The Hare name greets us every time we enter the stadium, but most do not know the Hare legacy is also rooted in Toomer’s Corner. Cliff Hare, Owner of AuburnArt, bought the small store June of 2011 in order to promote his two passions: Auburn and of course, art.
“I like owning my own business because of the freedom to express my love of Auburn and to be able to convey what Auburn traditions mean to me and my family,” Hare said. “I also appreciate other local artisans and am grateful to be able to promote those artists that share my passion for Auburn and the South.”
Hare graduated from Auburn in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial design. While at Auburn, Hare had a good balance of school and fun, and was touched by all the relationships he formed.
“When you come to Auburn you learn what it means to be a member of the Auburn family,” Hare said. “It changes you and you turn out to be someone better, someone stronger, someone nicer, but most importantly, someone that respects the value of what it is to be a good person with character and ideals.”
Hare continued his schooling at the Art Institute in Denver, Colo. He traveled around the state and spent three years earning a degree in photography. Combining his passion of the outdoors with his photography expertise, Hare began shooting landscapes.
“It was a blast taking pictures and creating art, all while seeing the world,” Hare said.
He joined his two skill sets of industrial design and photography and began shooting for magazines and advertisements. One of Hare’s shoots lasted four days in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, and from a whole crew of photographers, his photo was chosen to adorn the front page of a tourism magazine.
The Mosca Sand Dunes in the San Luis Valley, Colo. Photo taken by Cliff Hare.
Hare felt a tug to return to the plains after graduating from the Art Institute in 2010, and put down roots when he bought AuburnArt, right next to Toomer’s Drugs. Ever since he bought the store, Hare has been busy building a sense of community.
He fulfilled the need of eager Auburn fans and initiated Corner Kickoff, a tailgate-style viewing of the “Auburn Everyday Show” right at Toomer’s Corner the weekend before the 2012 season’s first game. This event became a huge collaboration between Auburn IMG Sports Network, AuburnArt, Auburn Parks and Recreation and the Auburn University Athletics Department.
Hare also wanted to promote the artistic focus of the store this fall, developing an Artist Search contest in order to find local artisans with unique skills and talents. Four local artists placed in the top five of the contest and their handmade pieces are now sold in the store.
Overall, Hare is a down-to-earth Auburn gentleman who, at the end of his interview said, “It is just great to be a member of the Auburn family.”