Museum to Host Violin and Piano Music for Final 2016 Noon Concert

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Museum to Host Violin and Piano Music for Final 2016 Noon Concert

On December 15, from noon to 1:00 pm, A Little Lunch Music will present a free concert in the auditorium featuring violinist Elzbieta Tokarska with pianist Ksenia Kurenysheva. The duo will present music by Francis Poulenc, César Franck, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

A gift from Jim & Sue Haygood is helping to make the concert possible.

Thursday’s concert will mark Kurenysheva’s fifth performance at the museum. Her first was in 2012, her first year in the United States. Appearing in the series, She has performed as a soloist and with Auburn violinist Lorna Wood.

The Russian Kurenysheva and the Polish Tokarska are both winners of top prizes in international festivals. They met at Columbus State University’s Schwob school of music. They started out with a lot of classes together and soon began working on chamber music. Now, Kurenysheva is working on a doctorate at the University of Georgia in Athens, and Tokarska is doing graduate work at CSU. Making music together is still very important to them.

The duo will perform a violin sonata by Poulenc, a French composer. Kurenysheva compares his music to that of the Russian Sergei Prokofiev. She said as 20th-century music, it is adventurous in its harmonic structure, but never moves into serial music, using certain patterns and techniques that ignore traditional harmony and melody.

As an example of French music, she said Poulenc’s music is not as romantic or melodic as Claude Debussy’s or Maurice Ravel’s, but it is still entertaining. As an example of neoclassical music, it is well-organized, like Prokofiev. “You will understand themes and how they develop throughout the piece,” she added.

Though Kurenysheva said the Belgian composer Franck would perhaps not have appreciated the complement, she believes that his Sonata for Violin and Piano is a great example of typical French music. “Franck is very open and expressive,” she said.

Like many pieces, the violin part of the Franck sonata has been transcribed for other instruments. As a collaborative pianist, Kurenysheva has played it many times. “Everybody wants to play this piece,” she said, adding that no matter what the arrangement, the piece never suffers. She said this is not true of all music.

“The thematic material is interesting, it’s so sincere,” said Kurenysheva. “Everything is absolutely perfect.”

About Tokarska’s playing, Kurenysheva said she is a leader whose strength is in the music’s drive. “Her sound is very expressive,” she said, adding, “Her lower range is really dense and singing like a human voice. I love to play with her.”

The program will close with Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flower” from his “The Nutcracker Suite.”

JCSM After Hours

On Thursday night from 5-8 p.m., the museum will be open for its weekly JCSM After Hours. The exhibitions are free to the public and the cafe and gift shop are open. This week will be Holiday Family Night with pianist Mary Slaton performing Christmas music. There will be an art activity for kids, snacks, and discounts in the shop.

Juried Exhibition "soapbox" Logo

soap*box: Teen Exhibition

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Submit your work to be a part of a juried exhibition hosted by Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University (JCSM) and the JCSM Teen Council.

The exhibition is open to all originally created artwork. The title of the exhibition is soap*box, inviting you to submit works conveying some sort of personal stance. The panel of jurors for soap*box will include Gary Wagoner, an Auburn University art professor, Nate Coker, a local artist, June Corley, a well-known regional artist, and Jiha Moon, the contemporary artist featured in JCSM’s primary exhibition opening in January.

We will begin the submission process for the juried exhibition aspect of the program starting on September 1st and will continue accepting artwork through December 15th.

The jurying process will take place over winter break with the announcement of winners and an evening event on January 20th. Ten winning artists will be selected to win prizes and have their work and artists’ statements displayed at JCSM on the night of the event. Winning artwork will also be featured in a digital exhibition housed on the JCSM website.

The event, hosted by the JCSM Teen Council with support from the museum’s education staff, will include refreshments and the announcement of winners (specific place rankings) and prizes. Highlights of the event will also include: hands-on activity stations, music, a photo booth, and raffle prizes.

Important Dates

September 1–December 15:
Submissions accepted via

January 20, 6–8 p.m.:
soap*box (the event)

Accepted Media

Digital Design

Submit your works of art below, and make sure to check this page for news and updates about the exhibition and event!

unnamedsoap*box is supported in part by a charitable gift from Cameragraphics, Inc.

Collection Spotlight: William Christenberry (1936 – 2016)

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In this collection spotlight, JCSM remembers artist William Christenberry (1936 – 2016).

