainsman: Gogue Performing Arts Center

August 22, 2019

Jule Collins holds Alabama-centric exhibits By ABIGAIL MURPHY Lifestyle Writer

As the Gogue Performing Arts Center gears up for the grand opening, another part of Auburn’s growing arts scene is opening up its newest semester schedule. The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art has Alabama-focused exhibits, upcoming talks and demonstrations from featured artists and new exhibitions opening throughout the fall 2019 semester. They currently have three exhibits to celebrate the Alabama Bicentennial, including “The Artistic Legacy of Alabama Polytechnic Institute,” “Fire and Water: Prints by Florence Neal” and “Creative Cadences: Works of Roger and Greg Brown.” “The Artistic Legacy of API” is open until Sept. 1 and explores the history of the University’s Department of Art and Art History from 1926 to 1959. Dennis Harper, curator of collections and exhibitions, said the exhibit features both professors’ and students’ artwork to commemorate and bring to light Auburn’s past. “Fire and Water: Prints by Florence Neal” is open until Sept. 8 and showcases the works of Florence Neal, an Auburn alumnus. The exhibition consists mostly of black and white prints,

focusing on fire and water, with its subjects being fireworks displays and riverside scenes. Christy Barlow, curator of education for student and community programs, said that Neal will be at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art on the following dates: Sept. 3 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Sept. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sept. 5 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Neal will be demonstrating the Japanese printmaking technique: Mokuhanga. “Creative Cadences: Works by Roger and Greg Brown” shows the works of two brothers, Roger and Greg Brown, and is open until Nov. 3. Harper said both brothers grew up in Opelika. Roger passed away from AIDS in the 90s. Greg Brown currently lives in Montgomery, Alabama. He will be at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art on Oct. 10 at 5 p.m. to give a demonstration on hypertufa, a medium made out of Portland cement, perlite and peat moss. He will also be in a talk with Lisa Stone, Curator of the Roger Brown Study Collection, on Oct. 24. On Aug. 25, “Please Play Again: The Art of Janet Nolan” will open to feature Janet Nolan’s artworks of recycled materials and will remain open until Jan. 6. “She transforms casted-off materials and con-

verts it into things of beauty,” Harper said. These works are made from items Nolan found in the street, like crushed soda cans, and she crafted them into artworks to show how anything can become art. “The Unfolding Center: Arthur Sze and Susan York” will be on display from Sept. 14 to Jan. 12. York is a visual minimalist artist, while Sze is a poet. The exhibit showcases them together for the two art forms to play off one another, Harper said. Both Sze and York will be at the museum Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. to give a talk. Sze will be the featured poet for Third Thursday Poetry on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. On Oct. 4, the exhibit “Out of the Box: A Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition” will be on display. The biannual exhibit showcases sculptors around the U.S. Their work will be on display in the museum grounds until Oct. 4, 2020. This year’s juror, Patrick Dougherty, will be installing a sculpture of his own in September. Dougherty uses saplings to bind and construct massive works, Harper said. The museum is looking for volunteers to help with installation. A volunteer information session will be held Aug. 28 at 5:30 p.m. No prior sculpting or art experience is required to help, Barlow said.

August 22, 2019

The Auburn Plainsman: Gogue Performing Arts Center7


Arts Center to incorporate all facets of community By EDUARDO MEDINA Editor-in-chief

The entire Auburn community was taken into consideration when planning for the opening of the Gogue Performing Arts Center. With a packed year of performances and events, The Plainsman spoke with Amy Miller, the center’s director of programming and education, to hear about how the venue’s multifaceted uses could potentially enrich Auburn’s growing arts scene and the community as a whole. MASTERCLASSES The Gogue Center will be hosting masterclasses with artists who visit the center. Artists will have the opportunity to interact with and teach students in the theater department. “Most of our artists will be engaging in some way,” Miller said.

“We are collaborating together on programming,” Miller said. The Gogue Center is right across the street from the museum, and Miller said plans are in the works for dual events and partnerships. INTERACTING WITH OTHER DEPARTMENTS Working with the faculty of other departments, Miller said, is mutually beneficial. “If there is an art and design and engineer-

ing element to what [the Gogue Center] is doing, or a tech element, we’ll be connecting with those folks,” Miller said. It’s a chance to show that the arts are an innovative tool for learning, he added. Whether it’s for K-12, faculty, students or staff, Miller said the arts are a tool for engagements – a place to gather, hear stories and learn. “That’s what the center is going to be helping to provide and inevitably bringing to Auburn,” Miller said.

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Heading to GPAC? Join Chef Miguel before the show!

ARTISTS TALKS A variety of artists in the spring will be delivering artists talks, giving guests the chance to hear from musicians and performers, Miller said. K-12 MATINEES According to Miller, here will be six matinees specifically intended for K-12 students in the spring. “We’ll be busing in students from around the area,” Miller said. Miller added that the hope is for children to have an opportunity to engage with the arts in the Loveliest Village on the Plains. COLLABORATION The Gogue Center and the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art will form an arts district, Miller said.

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Profile for The Auburn Plainsman

Auburn's Growing Arts Scene Special Issue  

Auburn's Growing Arts Scene Special Issue