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Charlotte Hendrix

Gregorio Prestopino (American, 1907–1984) Donkey Engine, 1948 Gouache on paper Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Advancing American Art Collection 1948.1.29

Collection Spotlight: Gregorio Prestopino

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In this collection spotlight, advanced art history students in Dr. Emily Burn’s class Art of the United States have prepared two practicum exhibitions opening this fall.Pieces selected for the exhibitions were chosen from the museum’s permanent collection. The research below is from “The American City: Tourists and Denizens.”

Gregorio Prestopino
(American, 1907–1984)
Donkey Engine, 1948
Gouache on paper
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Advancing American Art Collection
1948.1.29

Rattling on the tracks, wheezing of steam, and grinding of gears as the engineer navigates from train-to-train—Gregorio Prestopino’s Donkey Engine invokes these noises. This painting communicates the radial churning of pistons around wheels easing this once majestic vehicle to a halt in the foreground of a train yard. In the background to the right, subway cars and boats repeat their daily routine. Born in the Lower East Side of New York City at the turn of the century, Prestopino is understood as a social realist because of his depictions of the grit and toil of city life. Here Prestopino draws attention to the docks and workers of the Lower East Side, highlighting labor vital to the city’s existence, yet often overshadowed by the glamour of urban life.

Gregorio Prestopino (American, 1907–1984) Donkey Engine, 1948 Gouache on paper Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Advancing American Art Collection 1948.1.29

JCSM Museum Shop Art Sale Dec. 2

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Eat, drink and buy art!

Join JCSM, as we invite up to 12 artists for a specially curated, one-day seasonal event on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. Our featured artist is nationally acclaimed quilter, Cathy Fussell. Shop unique, hand-crafted gifts and decorative items. The Museum Cafe will have savory bites, cocktails and mocktails available for purchase as you make your selections. Martha’s Trouble will perform between 12 and 3:00 p.m. Galleries will also be open with special exhibitions from the permanent collections and loaned works from art collectors. Free admission, advance ticket reservations encouraged.

A quilter for almost 50 years, Cathy Fussell works out of her home studio in Columbus, Georgia, where she produces both hand-quilted and machine-quilted pieces. She makes traditional quilts, art quilts and modern quilts, and she salvages vintage quilt tops.

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Stephanie Edstrom Jewelry creates original custom jewelry designs, handcrafted in Auburn, Alabama that are modern, timeless and sophisticated.

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In Deborah Strawn’s words, “For many years now I have been in love with glass. It never disappoints when it comes together on the table. And at that moment, as the light passes through the work, it explodes with color.”

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Tammy Reese has recently worked as an assistant teacher at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. She uses a relatively new technique of powder printing in glass.

Holiday Hours at JCSM for 2017

By | Art Experiences, Building Community, K-12 Education, Museum Announcements, News | No Comments

Museum Hours of Operation

Spend your holidays here at Auburn’s art museum with our special holiday hours. Galleries and the Museum Shop will be open for you and your family to enjoy. The Lethander Art Path and Museum Grounds also offer nearly 20 pieces of sculpture to walk and explore.

The museum will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on
Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 22-23

We will reopen on Friday, Nov 24 and Saturday, Nov 25 from 10-4:30 pm Sunday, Nov 26 from 1-4:00 pm.

The Museum Cafe will be closed Monday, Nov 20- 26 and will not reopen until Tuesday, November 27.

The museum will be closed for the Christmas holiday from Sunday, Dec. 24- Tuesday, Dec 26.

We will reopen on Wednesday, Dec 27 from 10-4:30 pm.

We will also be closed for New Years from Sunday, Dec 31 – Tuesday, Jan 2
We will reopen on Wednesday, Jan. 3 from 10-4:30 pm.

Museum Shop Events

“Eat, Drink & Buy Art” on Sat., Dec. 2 for 12  to 6 p.m.

RSVP for Dec. 2 Art Sale

JCSM invites nationally acclaimed quilter, Cathy Fusselll, with Stephanie Edstrom, Gene Houston, Deborah Strawn and more! Enjoy cocktails, festive mocktails and small bites while you browse 12 hand-selected artists. Martha’s Trouble will perform from Noon to 3 p.m.

Museum Shop Sale on Thurs. Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Members receive 20% off items in the Museum Shop, and the general public receives 20% off. Stop by during our regular hours of operation, and find something unique.

Family and Community Programming

Community Night: A Celebration of Diversity, on Thurs., Dec. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m.

RSVP for Community Night

Join us for our first biannual Community Day. Our theme is celebrating diversity in the Auburn community. It will be a wonderful day to appreciate being together before winter break–with hot chocolate, cider and cookies (while supplies last).

