Visiting International Pianists Featured on Two Upcoming Recitals

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Visiting International Pianists Featured on Two Upcoming Recitals

On Thursday, February 9, from noon to 1:00 pm, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University, will present a free concert in the auditorium by pianist Dino Mulić, violinist Kay Lee, and pianist Sangmi Lim. Mulić will perform solo piano music by Domenico Scarlatti, Joseph Haydn, Alban Berg, and Boris Papandopulo. Lee and Lim will perform a sonata by Sergei Prokofiev.
The performance is part of the museum’s weekly series, A Little Lunch Music. Gifts from George Kent and anonymous friends of the series have helped to make this concert possible.
Drs. Mulić and Lim will also perform a piano four-hands recital on Wednesday, February 8, at 7:30 pm at Goodwin Recital Hall. Wednesday night’s concert, hosted by the Auburn University Music Department, is a ticketed event and will feature music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert and Astor Piazzolla.
When violinist Kyungha Kay Lee first performed with pianist Sangmi Lim, they were in middle school in South Korea. Lee said they were close friends, and continued to perform throughout high school and college. Both moved to the US to do graduate work in music, though at different schools.
Now, both having performed throughout the world, Lee is based in Auburn as a teacher and performer, and Lim is on faculty at Texas A&M University. The two will come together again at the museum to share a concert with Lim’s husband who is also a pianist. It will be the first time the two friends have performed in public together since 2006.
On Thursday, the duo will perform Prokofiev’s “Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 94,” which Lee said is dramatic and lyrical. She said violin virtuoso David Oistrakh was a good friend of Prokofiev and loved the piece, which was originally written for flute. So Prokofiev arranged the sonata for Oistrakh.

Pianists Sangmi Lim

Kyungha Kay Lee, violinist

Lee said she loves to travel and to get out in nature. “When I travel somewhere, I always think of some music to blend with that scenery,” she said. The reverse is also true. She said the Prokofiev piece reminds her of beautiful scenery, which she visualizes as she plays, especially during the lyrical moments.
Lee said the sonata is one of her favorites and has a nice balance between lyricism and technical fireworks. She said the piano parts are very hard, but are no match for Lim’s talent.
“We have a very good synergy,” said Lee of her pianist colleague and friend, whose playing she described as energetic and dramatic. “When I play with her, she gives me energy to play very powerfully.”
Lim’s husband Dino Mulić is from Bosnia and Herzegovina. They met in 2009 at Michigan State University where she was a graduate student and he was a part of the US State Department’s Visiting Scholar program. He will perform the other half of Thursday’s program on solo piano. The two will perform together at Goodwin Hall the night before.
“When we met, our English was poor,” said Mulić, who said he fell in love with her immediately. Though it was hard to communicate, he said they had the language of music. Over time, they developed a repertoire of music for piano four-hands. “For me it is very special to play with Sangmi,” he said. “It’s wonderful.”
Mulić was born in Yugoslavia before the Bosnian War. He was very young when it started, and wasn’t able to go to school. He credits his mother’s encouragement to continue with his education by reading and studying. “She told me, ‘Don’t worry, when this is over, if we survive, we will start over,’” he said. And they did.
One of Mulić’s solo pieces on Thursday will be a one-movement sonata by Alban Berg. Mulić said the piece is extremely moving for him and connects him to the war. “At one point it’s so tragic. It’s devastating,” he said, still feeling that it is one of the most romantic pieces he’s ever played.
Berg was from the Second Viennese School, which is what scholars call a group of composers in the 20th century. They broke traditional rules of music, experimenting with new ways to present harmony, melody, and musical form. Mulić said Berg’s sonata doesn’t even establish a key until the very end, a tragic b-minor.
“It’s tragic, but proud,” said Mulić. He said it reminds him of what his family endured during the war, and how they came through it.
During the war Mulić moved to Sarajevo with his family into his grandfather’s apartment that had formerly been the residence of composer Boris Papandopulo. Papandopulo was opera conductor and teacher in Sarajevo from 1948-1953. Mulić said Papandopulo was called “Mozart from the Balkans,” because of his cheerful friendly character which Mozart was famous for.
Mulić said he loves Papandopulo’s music as well as his life story. When Russia took control of the composer’s home country Croatia after World War II, officials ordered him to abandon music, and he took a job as truck driver. Mulić said while doing that, Papandopulo, the son of a Croatian nobleman, got to know and love the common people of his country. Later, he was able to re-enter the world of music and became well known and loved.
Music by Mozart will open Wednesday night’s program, followed by what Mulić said is probably the most famous piano four-hands piece, Franz Schubert’s “Fantasy in F Minor.”
Still-living Serbian composer and friend of Mulić’s family Vladimir Đenader wrote his “Three Pieces” for piano four-hands one morning after dreaming it the night before. Kyoko Yamamoto arranged the famous “History of the Tango” by Astor Piazzolla which Lim and Mulić will also play Wednesday at Goodwin Hall.