William Christenberry was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1936—coincidentally, the same year that photographer Walker Evans and writer James Agee traveled to nearby Hale County to conduct research for an article on tenant families, which developed into their book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Twenty-four years later, as a young artist, Christenberry discovered the publication and recognized the places and some of the people it described; he also found a strong emotional tie to the landscapes, architecture, and signage that Evans had photographed. Christenberry returned to Hale County and the surrounding area to search for those same sites, thus beginning a yearly ritual of photographing the familiar landmarks he had grown up with and documenting their transformation through the passage of time.

William Christenberry, (American, 1936–2016), Red Building in Forest, Hale County, Alabama, 1974 Edition:25, Printed 2006, Archival pigment print, 6 3/4 x 10 1/4 inches, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; museum purchase with funds provided by the 1072 Society, 2016 2016.01.03

Red Building in Forest, Hale County is one such iconic subject that Christenberry has revisited frequently, not only in photographs but in painted and sculpted forms. He began photographing this modest one-room structure in 1974. Isolated in the Talladega National Forest and long abandoned, it resembles a child’s drawing of a house or the mere symbol for a dwelling. With no windows on the entry façade, and walls and door covered in fake-brick asphalt sheathing, it seems more artifice than edifice. The noonday sunlight that envelopes the little building in a warm glow counters its sad state of disrepair and threat of consumption by the surrounding vegetation. Like the extant ruins from much more ancient times, its melancholy presence reminds us not only of our connections to the past but that our existence here is transitory. Christenberry is considered among the three greatest photographers of the South, alongside his mentor and friend Walker Evans and William Eggleston. His art is in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art, among many others.

Jerry Siegel
(American, b. 1958)
William Christenberry, Alabama, 2005
Archival pigment print
14 x 14 inches
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; museum purchase

Teen Takeover III Now Accepting Applications!

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Auburn’s art museum is looking for 8th through 12th grade students to transform our gallery space. Museum educators will be there to help, but you are calling the shots! Teens this year will take on the task of responding to selected works in the JCSM collection in a project that will include both curated and created objects all built around a theme of animals and human interaction. We’ll give you the space and supplies. You’ll give us an exhibition unlike anything created before!

Teen Takeover participants will spend Spring Break in workshops creating works of art, framing and matting works, writing didactic materials, and installing objects.

The exhibition of the works from the JCSM collection will open to the public in February 11, 2017, close for a week of reinstallation, and reopen with participant-created works on March 27. The exhibition, with the addition of the works created in the Teen Takeover program will be open to the public March 27-April 30. Spaces are limited. Applications will be accepted starting Friday, December 16, 2016 (required) and will close Friday, February 3, 2017.

Applicants will be reviewed by the K-12 education staff and contacted by Friday, February 10.

$20 payment due onsite on Monday, March 13 (cash, check, or credit card payment accepted). Make checks payable to JCSM and note “Teen Takeover” in the memo line. Permission Forms (PDF) can be found on the JCSM website. Please fill out all of the forms and bring them with you along with payment. A parent/legal guardian must sign all forms for participants under the age of 19.

Experience the outcome during a special presentation for our community March 27 through April 30, 2017.

The “Teen Takeover” program and exhibition is supported in part by a charitable gift from Dr. Blue Brawner and PetVet Animal Health Center. Materials for the Teen Takeover program were generously donated by J&M Bookstore. This year, JCSM and the JCSM Teen Council have partnered with Storybook Farm, offering Teen Takeover participants the opportunity to donate artwork for an auction benefiting the farm’s mission. For more information about Storybook Farm, visit their website.

Teen Takeover III Schedule

March 13: Day one of takeover. Students create works of art based on their pre-established plans, working from 10am-4:45pm (break for lunch), in the Grand Gallery.

March 14: Continued work on art-making.

March 15: Curatorial choices, including specifics about presentation and installation. Matting and framing workshop. Continued work on art-making.

March 16: Label writing workshop. Continued framing and matting.

March 17: Completion day, finishing all works of art, matting and framing works on paper, final polish and presentation on sculpture and other media. Installation of most works, with precise plans on how to install the remaining objects. (note: this day is optional if all work is completed)

Important Dates

December 16 2016–January 27 2017:

applications accepted

March 13–March 17:

Teen Takeover program

March 27-April 17:

Teen Takeover exhibition open to the public


Apply using the form below, and make sure to check this page for news and updates about the Teen Takeover program!

