Juried Exhibition

Chris Krupinski (Hurricane, WV) Pears and Plums

Awards judge names winners in juried watercolor competition

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The “Watercolor Society of Alabama 77th Annual National Exhibition” features more than seventy pieces from artists all over the country. The exhibition is on view through Sunday, July 29.

Awards judge, Barbara Nechis, an artist and resident of Napa, California, is the former director of the Watercolor Society. “When making my selections first I look at the work and pay attention to which pieces I respond to without analyzing why. I look for work that appears to be particular to each artist and try to choose what I believe could be recognized as such even without a signature,” said Nechis.

“Emotional content is important to me but drawing and compositional skills, control of paint, shape and edge, an understanding of the proportions of figure or landscape, considered rather than random color, brush strokes that are purposeful, not arbitrary and works that demonstrate intent rather than accidental results are among my other considerations.”

Congratulations to the winners.

Chris Krupinski (Hurricane, WV) Pears and Plums

Award of Excellence

Chris Krupinski
(Hurricane, WV)
“Pears and Plums”

Joanna Ellington (Miramar Beach, FL) Storm on the Way

Board of Directors’ Award

Joanna Ellington
(Miramar Beach, FL)
“Storm on the Way”

Debra Scoggin/Myers (Ewing, MO) Father Is Always Working

Patron Fine Art Award

Debra Scoggin/Myers
(Ewing, MO)
“Father Is Always Working”

Iain Stewart (Opelika, AL) Two Boys and a Bike—Gothenburg, Sweden

Patron Fine Art Award

Iain Stewart
(Opelika, AL)
“Two Boys and a Bike—Gothenburg, Sweden”

Charles Rouse (Vista, CA) Hanging Out at Half King

Patron Fine Art Award

Charles Rouse
(Vista, CA)
“Hanging Out at Half King”

Z. L. Feng (Radford, VA) Roots

Patron Fine Art Award

Z. L. Feng
(Radford, VA)

Bruce Little (Savannah, GA) Ferry at Night

Patron Fine Art Award

Bruce Little
(Savannah, GA)
“Ferry at Night”

Tuva Stephens (McKenzie, TN) Norm’s World II

Patron Fine Art Award

Tuva Stephens
(McKenzie, TN)
“Norm’s World II”

Merit Award: James Brantley, (Opelika, AL), “Survivor”
Merit Award: Matthew Bird, (Sykesville, MD), “For You”
Southern Watercolor Society Award: William H. Mckeown, Quincy, FL, “The Old Salt”
Georgia Watercolor Society Award: Sophie Repolt Rogers, Tuscumbia, AL, “My Kinda Red Flags”
Louisiana Watercolor Society Award: Heike Covell, Huntsville, AL, “Proud”
Tallahassee Watercolor Society Award: Suzanna Spann, Cortez, FL, “Friday on Frenchman Street”
Texas Watercolor Society Award: Anne Hightower-Patterson, Leesville, SD, “Waiting In the Light of the Sun”
Signature Members Award: Keiko Yasoka, Houston, TX, “Happy Anniversary”
Signature Members Award: Barbara O’Neal Davis, York, SC “Proud”
Signature Members Award: Corky Goldman, Mobile, AL, “Generations”
Signature Members Award: Chuck Jones, McCalla, AL, “Cold Water School”
Signature Members Award: Florene S. Galese, Vestavia, AL, “Lazy Croc”

Call for Artists: Due June 1, 2017

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Out of the Box: A Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

Juried by Jean Shin | On view Oct. 6, 2017–Oct. 6, 2018

Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University (JCSM) is one of Alabama’s leading art museums, with a growing collection of art ranging from traditional to contemporary—including outdoor sculpture! JCSM is accepting submissions from sculptors to participate in Out of the Box: A Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition (Out of the Box) opening October 6, 2017.

Out of the Box is a biennial competition that began in 2013 in celebration of the museum’s 10-year anniversary. Now in our third iteration, our program continues in its goal of presenting engaging and educational works of art to our university audience and broader community, as well as actively pursuing the growth of our permanent collection of outdoor sculpture.

Artwork chosen for display in this year’s exhibition will be installed on the museum grounds until October 6, 2018. This call for sculpture is open to all artists, age 18 and older. Entries must be received by June 1, 2017.