Pianists Dino Mulić

Tian Xu

Lunch Music will present music by Xu and Lin

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Tian Xu and Beibei Lin Will Present music for Violin and Piano

On February 2, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the auditorium featuring violinist Tian Xu with pianist Beibei Lin. The program will feature music by Maurice Ravel, Sergei Prokofiev, Bright Sheng, and Johannes Brahms.
Click here for more about the performers on the event page.
Support from Lorna Wood and Donald Wehrs and from anonymous friends of the series is helping to make this performance possible.
Prokofiev is known for the music he wrote for children, but Xu said he used simplicity in his other works as well. “Although he lived in the modern period, he always had the idea that he wanted to go back to composers like Mozart,” said Xu.
Tian Xu
Prokofiev’s solo violin sonata was originally written for a group of violinists to play together in unison. Xu said this leads to a lot of different ideas about how it should be performed. She said it is a piece with dark, heavy aspects along with sweet and lyrical moments.
Bright Sheng’s piece “The Stream Flows” is a love song sung from the streams below to a lover up in the mountains. Xu said it basically depicts the scenery of the countryside, reminiscent of an ancient, primitive lifestyle. The first movement is based on a folk song very familiar in China. “I heard it a lot when I was little,” said Xu, who grew up there.
Though she doesn’t get the chance to play music by composers from her home country very often, she loves to do it. She said the music often uses sounds from Chinese folk music and culture. “Whenever I hear the Chinese elements, it’s kind of nostalgic to me,” said Xu.
For the third week in a row, the program for A Little Lunch Music will include chamber music by Johannes Brahms. Listeners will hear Xu and Lin’s version of Brahms’s Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major performed in January by Guy Harrison and Jeremy Samolesky.
In writing the work, Brahms was inspired by a relationship that could never be, said Xu. She said when she first starts to learn a piece of music, she tries to be inspired by its story. “It’s a love song,” said Xu, “I would think of how he would feel.” Later, the more technical aspects enter in, such as phrasing and trading melodies with the piano.
But Xu said she holds on to the feelings throughout the process. “Love has its own sound, its voice,” she said. “You won’t forget about it.”
The duo will also perform Brahms’s “Scherzo” movement from the F-A-E Sonata. In 1853, Brahms, Robert Schumann, and Schumann’s pupil Albert Dietrich wrote the piece as a gift for violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim.
Xu said playing the music of Brahms makes her want to play it again and again. “In general, he always has a very warm sound, and he is very good at writing beautiful melodies,” she said.
Having won top prizes in national competitions in China, and high honors in others, Xu is a member of The Columbus Symphony Orchestra. She recently joined the violin faculty of The William Pu Academy in Atlanta, The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra’s Educational Initiative, and The Schwob School of Music Preparatory Division as an instructor of violin. She is a graduate of The Eastman School of Music.
On Thursday, Lin will open the program with two movements from Maurice Ravel’s solo piano suite titled “Miroirs.” Also born in China, Lin debuted as a soloist with the MasterWorks Festival Orchestra at age seventeen. She recently appeared as a guest artist soloist in Florida, Virginia, and Kansas and in 2016 served as collaborative pianist for the International Double Reed Society Conference. A doctoral candidate at Florida State University, she has been appointed Lecturer of Keyboard at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University and Instructor of Piano for the school’s Preparatory Division.
Headshot of musician Yinzi Kong

Yinzi Kong and William Ransom Will Perform for A Little Lunch Music

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Emory Duo Will Feature Music for the Viola

On January 26, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the auditorium featuring violist Yinzi Kong with pianist William Ransom. The duo will perform Max Reger’s Suite No. 1 for Solo Viola and Johannes Brahms’s Sonata in F Minor, Op. 120, No. 1. Thanks to Nick & Pat Giordano and Anonymous Friends of the Series for helping to make this performance possible.
Click here for more about the performers on the event page. 
The concert is made possible in part by Nick & Pat Giordano and anonymous friends of the series.
Kong and Ransom have been playing together for 15 years. Ransom is head of the piano program at Emory University in Atlanta. Kong is on faculty there, too. She is also a founding member of the Vega String Quartet which recently became a permanent artist-in-residence group at Emory.
This Thursday’s concert at the museum is a preview of some of the talent that will be showcased in Auburn next month. The Vega Quartet, along with Ransom, will perform on February 15 at Goodwin Hall as part of a concert hosted by the Auburn Chamber Music Society.
On Thursday, Kong will play Reger’s “Suite No. 1 for Solo Viola.” A German composer, Reger was a student in the tradition of Bach, said Ransom. Ransom said that like Bach over 100 years before, Reger lived, worked at a church, and died in Leipzig, Germany.
Ransom said composer Max Reger’s work is fairly obscure. But he said Reger’s viola pieces are often programmed by violists because not much, relatively speaking, has been written for solo viola.
“For me, this piece is a monologue of growing pain,” said Kong. She said the music makes her think of a person’s journey to maturity, starting at a point of frustration at being different and misunderstood. From there, she said the music moves to making peace, then finally embraces and celebrates what she called “the being.” “The expressiveness of the viola as an instrument is fully explored,” she added.
“Reger used counterpoint and wrote a lot of fugue and variation,” said Ransom, further making the connection from Bach to Reger. The solo piece’s suite form is reminiscent of Bach’s six famous cello suites. But as part of the end of Western music’s Romantic Period, Reger used a more modern tonality, said Ransom. “It’s very easy to listen to.”
Kong studied at the Shanghai Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music. She enjoys an award-winning career in both solo and chamber music performance and teaching. She performs in the world’s concert halls including Carnegie Hall, and her live performances have been internationally broadcast. She collaborates with musicians including Elliot Fisk, Richard Stoltzman, Charles Wadsworth and Sarah Chang.
“I am often provoked by the music to feel a certain way,” said Kong. She said music is a like a mirror that reflects who we are or at least a part of some experience of our lives. “I don’t want my audience to be limited by my story,” she said, adding, “but dare to look into this mirror themselves.
Ransom collaborates with musicians including Yo-Yo Ma, Richard Stoltzman, and members of the Tokyo, Cleveland, and Juilliard String Quartets. In addition to his faculty position, he is founder and Artistic Director of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta. A graduate of Juilliard and of the University of Michigan, he is Artistic Director of both the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina and the Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival in Alaska.
Audience members at last week’s A Little Lunch Music would have heard clarinetist David Odom perform with pianist Jeremy Samolesky. The two performed Johannes Brahms’s clarinet sonata Op. 120, no. 2. This week, Kong and Ransom will perform no. 1, transcribed for viola.
Ransom said the two Brahms sonatas are very different. Where no. 2 is more reflective, no. 1 is very dramatic and passionate. “It rekindled his youth,” said Ransom, noting that the piece was written near the end of the composer’s life.
Brahms was known for writing very long, substantial works for piano, for orchestra, and for chamber groups. Near the end of his life, he was mainly writing short pieces for piano and organ. “He had pretty much given up what he called professional composing,” said Ransom.
Hearing a performance by clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld inspired Brahms to write serious pieces again, said Ransom. He wrote these two sonatas, a trio, and a quintet, all which featured the clarinet. These were the last four of Brahms’s works that had the substance and length of his earlier signature pieces.
Compared to the Reger sonata, Kong said the Brahms piece is much more subtle and abstract. “For me it is more a mood, some thoughts here and there,” she said.
Ransom said the last movement of the sonata is brilliant and validictory. “It’s a very positive movement that ends in a bright, sunny mood,” he said.

AU Faculty Will Perform for A Little Lunch Music

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Museum Series Will Feature Brahms Chamber Music

On January 19, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the auditorium featuring pianist Jeremy Samolesky, baritone Matthew Hoch, soprano Anne Duraski, violinist Guy Harrison, and clarinetist David Odom. The program will feature chamber music by Johannes Brahms. Thanks to anonymous friends of the series for helping to make this performance possible.
Thursday’s program will include three pieces by Johannes Brahms, one of the defining composers of western music’s Romantic Period. Brahms lived from 1833 to 1897. Samolesky said he began playing Brahms’ music in undergraduate school. He said he was struck by the melodies, how expressive and singable they are.
“It’s incredibly satisfying to play, physically as well as emotionally,” said Samolesky. He said he has experienced everything from extreme fragile intimacy to full-blown passionate drama in Brahms’ music.
Samolesky has played all of Brahms’ solo piano music and much of his chamber music. Thursday’s program will highlight the composer’s chamber music. Featured will be a set of vocal duets, a violin sonata and a clarinet sonata.
“All of these pieces are extremely difficult,” said Samolesky, adding that everyone’s part is equally hard to perform. He said this is true not only in a technical sense, but also in communicating the musical essence. But he said with Brahms, the virtuosity always serves a musical purpose, and doesn’t exist only to show off a performer’s talent.