Camera Lucida: Rosa Menkman

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Popular culture has been molded by television and electronic graphic information since the mid-20th century. Whether appearing on a TV console, computer monitor, or smart device, video has become a comfortable, accessible, and preferred medium for both consumption and creation, especially to those among us under 30. Many critics today consider it to be this generation’s quintessential format for expression. Camera Lucida features eight contemporary artists from around the world who work with video and digital moving imagery. Artists Jay Bolotin, Rob Carter, Joe Hamilton, Yeon Jin Kim, LigoranoReese, Jillian Mayer, Rosa Menkman, and Rick Silva offer fresh perspectives on enduring concerns and new issues, using a technology that is widely familiar through common exposure, if not as broadly known as an independent art form. Yet video has been used as an eloquent and powerful vehicle by artists for more than 50 years, ranging from early documentary formats and narrative expositions to digital abstraction and game-playing interaction. JCSM’s survey provides a compelling look at the state of the medium today, where age-old intentions find new purpose in new applications.

This exhibition has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Rosa Menkman makes art of a truly interactive nature by engaging her “audience” to become physical participants in completing the work. Xilitla is designed in a video game format. The viewer is transformed into a collaborator by way of a game controller to explore the malleable realms and conditions latent in the experience. However, this is not your normal role-playing game by any stretch of the imagination. Dead ends, unexpected or random consequences, and visual and auditory feedback artifacts, which were they to occur in a conventional game context would be considered negative glitches, are instead coded in and emphasized. Menkman’s work is centered in an aesthetic known as glitch art. Digital and analog errors—bugs in the system—are accepted and incorporated as intentional malfunctions. In Menkman’s work, the glitch disrupts one’s expectations and carries the user/viewer into a new moment or new momentum of understanding.

A Little Lunch Music Welcomes Andrew Wilder; AU Cultural Music Society Performs in Evening

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On December 1, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert featuring classical guitarist Andrew Wilder. Andrew will present music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Juan Antonio Sanchez.

The concert will be in the Auditorium. Thanks to anonymous friends of the series for helping to make this performance possible.

Much of classical guitar’s repertoire is transcriptions. One of the two Mozart pieces Wilder will play was originally written for clavichord, a stringed keyboard instrument. Another was written for the glass harmonium which uses a series of spinning bowls and finger friction to make pitches.

Bach transcribed some of his own cello suites for a guitar-like instrument, but not Suite No. 3 which is on Thursday’s program. Even without an original version for guitar, Wilder said it works very well on the instrument.

Wilder said he is inspired by Bach’s devotion, not only to his faith, but also to  his attention to detail and his groundbreaking counterpoint style. Counterpoint is basically multiple independent melodies happening at the same time. “It’s amazing writing,” said Wilder, “I listen to Bach almost every day.” Wilder said Bach had a great ability to see his strength in writing this style, and didn’t stop writing it even after other Baroque composers had moved away from it.

A senior now at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music, Wilder said that as a freshman he met Chilean guitarist Jose Antonio Escobar when Escobar visited the school as a clinician. Through that contact, he became aware of the music of still-living Chilean composer Juan Antonio Sanchez. Sanchez wrote “Sonata Para Guitar” for Escobar.

Escobar is a virtuoso, and Wilder said Sanchez’s “Sonata” is extremely difficult. Wilder has wanted to perform it since he heard the piece. “I was obsessed with it,” he said. He would listen to it over and over again. Three years later, he has taken it on for himself, and has received good feedback from the composer who heard a recording online.

Wilder said “Sonata para Guitarra” is new, difficult, and obscure. Besides Escobar, Wilder said he is the only person playing it right now. But he hopes listeners won’t hear the difficulty. He said it is full of singable melodies, percussive Chilean rhythms and jazz influences.

Wilder was born into a musical family with 10 brothers and sisters who have all studied classical music extensively, and with parents who are both professional classical musicians. He has performed and studied throughout Europe, the United States, and South America.

As a soloist, Wilder has been the recipient of awards including first prizes in the Senior Guitar competition of the Society of American Musicians, the International Tennessee Guitar Competition, and the Art of Strings international competition.

He was a prizewinner in the East Carolina University Guitar competition and the Troy University Guitar competition and was a recipient of the Koch Cultural Trust grant.

JCSM After Hours

Separate from the noon series is another music offering at the museum. Each  Thursday night, the museum’s cafe, exhibitions, and gift shop are open from 5-8 pm for JCSM After Hours. Live music is featured each week, often with the house band being the jazz trio, Cullars improvisational Rotation.

This week instead of jazz, the Auburn University Cultural Music Society will perform a mix of music. In addition to traditional Indian music and Indian-Western fusion, the group will bring in American gospel, blues, and old-time folk. Its members will present some original songs and spoken word pieces.

