Along the heels of Salvador Dali’s Illustrations of Dante’s Inferno and coinciding perfectly with Tim Burton’s production of Alice in Wonderland, the Fayetteville Museum of Art presents Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by Salvador Dali.

Along with the exhibition, the museum has several exciting themed events through out the next several weeks. A boon for the community, the museum staff found this treasure quite by accident, and right here in town, through a private collector.

“We stumbled upon it when we were doing research about his (Dali’s) illustrations of the Divine Comedy,” said Michele Horn, Fayetteville Museum of Art assistant director/curator. “It was certainly interesting and intriguing because the Alice in Wonderland movie was about to premier in theaters. When we were down at the Dali exhibit and were working with collectors, there were a couple of works of Dali’s on loan from some private collections here in Fayetteville. It was brought to our attention that a private collector actually owned Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by Salvador Dali.”

03-17-10 alice-in-wonderland.gifIn keeping with the offbeat nature of both Dali and Alice in Wonderland, the pieces are unframed.

“We are working on creating a method of displaying it so that the work is protected and it is easily viewed by visitors,” said Horn. “But it is gorgeous.”

With 13 pieces, this exhibit is much smaller than the previous Dali showcase.

“It is hard to compete with 100 works,” said Horn. “There are certainly not as many images to see but there are so many layers in this work that you can spend much more time looking at different symbols that Dali used in the work. There is this image of Alice throughout the collection. In each work she is depicted in a silhouette form and she is always holding a jump rope. It is very interesting.”

March 26 and 27, Barnes & Noble is partnering with the museum in hosting a book fair at the Glensford Drive store. Look for characters in costume, art activities and events for the kids and story time all centered around the Wonderland experience.

April 17 at the Fayetteville Museum of Art, on Stamper Road, there will be a Down the Rabbit Hole Event — family style — from 2-5 p.m. Along with face painting and art activities for the kids, Alice and friends will be on hand hosting a tea party. Participants are encouraged to come in costume and be a part of the festivities. Tickets are $10 per child.

Later that evening, from 8-11 p.m. an adult soiree will unfold on the museum grounds. For $45 guests can relive the adventures of their youth with the Wonderland theme.

“Adults have fond childhood memories, Alice in Wonderland was a part of their youth and certainly now looking through the eyes of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp it is bringing that childhood memory back to life,” said Horn. “We have talked to so many folks who are excited about getting dressed up for the event. Having an adult soiree in addition to the the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by Salvador Dali, we are also going to have a special exhibit that will open during the adult soiree.”

A group of local artists that call themselves the Outsider Artists are putting together an exhibit that follows this theme of Alice in Wonderland. Area artists in this group will put on an exhibit that evening for folks to see their interpretation of Carrol’s work.

Visitors will see what inspiration the artists gleaned from illustrating or just taking from the subject matter already on display and applying it to their own body of work. Pieces will be shown in various mediums — some are painters, some are photographers, some are mixed-medium professionals and some are sculptors, so there will be a lot of variety.

For more information about any of these events, visit www.fayettevillemuseumart.org or give them a call at 485-5121.

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