  • Take a focused look at a single piece of artwork during “A Little Art Talk” at 5 pm.
  • Create vellum paper lanterns about your community with LocAL Market artists during our drop-in studio from 5 to 8 pm
  • Enjoy music and other performances by local musicians and artists
  • View artwork from JCSM Outreach Program Participants
  • Have conversations with diverse groups over cookies, hot chocolate and cider

Our partners: Auburn Heritage Association, Auburn Pointe School of Dance, Boys and Girls Clubs, Congregation Beth Shalom, Auburn, COSAM Diversity Ambassadors from the College of Sciences and Mathematics, LocAL Market and Ursula’s Catering.

Hye Yeon Nam (Louisiana, b. 1979) Floating Identity, 2017 Plexiglas and silicone (kinetic sculpture)

Share and save: “Out of the Box” Event Pics

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JCSM is so grateful to have so many friends and new visitors to the Out of the Box: A Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition outreach programs and grand opening celebration. We hope you had a great time and will share and save your favorite pictures.

With a varied exhibition schedule featuring historic and contemporary art and more than 200 free arts programs per year, JCSM has transformational experiences for all ages and stages!

Sign-up to stay connected through MailChimp–they like us to be extra sure that you really want to hear from us, so be sure to complete both steps (you won’t regret it). EMuse emails are sent 1-2 times a month with museum shop deals, special programming announcements and early-bird registrations.

Sign up for deals, programs and exhibitions curated just for you!

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Logo celebrating 1892-2017 and Auburn women

Celebrate American Business Women’s Day and 125 Years of Auburn Women with collection highlights

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Friday, Sept. 22 isn’t just the first day of fall–it’s American Business Women’s Day. JCSM is recognizing dynamic artists from our permanent collection, who are working and making art today.

The museum is also celebrating the Auburn Alumni Association’s 125 Years of Auburn Women. Now through Nov. 11, 2017, you can find women artists who have an Auburn or state of Alabama connection on view in the Louise Hauss and David Brent Miller Gallery.

Beginning Nov. 11, curators will change out the gallery for this year’s 1072 Society Exhibition. This year’s 1072 Society donor campaign will focus on significant artwork by women artists, thus proudly adding to the 96 females currently represented in the collection of more than 2,500 objects. You can learn more about supporting the arts at Auburn here. Here are a few highlights of women in the JCSM collection.

Florence Neal ’76

Throughout her career, Ms. Neal has created work that reflects her very personal experience and connectedness to the natural world, acknowledging those changing rhythms and cyclical patterns of growth and decay, ebb and flow and chaos and order. Though she has resided in Brooklyn, New York working as a
printmaker, sculptor, painter and curator for most of her adult life, she is a daughter of the deep south and her ties to the land are visceral and provocative. Ms. Neal is the Director and Co-founder of the Kentler International Drawing Space in Red Hook, Brooklyn. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Auburn University.

a pastel drawing of a bird's nest

Janet Nolan ’64

What you might step over on the streets of a big city, Janet Nolan uses to make assemblages, ranging from small to large scale. Often, rather than having an exact plan at the outset she allows the object to dictate the sculpture’s final form. The range of Nolan’s materials in recent years has included soda cans smashed in traffic, colorful plastic bottle caps, broken umbrellas and men’s neckties. Her collection of abandoned birds’ nests fills a china cupboard in her home and has inspired drawings such as the one in the museum’s collection. Currently, Ms. Nolan serves on the JCSMAdvisory Board as chair of Collections and Acquisitions.

Metal artists pour iron into molds

What is an iron pour…exactly?

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You have a specially-designed furnace, also called a cupola, in which the iron is melted. The fuel, or coke, is added to begin the heating process. Once the furnace is up to temperature, pieces of iron and additional coke are gradually added through the top of the cupola. As the iron melts, it collects around a tap at the bottom of the furnace. When enough iron is melted, the tap is opened and the hot iron flows down a channel into a specially-coated container. For our event on October 6th, the Sloss Furnaces’ metal arts crew will then pour the molten iron into sand molds, which event attendees will have had the opportunity to carve with their own designs earlier in the evening. Once the molds cool, the hardened designs will be released, and participates will have handmade souvenirs ready to take home with them that same night.

The pouring process is not only exciting and interactive, but it also recalls Alabama’s industrial past and the artisans of our region. Sloss Furnaces, a once-functioning blast furnace plant where iron was made from 1882 to 1971, is helping to educate about that rich history and the continued artistry of metal work – examples of which can be seen in several of the sculptures featured in the Out of the Box exhibition that our opening reception is celebrating — through their efforts as a National Historic Landmark.

Contributed by Jessica Hughes, co-curator, Out of the Box: A Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

artwork from the film showing a head-covered woman and a dove with olive branch.