The Society is an Auburn University student organization that was founded in spring 2014 with the mission of bringing awareness to the Auburn community about the importance of cultural diversity through music. It was formed with the understanding that each culture has a different perspective on the uses of music and the sounds produced by its instruments. Members are guided by the idea that music has a way of unifying people with different nationalities and ideologies.

Holidays at Auburn’s Art Museum

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Holiday Hours

Spend your holidays here at Auburn’s art museum for our extended holiday hours, where our galleries and gift shop will be open for you and your family to enjoy.

Closed November 23-24
November 25-26: 10-4:30 pm
November 27: 1-4 pm

Closed December 24-25
December 21-23: 1-4 pm
December 27-30: 1-4 pm
Closed December 31-January 1

Regular operations begin on January 3

Holiday Gift Shop Sales

Give the gift of art! The museum gift shop is taking a 20% off regularly priced merchandise for the holiday season. Museum members can enjoy this discount on December 1, and regular shoppers on December 15 from 10 am to 8 pm.

Family Fun Night

Join us December 15, from 5-8 pm, for some holiday family fun! We’ll be creating cards, wrapping paper and gifts for the holiday season.

Museum Series Will Feature Flutist Alina Windell

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On October 27 from noon to 1:00 pm, “A Little Lunch Music Series” will present a free concert by flutist Alina Windell with oboist Sue Tomkiewicz and pianist Jeremy Samolesky. The program will feature music by Sergei Prokofieff, and still-living composers Martin Kennedy, and Dana Wilson. Anonymous friends of the series have helped make this possible.

Anonymous friends of the series are helping to support the concert.

Composer Martin Kennedy is now Director of Theory and Composition at Central Washington University. He was a grad student at Indiana University when Windell was there earning her Bachelors Degree. At that time, she heard his piece, “Four Songs,” and said since then she’s been waiting for a chance to play it.

Now, two degrees later and teaching at Auburn and Southern Union, Windell has been able to program the piece for A Little Lunch Music.

A piece of music often ebbs and flows, offering its climax at or near its end. Windell said the four-movement Kennedy piece is different. “Everything just really calms down as the piece goes on,” she said.

Windell said the first movement, “Ferocious,” is the most intense. It is the most dissonant, is louder, and has really complex textures, she said. “The last piece is the most relaxed, kind of like a loose, free feeling,” she added.

In between, Windell said Kennedy’s second movement is fun and playful and reminds her of Aaron Copland’s music at times. She said the third is a sweet love song with hints of Disney music. She said the composer is a pianist, and the piano part to “Four Songs” is really virtuosic.

They will perform “Sonata” by the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953). Though Windell said it is a staple of the flute’s repertoire, this will be the first time she’s had the chance to play all of its four movements together. Windell said that though Prokofieff’s music can be fairly adventurous, this is one of his more consonant sounding pieces.

“I just like it,” said Windell.

Thursday’s program will also feature a trio by still-living composer Dana Wilson, “Gold Mosaic.” Oboist Tomkiewicz was involved in its commission, and frequently plays with Windell for the Springer Theatre orchestra in Columbus.

Windell said they will repeat the program at Columbus State University on Nov. 10.

Windell has performed throughout the USA and abroad and is a member of the LaGrange Symphony. In the summer of 2016, she performed at the National Flute Association Convention in San Diego, CA; at the Orfeo Music Festival, in Vipiteno, Italy; and at the International Double Reed Society conference at Columbus State University. In 2015, she was a soloist in a concert tour of Malaysia.

Tomkiewicz is the Associate Professor of Oboe at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music and the Director of Honors on the school’s RiverPark campus. She has commissioned, premiered and recorded new works for oboe and English horn by such composers as Brian Cherney, Brooke Joyce, Bruce Pennycook and Nancy Galbraith. She is currently the English hornist with the Columbus Symphony.

Samolesky serves as Associate Professor of Piano and Piano Area Coordinator at Auburn University. Recent concert tours and performances include China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Colombia, and Ecuador, with regular appearances as performer and teacher throughout the US. His Kennedy Center recital was broadcast on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.” Praised by critics as “brilliant,” “distinguished,” and “full of intensity and drama,” Samolesky’s debut solo CD was released by Centaur Records in 2015.

FILM@JCSM: The Artist’s of Camera Lucida

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This video contains an excerpt of the artist’s work.

