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Measurement of Museum Social Impact (MOMSI)

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The Jule is partnering with the Utah Division of Arts & Museums on a national research study to evaluate the social impact museums have on their communities. There is an open call for individuals to participate in the study.

Existing participants are asked to visit three times through May 2022. You can visit the galleries or attend one of our engaging programs. After the final visit, there is a 30-minute online survey your experience.

Those who complete the survey will qualify for a grand prize drawing. Both first-time visitors and regular visitors are welcome to participate.

Submit an application at For questions, contact the museum at 334-844-1484 or email at

DIY Origami Firefly

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John James Audubon filled his artwork with birds and plant life. Look closer: they also contain insects. Drawn life-size, the Audubon prints on view at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art feature tiny bugs that tell us amazing details about the bird’s environment. How many insects can you find?

You can make a firefly using the art of paper folding — origami (aw-ruh-gaa-mee). In traditional origami, artists fold a single paper square into a sculpture without cutting, gluing, taping or marking the paper. Electricity powers the firefly. The energy travels along a copper tape path – a circuit – from the battery to the light. You can make the firefly blink on and off by breaking the flow along the circuit.

What You’ll Need

Origami paper

Copper tape

3V lithium battery

LED light

Scotch Tape

Part 1: Origami Firefly Construction

Fold the square of paper diagonally, bringing two opposite corners together.

With the right angle facing up, fold the left and right corners up to the center.

Flip vertically, and fold back the top corner to the center. Fold upwards, approximately one centimeter away from your previous fold, creating the head of your firefly.


Take the left and right side corners and fold them towards the center. The origami firefly is now complete.


Part 2: Build the Paper Circuit

We need to fold open the wings to start the paper circuit. To do this, flip your firefly over and fold the wings outward. These folds will allow you to open and close the circuit, turning the lightbulb on and off.


Place your two pieces of copper tape as pictured. Place your battery positive side down on top of the cooper tape on the left.


When securing your battery with Scotch tape, be sure the right side of the battery is exposed. When you close your firefly, the copper tape on the right should touch the battery.


The light bulb has a longer prong and a shorter prong. The longer prong is positive, and the shorter prong is negative. Tape the positive prong on the left piece of copper and the negative prong on the right piece of copper.


Fold your wings. As the copper tape on the right-wing touches the battery, your light should glow. Your firefly and the circuit are complete.

Be sure to post your firefly on Instagram or Facebook, and tag @JCSMAuburn. Explore the “Outside In” through Sunday, January 2, 2022, and experience Audubon etchings alongside specimens from the Museum of Natural History.

A wooden carving of a head.

Share Your Craft Story: Art from the Dean’s Office

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Lee Anne Patterson

Old Hickory Head has been on the family hearth since I was a child. He even gets a Santa hat at Christmas. He is just one of the pieces that my Dad, Charlie Patterson (1960) created while at Auburn. These pieces ended up in Dean Applegate’s office and stayed there for several years until he graduated. Already married to Mom, when they were ready to leave, she went to the Dean to ask for them back. I hear he reluctantly gave them up.

Hickory Head is made out of Hickory and continues to get more interesting as he ages. The Guitar Man also hung in the Dean’s office. The Thinking Man, a study in chalk was drawn in class in 1959. The student model was one of the Auburn football players. We don’t know who – it would be fun if we could identify him.

The watercolor is one of a collection done over the years. Dad painted them as he and Mom traveled the world, much of that on a tandem bicycle. The collection has 280 travel watercolors. All of them are here in Auburn.

A wooden carving of a head.
A handmade quilt with heart design

Share Your Craft Story: Quilting

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I’m not a quilter, but I have made a few quilts over the years. My quilting days began in the ’80s, quilting with my grandmother and great-aunt while we talked and watched “the stories.”  Back in the day, old dresses, shirts, and pants were cut up for the quilt. It was fun to look at the quilt and remember the clothing it was from.

To make a quilt pick out a pattern or make your own. Cut and sew the pieces together to make the quilt top. Next, put the quilt together. Find a backing (material) that matches the quilt. This will be the back of the quilt. Lay the batting on top of that. I use cotton batting. The backing and batting should be a few inches larger than the quilt top. Lay the pieced quilt on top of that. Baste together and now it’s ready to quilt.
I prefer to hand quilt, but I have recently made a baby quilt using a sewing machine. There are various quilting machines available for purchase, but I feel hand quilting makes it more special.

–Michele Waters

A geometric quilt
A basket and flowers made from yarn.

Share Your Craft Story: Floral Memories

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My mother was one of the most talented and artistic people I have ever met. She could work magic with any type of fabric and needle, and she loved to crochet and quilt. She made clothes for my Barbie dolls when I was a little girl; she made me Halloween costumes that were unique and beautiful. When I became a working professional, she hemmed my dress slacks and tailored my clothes.

She loved all things floral, and so she designed and created crocheted flower baskets. Some she gifted, such as the one pictured here, and some she sold for practically pennies at flea markets. What I love most about this flower basket is that each individual flower and green leaf was hand-crafted, and she arranged them in the basket as a florist might arrange a vase. No two baskets were ever alike.

Although I still have many of her wonderful creations, I see this flower basket every day due to its placement in my kitchen’s curio cabinet. I’m reminded every day of her talent – and how much I miss her.

A soft basket of handmade flowers

I'm reminded every day of her talent - and how much I miss her.

Lori Bugg

We want to hear from you. Submit a question for Nick Cave.

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Artist Nick Cave joins us for a conversation at The Jule on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m. His special engagement is presented in conjunction with “Crafting America,” organized by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. The galleries are open from 10 a.m to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, with a light reception at 6 p.m. on the Terrace. The program begins at 6:30 p.m.

Participants are welcome and encouraged to pose questions in advance.

Advance registration is required, with auditorium seating on a first-come, first-serve basis. Auburn University requires the use of face coverings indoors.

May we have your permission to use your name and major in introducing the question?(Required)
A plate with a silouette

Share Your Craft Story: “Dutch Girl Plate”

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Shannon Westerman

I am not an artist, but I’ve always loved handmade ceramics, and I’ve thrown more than a few pots in my life. My grandfather was an artist, graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago during the Depression. My great-grandmother was a very creative woman, and she hand-painted this China platter in 1908.

The date is significant for two reasons: one, it’s an heirloom piece of porcelain that survived intact for nearly 115 years, and two, my grandfather credited his mother Beulah for his artistic sensibilities—even though he never knew her. Sadly, Beulah died during childbirth to my grandfather in 1909. After he passed in 1988, I inherited the porcelain plate my great grandmother hand-painted in 1908. The Dutch Girl always brought a smile to my grandfather’s face, and now, nearly 115 years after its beautiful production, “she” still brings a smile to my face, too. But more importantly, “Dutch Girl” reminds me of the transformational power of art & craft as a thread to familial history.

A plate with a silouette

Welcome to the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

We welcome you to explore, experience and engage with the visual arts.