Important Dates

June 1, 2017:
Deadline for entries

June 30, 2017
Notification of acceptance/decline

August 1, 2017
Request for heavy-lifting equipment due to JCSM

August 21–September 15, 2017
Installation of accepted sculpture

October 6, 2017–October 6, 2018
Out of the Box Exhibition

October 8–12, 2018
Deinstallation of sculptures

Artist Awards

  • 1st Place: $3,000
  • 2nd Place: $1,500
  • Honorable Mention: $500
  • ALL Finalists: $1,000

Quick Submission Checklist

All submissions must represent completed works of art. No incomplete works, conceptual works, or project proposals will be considered.

Work must be suitable for outdoor installation and must:

  1. Be structurally sound and able to be secured to a concrete pad or lawn surface with anchor bolts or similar devices.
  2. Take into consideration the safety of the audience.
  3. Be capable of withstanding adverse weather conditions including but not limited to high winds, temperature extremes (both high and low), heavy rain, hail storms, etc.
  4. Be able to withstand a high traffic, public walking environment.
  5. Be substantially maintenance free during the exhibition period.

The artist must describe on the entry submission form how the sculpture will be securely mounted to a concrete pad or lawn surface or if there are other requirements.

It is the artist’s responsibility to deliver the sculpture to the specified area of Jule Collins Smith Museum grounds and secure it properly to its mounts. Out of the Box will provide limited equipment and supervision for the placement of the chosen sculptures. It will be the responsibility of the artist to supply any specialty tools that may be needed for installation. If a crane or hoist is needed, it is the artist’s responsibility to notify JCSM by August 1, 2017, so arrangements can be made.

Sculpture must be installed by September 15, 2017. Any sculpture that cannot be installed by the designated date will be disqualified. All accepted sculpture must be removed by October 15, 2018. Any sculpture not removed by this date will be considered abandoned and will become the property of JCSM, unless other arrangements have been made between the artist and JCSM.

Artists may sell their work during the competition period, and JCSM will take no commission; however, the work must remain on site for the duration of the exhibition.

Auburn University will provide insurance for the term of display.

By submitting to Out of the Box, the artist agrees to comply with all rules and requirements.

Selections will be made through a blind-jurying process. Only images and basic descriptions of the works will be made available to the juror.

Finalists will be notified of their inclusion in the exhibition no later than June 30, 2017. Award winners will be announced at the opening reception on October 6, 2017.

About the Juror

shin_webJean Shin is an internationally recognized artist who works with multiples of objects to transform the everyday into decadent interpretations of identity and community. She uses materials that range from prescription pill bottles to sweaters, and often obtains them as second-hand objects from people in participating communities. These objects transform into her media and become complex, conceptual and beautifully intricate works of sculpture. Her work is distinguished by her labor-intensive process, and these breathtaking installations seem to capture the essence of communal and societal issues that everyone faces in their day to day life.

Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in the United States, Shin attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1999 and received a BFA and MS from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Her work has been widely exhibited in over 150 major national and international museums, including in solo exhibitions at The Crow Collection in Dallas, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona, Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC, the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Shin has received numerous awards and has been featured in a multitude of publications world-wide. In 2016, Jean Shin will complete a major commission for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York at the 63rd Street Station on the new Second Avenue Subway line as well as a public art commission for the City of Seattle, Washington. She lives and works in New York City.

Up to 15 finalists will be selected to have their work displayed at the museum. All finalists whose work is displayed will receive a $1,000 honorarium. First prize is an additional $3,000. The second place winner will receive an additional $1,500, and the recipient of the honorable mention will receive an additional $500. Sponsored awards might also be available.

Submissions must follow all guidelines as stated within this prospectus. Artists may submit up to three different works with each work having no more than three images. The submission deadline is June 1, 2017.

Online submissions

All submissions are handled through the separate submissions management website, CaFÉ. If you do not already have an account with CaFÉ, you will need to complete the free registration in order to fill out your submission form and artist description. Processing of the one-time $25 entry fee is managed through Auburn University’s Marketplace website. You will receive an email confirmation.

Complete Your Application With CaFÉ

Pay Your $25 Entry Fee With Marketplace

For additional information or assistance please contact Jessica Hughes at 334-844-1596.