On Thursday, November 3rd, Rick Silva will be participating in the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art’s first video art exhibition, Camera Lucida. Rick’s work is in the form of short, computer-generated videos featuring different types of birds. Silva has a series entitled “The Silva Field Guide to Birds of the Parallel Future.” These videos include clips of colorful and unique birds flying and existing within the frame of approximately thirty-second long videos. Dennis Harper, the curator at collections and exhibits at the museum, explains that “Visitors will encounter [the exhibit] as a sort of electronic flock soaring across a field of six wall-mounted monitors. This makes for a more monumental, immersive, and communal experience than when viewed in small frames on a mobile device or desktop computer. It’s very compelling to see the assortment of fantastical creatures looping in motion simultaneously.” Parts of this exhibit can be viewed on Silva’s website,

Rick Silva is an artist whose recent videos, websites and images explore notions of landscape and wilderness in the 21st century. He received an MFA from The University of Colorado in 2007, and has since shown extensively nationally and internationally, with recent solo exhibitions at TRANSFER Gallery in New York, Wil Aballe Art Projects in Vancouver, New Shelter Plan in Copenhagen, and Ditch Projects in Oregon. His projects are included in multiple permanent collections such as The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Borusan Contemporary Collection. WIRED called Silva’s videos “glitchy, curious things; some mesmerizing, some arresting.” He lives and works in Eugene Oregon where he is a professor of Art & Technology at the University of Oregon.


Written by Leslie Rewis, a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the English Department at Auburn University.

Columbus Jazz Pianist Brings Music Inspired by Baroque, Mussorgsky

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On October 20 from noon to 1:00 pm in the auditorium, A Little Lunch Music will present a free concert by a group led by composer and pianist Donald Tipton from Columbus, Georgia.
“Musa” is a recent composition by Tipton that he premiered with a sextet earlier this year at the Columbus Museum. Thursday’s concert will feature the piece re-tooled as a quartet. Personnel will be Tipton on piano, Jeanne Martz on flute, Yair Ophir on bass, and Steve Thompson on drums.
“One of the things I’m really interested in is kind of a blending of jazz and Baroque,” said  Tipton, adding, “The two are surprisingly compatible.” He said the original reason for writing “Musa” was to explore that relationship.
“It’s chamber jazz,” said Tipton of “Musa.” He said it has elements of chamber music in the way he layered the melodic material. At the same time, there are parts where the music is improvised, and it is presented in a conventional jazz-quartet format.
Improvisation was was a big part of Baroque music, said Tipton. As in jazz, he said musicians would often freely embellish written melodies or ignore them completely and come up with their own.
In 1874, decades after the Baroque Period ended, the art of Viktor Hartmann inspired Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky to write his famous piece, “Pictures at an Exhibition.” Tipton said some of the inspiration for “Musa” came from six paintings in the permanent collection at The Columbus Museum in Columbus, GA.
Tipton’s “Musa” parallels the structure of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures.” It features a musical impression of each of these six paintings and includes a recurring “Promenade” movement placed in between each impression.
Artist Bo Bartlett was born in Columbus. His painting, “Homecoming,” is one of Tipton’s subjects. It is a high-school scene with images of football and a huge bonfire. Tipton described Bartlett as a very narrative painter with interesting, complex stories.
But Tipton didn’t write his music with one-to-one connections between musical ideas and visual elements. He said it was more free, and he wasn’t so much concerned with the artists’ intentions. “I let the idea of the painting wash over me and then wrote what I felt,” he said.
Another of the paintings is Andrée Ruellan’s “Children’s Mardi Gras.” Tipton described it as very poignant with costumed children playing music and dancing in the street. Other children watch forlornly from behind a fence. He said he used energetic Black Gospel music paired with sounds he described as “sanguine melancholy.”
Tipton is currently working on a Maters Degree in music from Columbus State University. He received his Bachelor of Music from the same school in 1980 when it was Columbus College. Since then, he has worked as a video producer and commercial photographer with special expertise in underwater image making.
In addition to “Musa,” Tipton and his group will perform some of his original jazz pieces. Two will be from his first foray into composition, when he wrote the film score to his own 2009 photographic documentary, “Dreaming into Blue.”
Donald is a founding member of the Amadeus Jazz Quintet and a board member of the Columbus Jazz Society. He can be heard performing jazz at The Loft in Columbus and at other venues throughout the region.

Welcome to the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art!

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Upcoming Events

Thu 30

FILM@JCSM: East Meets West

March 30 @ 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Thu 30

Museum After Hours

March 30 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Apr 06

A Little Lunch Music

April 6 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm