K-12 Education

A spider web connects to a glass porch light.

#MuseumFromHome: Look Closer

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Get to know and appreciate the world around you a bit more with a fun, engaging family activity. Post your finished artwork on social media and tag @JCSMAuburn to create a #MuseumFromHome.

Like the scientists at NASA, we will photograph Mother Earth as art. Explore the ordinary things around us that we don’t always notice: the little dandelion growing between the cracks of your porch; your cat taking an afternoon nap; the way light shines through bubbles in a glass in the sink—you name it.

For inspiration, browse our digital exhibition of “Mother Earth as Art,” and discover the ways that satellite imagery captures details that look like paintings.

What You’ll Need

Camera (Smartphone, digital camera, polaroid camera or tablet)

Subjects around the house or your yard

Photo editing app (optional)

Color printer with photo paper (optional)

Nature creates colorful patterns along the fingers of the Ord River in Australia.


Ask an adult if they can help you use a camera, and look together around the house or outside to spy things you wouldn’t usually notice as you go about your daily life.

Once you find something, try placing the camera in different places for different angles—near, far, with the object on the right or on the left of the frame.

A spider web connects to a glass porch light.

Look at your photographs. Did they come out how you wanted? How can you experiment with where you place the camera? Does light or shadow change your photograph?

You may want to edit your photo or add special effects. recommends some photo editing apps for students. Always ask a grownup first!

Once you are done, share your work with others to show them the beauty in everyday life. Maybe even print some out or post to social media if you are able. We’d love to share your creation online @JCSMAuburn.

Student worker Jean Gannett poses with one-half of "Self-Portrait as Bathers."

Behind-the-Scenes: Jean Gannett

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Jean Gannett is one of our student staffers. She assists with all aspects of education programming, which includes prototyping art projects and working with K12, family, and community outreach groups. She also serves as a face of the museum by greeting visitors at the front desk. 

Student worker Jean Gannett poses with one-half of

My time here at Jule Collins has been such an amazing experience. Most days it doesn’t even feel like a job. The staff are all nothing but kind and welcoming, especially the people I work with the most, the wonderful ladies in the education department.

I have learned a variety of real-world and industry skills that I will carry with me to my next job, as well as really interesting behind-the-scenes museum things, like how they wash the bunny men! Other things that really impacted me working here have been the opportunity to truly learn about and connect with Auburn’s community, create real change in people’s lives, as well as spread the joy of art with others. I would not trade this experience for the world.

Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University

Holiday Hours at JCSM for 2017

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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 Cafe will close at 2pm on Thursday, December 14.

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.

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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Forth of July Magnet Art Activity post image

DIY 4th of July inspired magnet activity

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Use the template to help measure the length of your stripes. Glue your stripes and the blue rectangle with stars onto your magnets with a glue stick. When dry, cut out your magnets. You can also use colorful foam pieces and other materials in your art supplies to create magnets! (Note: You may need hot glue to adhere some materials to a magnet backing). When finished, assemble your artwork onto a magnetic surface, such as a cookie sheet or a refrigerator.
The flag magnet can help you and your child practice visual literacy with shapes. Start a conversation about how shapes create everything around you…What shapes can you find outside in flowers? Trees? Buildings? After you practice with the magnet and search for shapes in objects around you, create drawings using only shapes like squares, rectangles, and circles. You can also use the flag as a math connection to practice counting in art! Count the stripes and stars together, and then have a safe and fun Fourth of July!

12-hour “Takeover” in less than a minute

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On Monday, May 23, 2016 from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., 18 students in grades eight through 12 produced artwork for “Teen Takeover.” Watch 12 hours of work edited down to less than a minute, and experience the exhibition May 26 through May 27 and May 31 through June 5.

The “Teen Takeover” program and exhibition is supported in part by a charitable gift from J&M Bookstore, Inc.

Meet the Winners of the Juried Teen Exhibition “SpringBoard”

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“SpringBoard” is a juried exhibition hosted by JCSM and the JCSM Teen Council for 8th-12th graders featuring physical, originally created 2-D and 3-D artwork. The theme for accepted artwork is “Spring, ” including any related concepts. The jury selected and announced ten winning artists during the SpringBoard event on April 15. Highlights of the event included: the exhibition of winning work, hands-on activity stations, music, a photo booth, and catered refreshments. In addition to prizes, the winning artists of “SpringBoard” were automatically invited to participate in this year’s “Teen Takeover,” skipping the application process.

The SpringBoard event was hosted by the JCSM Teen Council with support from the museum’s education staff. SpringBoard was made possible through a generous donation by Robert B. Ekelund, Jr. and Ursula’s Catering.

Meet the Winners of “SpringBoard”

Best in Show: Alexandra Combs, Auburn High School
1st Place: Juyoung Kim, Auburn High School
2nd Place: Arden Torres, Auburn High School
3rd Place: Jessica Zhu, Auburn High School

Honorable Mention: Shannon Brevard, Auburn High School
Honorable Mention: Juyoung Kim, Auburn High School
Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Clardy, Lee-Scott Academy
Honorable Mention: Arden Torres, Auburn High School
Honorable Mention: Gigi Casadaban, Lee-Scott Academy
Honorable Mention: Jessica Zhu, Auburn High School

Plan a Field Trip to Your Museum!

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Make the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University part of your school year!

Our mission is to bring the arts to our community. We invite classes, community groups, clubs and organizations, and other groups of school-aged children to visit our museum for a guided tour led by trained museum educators and docents.

Exploring the galleries with a docent offers amazing learning opportunities for your students to engage with art, discover more about artists and their processes, and have meaningful discussions about the arts and their relevance. Our docents work to engage students in casual dialogue, encouraging peer discussion, critical thinking, and hands-on analysis.

The arts are an integral part of all cultures, and the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is proud to explore the relationships of artists and their historical context with your class. Guided tours offer a wealth of relevant information based on the interests of each group. Take a look at the current exhibition schedule to plan your visit.

Guided visits are recommended for students who are at or above pre-k level and last about an hour. Groups are free to explore the Museum on their own after the tour.

Group Size
We ask that groups have no more than 75 students per visit, with one chaperone required for every ten students.

Visit Schedule
Guided visits are available at any time during our museum hours listed below. While the museum is closed to the public on Mondays, tours may still be scheduled in advance for university and K-12 classes.

All guided tours must be requested at least two weeks in advance. You may schedule a tour by contacting our tour coordinator by e-mail or call 334-844-3486

K–12 Studio Art Programs

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is pleased to offer art-making activities to supplement in-gallery tours and discussions. After exploring and discussing the works on view, students have the opportunity to take part in related hands-on lessons lead by members of the museum’s education staff. These activities serve to provide a personal tangible art experience for our young learners and encourage material exploration and problem solving.

  • K–12 Studio Art Programs can accommodate a maximum of thirty students
  • $50 per workshop
  • The museum provides all necessary materials and staff members to facilitate the lessons




Kids come create on the weaving station!

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Programming for June is related to our current summer exhibition Between the Black and Caspian Seas: Antique Rugs from the Caucasus, Selections from the Collection of Larry Gerber.

The kids area, found right outside the grand gallery includes a station to practice their very own weaving! Use the scraps of t-shirts for the big loom (it’s easier), and the smaller pieces of yarn for the warp threads that are closer together (it’s a little harder).

Below we have a step by step picture tutorial of how to get started!

Step 1:

Tighten the weaving. Be sure to use the beater towards you rather than pulling the yarn horizontally (this prevents your weaving from swooping in in the middle).

Step 2:

Make two rows of weft (which can be found in the image above). Weave the thread over and under each warp (the vertical threads).

Step 3:

Keep threading the weft in an over and under pattern.

Step 4:

Pull the weft all the way through, make sure to complete two rows! Once your wefts are done, it’s time to choose your colors! Be creative and make whatever pattern you want!

Step 5:

We chose to do a symmetrical knot, which is used extensively in Turkey and Transcaucasia (Example B found above). First, place the piece of t-shirt or yarn over and around two of the vertical threads (warps). Next, wrap both ends under and through the two warps, looping towards yourself.

Step 5 (Cont.):

Here is the same step as the photo above, but from a different angle.

Step 6:

Tighten the knot you made around the warps. Continue to place your knots. Once the row is complete, repeat steps 1-6! You can add to what others have made already, and someone else will add to what you’ve made!

Life imitates art (museum): Elementary students recreate JCSM

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It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; in that case, the staff of Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University (JCSM) couldn’t be more delighted.

Before wrapping up school for the summer, first grade students at Auburn Early Education Center (AEEC) created a replica of the museum in their classrooms—complete with grand entrance, artwork, and even a museum shop. Museum staff toured this “mini-JCSM” along with students, teachers, parents, and guardians.


Jamie Mitchell, a first grade teacher in the “Blue Pod” at AEEC, said her students chose Auburn as a theme for this year. “Their first project was a working post office, and then they wanted to learn about Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art,” she said. Mitchell said through inquiry-based learning, problem solving, and research, students chose the projects on which they wanted to work. “They wanted to make the entrance with bricks, sign, reflecting pool and the sculptures, Spinoff and Amber Luster Chandelier. The students hung labels of what they’ve learned throughout the exhibition, and today they are acting as guides for the exhibition.”

MuseumViewer Rising second-grader Katarina Vazsonyi worked on the brick replicas of travertine stone. “I wanted to show my mom,” she said. “I will come back to the museum.” Katarina’s mom, Andrea, said she thought the children’s work was amazing, citing the reproduction of “Amber Luster Chandelier” by Dale Chihuly. The students wrote about the artist and his assistants, how many pieces made up the sculpture, and how many days it took to install the sculpture. “Kids can learn so much through practical work and creativity,” said Andrea Vazsonyi. “I think it is very important.”

Museum director Marilyn Laufer was equally impressed. “I think that more than anything else for me, I realized that what we do does in fact have an enormous effect on the creative capacity of the children in this community,” she said. “The children remembered their experiences here and the names of our education curators. As far as effective outreach, I think we hit a home run.”


Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is a charitable, nonprofit committed to lifelong learning and community enrichment. To learn more about supporting JCSM’s outreach and instruction efforts through the Auburn University Foundation, visit our support page.

Welcome to the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art!

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