uac020310001.gif Salvador Dali lived larger than life. Throughout his career he was celebrated and reviled — depending on where he was in his career. For a time, he was celebrated by the Surrealists of the period, but they later turned their back on him. His political affi liations lost him many supporters, as did his extravagant lifestyle. But that mattered little to Dali. He lived for his art, and one of the most complex works he created during his long-lived career was the illustration of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

That work, commisisoned by the Italian government in 1957 to celebrate the 700th birthday of Dante, will come to Fayetteville for a special exhibition through the Fayetteville Musuem of Art Feb. 13-29. The exhibition at the Fayetteville Museum of Art is part of a 10-city national tour over a three-year period and contain 100 prints from Dalí’s Divine Comedy Suite. The exhibition also features bilingual text panels.

Due to the sheer size of the exhibit, the museum will hang the show on the fi rst fl oor of the Lundy Building in Festival Park.

“The Lundy Group has allowed us to use 9,000 square feet on the fi rst fl oor to house the exhibit,” said Tom Grubb, executive director of the Fayetteville Museum of Art. “We needed to go there because of the size of the exhibition. It will also allow us to host our school tours and the opening gala all in one location.”

Grubb is excited that the museum is the only facility in North Carolina to be afforded the opportunity to host the exhibit.

In light of the museum’s recent revelations concerning its fi nancial status, the exhibit is, according to museum supporters, a positive step.

“In recent months, we have shared publicly that our fi nancial struggles were serious. The consequences of our struggle are not all negative. Under economic stress, it has become more important t02-03-10-purgatorio-15-law-of-climbing.gifhan ever that the museum dedicate itself to strong leadership and programming. We have been working hard to realize our goals and would like to share that we have found our goals to be attainable,” said Meredith Player Stiehl, FMoA president.

Those goals include bringing world-class art exhibits to the community and building relationships with area organizations and providing art education to the community. All of those goals are being achieved through the Dali exhibit. The museum has partnered with the Cumberland County Schools to bring students to the exhibit.

“I believe that to understand and appreciate art, young people need to be exposed to the greats. Through the exhibit hosted by the Art Museum, the community gets a chance to see a world renowned artist,” said Dr. Frank Till, Cumberland County Schools superintendent.

Admission to the exhibit is $10 for adults; $6 children (6-18; children 5 and under are free. The exhibit is open Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 1-4 p.m.

Special showings will be held on Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. and from 7-9 p.m., when wine and snacks will be served complimentary with entry fee during Fourth Friday festivities. On Feb. 16 and 23 the museum will offer military/college appreciation night, with half price entry with appropriate ID between 5 and 7 pm. On Thursday, Feb. 11 the museum will host an opening gala at 7 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person.

For more information, visit the museum Web site at www. fayettevillemuseumart.org/dali.htm or call 485-5121.

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