Watch the Trailer: “Pray the Devil Back to Hell”

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Watch the official trailer

RSVP for reception and screening

JCSM and the International Women for Peace and Understanding are proud to present a free screening of the award-winning documentary, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.” This documentary chronicles the remarkable story of the Liberian women who came together to end a bloody civil war and bring peace to their shattered country. Thousands of women–mothers, grandmothers, aunts and daughters, both Christian and Muslim–came together to pray for peace and then staged a silent protest outsident the Presidential Palace in Liberia.

There will be a reception in the Museum Cafe from 1:15 to 2 pm. There will be the movie in the auditorium at 2 pm, followed by discussion.

Installation of Leo Twiggs at Auburn

Museum Live: Sept. 8, 2017

By | Art, engage | discuss | create, History, Leo Twiggs: Requiem for Mother Emanuel, News, Visiting Artist | No Comments

“Immanuel: A Symposium” was recorded and streamed live at JCSM on the afternoon before the opening of “Leo Twiggs: Requiem for Mother Emanuel.” The symposium provided the opportunity to discuss the African American church, and its historical and contemporary role as both sanctuary and location for civic and political activism.

“Under Their Own Vine and Fig Tree: African Americans and the Church in Southern History”

Presented by Dr. Richard Bailey, Alabama historian and retired research specialist

“We Are Charleston”

Presented by Dr. Bernard E. Powers, Jr. Professor of History, College of Charleston

Following this presentation, there will be a break.

“‘The Most Segregated Hour in America’: Churches and Social Justice Across the Color Line, from the Civil Rights Era to the Present”

Presented by Dr. David Carter, Associate Professor of History, Auburn University, and Dr. Johnny Green, Assistant Vice President for Outreach in Student Affairs, Auburn University

Following this presentation, there will be a panel discussion and a break. 

“Requiem for Mother Emanuel,” Dr. Leo Twiggs, Professor Emeritus, South Carolina State University

Please note that this lecture is sold out. A limited amount of seating will be available in the Museum Cafe for a live-stream of the program.

Dr. Twiggs’s lecture will shed light on his conceptualization and resolution of works in his exhibition of nine batik paintings he made in response to the June 17, 2015 massacre in Emanuel AME Church in Charleston and to its aftermath and far-reaching consequences.

Opening reception for Requiem for Mother Emanuel immediately follows.

Taking the exhibition as point of departure, the objective of the symposium will be to explore the history of the black church in the U.S., and to open a discussion about the historical intersections between the Christian conversion of enslaved Africans, and the metaphorical and real church as location and catalyst for spiritual and political redemption. “Immanuel,” the Hebrew word for “God is with us,” gave Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church its name, and the concept of “Immanuel” offers a powerful point of departure for both the artwork of Dr. Twiggs and the broader themes the symposium will explore. The symposium will consist of four talks and a panel discussion leading up to the opening artist talk. JCSM has been deliberate in choosing a scholar who can address the history of the African American church both nationally and in Alabama, a scholar from Charleston, and scholars from the local community.

The symposium has been made possible in part by a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Auburn University Special Lectures Fund.

Metal artists pour iron into molds

Register for JCSM’s Teen Metal Arts Workshop with Sloss Furnaces of Birmingham

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High School students are invited to register to experience an iron pour with Sloss Furnaces at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art on October 6th from 4:00pm-5:45pm. Each student will be able to carve their own scratch block to be created into a piece of metal art (Sloss artists will explain the process at the event). Space is limited. Students who would like to attend must register by October 2nd. There is no cost for the program, but teens must have a parent or guardian sign a form to participate. Direct questions to 334-844-8792.

  • Sloss Furnaces at JCSM October 6th 4:00-5:45pm

    Please sign-up to attend the teen art workshop here! We will contact you to confirm your space and send additional forms and information. Parent/Guardian permission is required. Teens are allowed to attend on their own. Please note space is limited, registration and wait lists will be open until October 2nd.
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NBC News: School Petition Compares Classroom Pride Flag to Confederate Flag

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Alabama high school petition compares pride flag to Confederate flag

An anonymous group of students and parents in Auburn, Ala., have signed a petition to have a rainbow pride flag removed from a high school classroom. The Change.org petition claims the flag is insensitive to students who do not support LGBTQ rights and compares it to the Confederate flag.

Welcome to the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art!

We are excited that you are here with us. Feel free to look around and reach out to us by navigating to our contact page.

Upcoming Events

Tue 21

Museum Cafe Closed

November 20 @ 11:00 am - November 24 @ 2:00 pm
Wed 22

Seasonal Hours: Museum Closed

November 22 @ 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Thu 23

Seasonal Hours: Museum Closed

November 23 @ 10:00 am - 4:30 pm