Self-Portrait as Bunnies by Alex Podesta

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Bunnies in the Lake

“What’s the deal with bunnies?” is a question you’ve probably heard around Auburn more than once. Rubberneckers driving down South College Street headed toward Jordan-Hare Stadium will notice two men dressed as bunnies in the lake in front of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, and it has created quite a stir within the community. At first glance some viewers believed there were real men playing dress up in the lake, and some have said they were very intrigued when they first discovered the sculpture.

Alex Podesta’s Self-Portrait as Bunnies (The Bathers) is a part of the museum’s commitment to presenting outdoor sculpture. His unforgettable piece took two awards: second place in “Out of the Box: A Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition,” plus a fan favorite award voted on by the community.

Podesta is an artist from New Orleans, Louisiana, who created this particular sculpture as a part of an ongoing series, in which the artist draws parallels between the role of children’s imagination and how that plays a part in the lives of adults.

Marilyn Laufer, the museum’s director, states, “What a fabulous piece it is, because it works on so many levels. It grabs your attention and makes you smile, and once you know that it’s a self-portrait of the artist, you start to realize that there is something else going on here.”

So what is this piece really all about, what is the artist trying to say? Laufer continues, “A good work of art will make you ask all kinds of questions. The best experience is to stay with it, talk about it, and engage in a conversation with friends. In the end you realize it’s a very serious piece that is about understanding self and recognizing your own vulnerabilities and yet these serious issues are addressed through humor. ”

Whether you’re coming into town to cheer on your Auburn Tigers, or are a part of the opposing team, most football fans can agree that these bunnies are pretty interesting.

“Experiencing art in a museum is one thing. Experiencing art in nature is a whole other kind of thing, and I want the art experiences we offer to be as diverse and fulfilling as possible,” says Laufer.

These bunnies have become a staple in the Auburn community, creating conversations about meaning and art even among those who may have never been to Auburn University’s art museum before. Hopefully this piece will continue to spark these conversations for years to come.


View the Out of the Box Digital Exhibition for more information on this sculpture and others in the exhibition.

Aubie Loves Sculpture Too! Get Your Pics from JCSM’s “Tailgate”

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Aubie surprised guests with an appearance at our Museum Homecoming Tailgate on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015.

As you tour and experience Out of the Box: An Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition through October 2016be sure to take lots of pictures and share using #ThisIsSculpture.

For those of you who attended our event, download your picture as a memento from the museum’s Flickr account. Scroll to your picture, click the image, and select the download arrow from the image bank menu on the bottom righthand of the page.

Aubie at Museum Homecoming Tailgate (10.02.15)

Oh Snap! Get Your Photo Booth Pics from JCSM’s “Tailgate”

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Our JCSM photo booth captured the fun of the Museum Homecoming Tailgate on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. Guests showed their team spirit and belief in the transformative power of art.

As you tour and experience Out of the Box: An Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition through October 2016be sure to take lots of pictures and share using #ThisIsSculpture.

For those of you who attended our event, download your picture as a memento from the museum’s Flickr account. Scroll to your picture, click the image, and select the download arrow from the image bank menu on the bottom righthand of the page.

Museum Homecoming Tailgate (10.02.15) Museum Homecoming Tailgate 2016

Share your Out of the Box experience with #ThisisSculpture

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These are the 11 finalists of our juried outdoor sculpture exhibition, Out of the Box! The exhibition opens this Friday October 2 at our Museum Homecoming Tailgate. Share your experience with the sculpture by tagging  your photos with #ThisisSculpture

Joni Younkins-Herzog, Delirium

Mike Wsol, Lost Horizon #2

Charles Pilkey, Tree of Good and Evil

Alex Podesta, Self-Portrait as Bunnies (The Bathers)

Hanna Jubran, Triad

Adam Walls, Core 3

Deborah La Grasse, Union

Heath Matysek-Snyder, Komíny-NBS Explore

Gregory Johnson, Centrum

Luke Achterberg, Fettle

Jeffie Brewer, Bunny

Meet the Artists: Charles Pilkey, Gregory Johnson, and Jeffie Brewer

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Charles Pilkey, Gregory Johnson, and Jeffie Brewer are three of 11 artists selected to exhibit in the second installment of JCSM’s biennial Out of the Box: A Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.

Charles Pilkey

Mint Hill, North Carolina

Tree of Good and Evil,  2012
Painted steel and bronze


Artist Statement:

Tree of Good and Evil consists of tools, machine parts, and other found objects, along with bronze and steel figures that are welded to the side of a tree-shape. The work was inspired by the Old Testament parable in Genesis. It is a metaphor for our ambivalent relationship to technology.

Gregory Johnson

Cumming, Georgia

Centrum,   2015
Stainless steel


Artist Statement:

For the modern works, my starting point is the circle. As a thematic symbol, it reaches out to me with a cleanliness of shape, present in our everyday lives, and because it has no corners— just one beautiful line with no beginning, middle, or end. The circle is an incredible spiritual shape that invites interpretation. I use the entire circle, whole and complete, and contrast it with segments of the circle or shapes that have arcs in them.

Jeffie Brewer

Nacogdoches, Texas

Bunny,   2013

Artist Statement:

My work’s intention is to provide just enough information, allowing for a narrative without delving into total non-representation. Leaving room for interpretation as well as a little mystery, I hope, adds to the viewing experience. My work in graphic design and general fascination with pop culture are heavy influences on my sculptural work.

See more of their work at our Museum Homecoming Tailgate on Friday, October 2, to celebrate the opening of Out of the Box! The community-wide event is open to all ages, and will include sculpture tours, art and family activities, a grand prize giveaway, a tiger bounce house for kids, and delicious food and beverage options from local favorites. Guest artist and juror Willie Cole will announce the three top prizewinners from among the 11 finalists during the event! Help us get a headcount by registering for your free tickets. 

Out of the Box is made possible in part with funds provided by Julian Robert Haynes, in memory of Dr. Lucile McGehee Haynes, Grace and David E. Johnson, and the Susan Phillips Educational Gift Fund.
A portion of the finalists’ honoraria for the 11 finalists is supported by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

A Taste of Out of the Box

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Meet one of the vendors of our Museum Homecoming Tailgate on Friday, October 2! Chicken Salad Chick will have food available for purchase from 3 to 7 pm as we celebrate the opening of Out of the Box: A Juried Outdoor Sculpture ExhibitionThe community-wide event is open to all ages, and will include sculpture tours, art and family activities, a tiger bounce house for kids, a grand prize giveaway, and delicious food and beverage options from local favorites (including Chicken Salad Chick!). Cash is preferred, we ID. No outside food or drinks allowed.



Vendor Spotlight: Chicken Salad Chick

Chicken Salad Chick will serve

-Chicken salad!

About Chicken Salad Chick:

“I have always been on my own personal quest to find the perfect chicken salad. Every restaurant I entered, I would order the chicken salad sandwich. The funny thing about chicken salad is that everyone’s idea of the “perfect” one is so completely different, although we all pretty much agree that chicken and mayonnaise are the two key components. So, after tasting every chicken salad I came across, I realized everyone’s idea of the perfect recipe is different. I began working on my original recipe at home and taste testing on my cooperative and wonderful neighbors. They were kind enough to give me honest feedback as I kept tweaking. I finally arrived with a recipe where the consensus was that “this was IT.” Thanks to my neighbors and the teachers at Ogletree Elementary School, within three weeks I had more business than I could handle.

I then formed a partnership with Kevin Brown, my future husband, who had shared this vision with me from the beginning. He had the experience and business sense to turn a recipe into a restaurant.

So business was booming, word was spreading, the idea of a restaurant was growing and Ring! “Stacy?…” “Yes?” “This is Stan from Lee County Health Department…. Where are you cooking your chicken?” “In my kitchen Stan… is that a problem?” “Yes… that is illegal. You cannot cook anything in your home and sell it.” “Thanks Stan.” So we put a halt to everything. Our customers were outraged and some tried to get some smuggled anyway. Jeffrey Tucker, the vice president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and a customer of mine, wrote in blog titled “The Chicken Salad Chick Shut Down,” saying “This girl has been shut down, not because she is a threat to our health, but because she is a threat to competition!” He also went on to say, “It’s a classic case of suburban food hysteria.” Thank you, Jeffrey. Thank you also to the anonymous caller who turned me into the health department. You really lit the fire under Kevin to turn this idea into a restaurant sooner than ever! Since that day, he has worked tirelessly to turn this dream of ours into a reality. This has truly been a collaborative effort by neighbors keeping my children so I could work, by friends painting artwork on the restaurant walls, friends offering professional services free of charge and my family’s undying support. Thank you everyone and especially Kevin….Thank you for never giving up. We did it!

Chicken Salad Chick is a place all chicken salad lovers can find something they enjoy. With 15 different chicken salads to choose from, there is something for every palate. So now that you know about us, come see what kind of lunch a computer software salesman and a stay-at-home mom have whipped up for you. It’s pretty tasty!”

– Stacy Brown

See more on their website.

Out of the Box is made possible in part with funds provided by Julian Robert Haynes, in memory of Dr. Lucile McGehee Haynes, Grace and David E. Johnson, and the Susan Phillips Educational Gift Fund.

Volunteers needed as we gear up for our second “Out of the Box” opening!

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We’re looking for help during the Out of the Box exhibition’s official opening on Friday, October 2nd! The event is tailgate-themed for Homecoming weekend and is free and open to the public from 3-7 pm. We’ll have hands-on art activities, tours of the newly-installed sculpture, awesome food available for purchase, and a lot more.

We’ll need people to help out at our photo-prop booth and to punch cards for our giveaway. (We’re raffling off a Yeti cooler!) Shifts will be about an hour long and a free t-shirt and koozie will be provided.

Sign up to volunteer.

More information about our Museum Homecoming Tailgate.

More information about Out of the Box: a Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.

University Ace Hardware partners with museum on grand prize giveaway

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We’re happy to announce that University Ace Hardware is one of the supporters of our Museum Homecoming Tailgate on Friday, October 2! The community-wide event celebrating the opening of Out of the Box: A Juried Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition  is open to all ages and will include sculpture tours, art and family activities, a tiger bounce house for kids, a grand prize giveaway, and delicious food and beverage options from local favorites. Cash is preferred, we ID. No outside food or drinks allowed.

Help us get a headcount for the Museum Homecoming Tailgate by registering for your FREE tickets. 

University Ace Hardware will be handing out free T-shirts as well offering a grand prize giveaway!


Enter for a chance to win a prize package worth up to $500 from our friends at University Ace Hardware! The winner gets to pick from one of the following:

  • Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler (pictured: left)
  • Husqvarna Chainsaw
  • Patio Furniture Set

Participants must enter on-site for a chance to win. Winner does not need to be present at time of announcement, but must pick up prize within one week of event (by October 9, 2015).

Community support is essential to what we do.

“At University Ace we think it is important to support Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art because it is one of the most important assets in our community by introducing kids and adults alike to the transforming power of art,” said Shalisa Grantham, company spokesperson.

Members and donors provide essential support that enables us to bring a wide range of visual art programs and exhibitions to the Auburn community. We rely heavily on the generosity of our donors, as a majority of our exhibitions, educational programs, and outreach activities are privately funded. This generosity goes beyond financial support in the forms of participation at events, promoting the museum, and strengthening relationships throughout the community. We welcome and appreciate the financial support of all Auburn alumni, as well as patrons of the arts in East Alabama and beyond.

For more on how you can support JCSM, please contact the Development Office at 334.844.1675.

About Us

“In March of 2012, David and Carolyn Fichtner along with their children Ilga (17), Ina (17), Michael (15), Jonathan (15) and Anne (15) decided to bring Ace Hardware to the Auburn/Opelika community. The Fichtner’s purchased the old “Yellow” building next to the movie theater and have been working on a complete renovation of the interior, exterior, parking lot and landscaping. The renovations are almost complete and the new store, University Ace Hardware, will be opening on February 12, 2013.

David Fichtner manages the day to day operations of the store. “We are so excited to be able to open University Ace Hardware. We look forward to being a true hometown hardware store for Auburn/Opelika and the surrounding communities. We live in this community and we love this community and we are excited to meet the demands for a locally owned convenient hardware store and garden center. Our commitment is to provide a diverse array of products and services with the most ‘helpful folks’ around!”

See more on their website. 

JCSM would like to thank our sponsors for Out of the Box, whose generous support helps make this exhibition possible: Julian Roberts Haynes, in memory of Dr. Lucile McGehee Haynes, Grace and David E. Johnson, and the Susan Phillips Educational Gift Fund.

Welcome to the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

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