Pictured: Jeremy Samolesky

“All of his chamber music is musical conversations between all the instruments,” said Samolesky. He contrasted this with earlier works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose trios are melodically dominated by the piano and whose string quartets showcase the first violin. In Brahms’ music, Samolesky said each voice carries the same importance.
The conversational aspect of the music is most evident in Brahms’ “Vier Duette (Four Duets), Op. 28,” for soprano, baritone and piano. In this set of four pieces, each scene is a conversation between two characters. And Samolesky said even in this relatively short piece, the emotions range from bright and joyful to tragic despair.
Samolesky said Brahms wrote three very different violin sonatas and two very different clarinet sonatas. But he said the violin and clarinet sonatas they will perform Thursday happen to be very similar. He said that in a way, they represent Brahms’ later style of writing, which was more subdued and reflective. He said they are not without passion, however, including long, rich melodies that are singing and beautiful.
Samolesky said Brahms’ chamber music has left an indelible impression on him, and colleagues have expressed the same. “I do remember every single time I played Brahms chamber music,” he said. “I remember where I was and who I played it with.”

“A Little Lunch Music” Returns for Spring 2017

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Museum Series Opens with American Opera and Art Song, Jazz Returns After Hours

On January 12, from noon to 1:00 pm, A Little Lunch Music will present a free concert in the auditorium featuring soprano Stephanie Tingler with pianist Martha Thomas. The duo will present vocal music by 20th-century American composers including Florence Price, Richard Hageman, and Lori Laitman.
The concert is made possible by a grant from the SEC Academic Initiative.
In 2013, Tingler and Thomas put together a program of American vocal music to take to Kenya and then later Brazil. Tingler said the project was extremely well received, and not only by their audiences. She also discovered in herself a strong connection to American poetry, which is often the text American composers choose to set to music.
For centuries, the bulk of classical repertoire for singers, American or otherwise, has been from other countries. It is expected for performers to learn standard pieces in non-native languages. Only in recent decades has the United States established itself as a serious source for vocal repertoire. Tingler said it has now become a focus of her career.
“American music has become a big part of my life,” said Tingler. She said as an American, she is able to understand the subtle cultural references and idioms found in American opera and art song. “There are so many things at work in American music that make it more interesting,” she said. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that the poetry that composers are setting has gotten more rich and full.”
Composer Libby Larsen’s piece, “Margaret Songs,” sets to music poems of Willa Cather, an American writer who lived at the turn of the 20th century. Though the text is from an earlier time, Tingler said she loves how Larsen uses her music to bring Cather’s ideas into the present.
“I’m a preacher’s kid,” said Tingler, adding that she always learned that the word was most important. “In the beginning was the Word,” she said, quoting the first verse from the Book of John in the New Testament. She said the verse was also one of the first things spoken to her by a vocal teacher in graduate school.
Tingler noted that the importance of text has been a theme of her life. She said what connects her most strongly to a piece of music is how the lyrics apply to life now.
“Beyond all price” by composer Lori Laitman is another example of that. The song is from Latiman’s opera, “The Scarlet Letter,” based on the 19th-century novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. David Mason wrote the text. “He understands the woman’s point of view,” said Tingler, explaining he was able to bring ideas of women’s struggle for equality effectively into the 21st century.
Tingler has appeared in leading roles with opera companies throughout the US and in Brazil. She has been honored by her selection into top art song festivals and series, and has collaborated in chamber music with notable instrumental and vocal performers. She has won honors and awards at national and international performance competitions and has received grants and recognition as a teacher, scholar and author. She holds undergraduate degrees from East Carolina University and from Northern Kentucky University and graduate degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Ohio State University. She was appointed to the School of Music faculty at the University of Georgia in 1992, where she is currently Associate Professor of Voice.
Thomas maintains an active career as recitalist and collaborative artist, giving concerts and appearing at festivals and conferences across the United States and in Canada, Australia, Europe, and Africa. She is now featured on eight compact disc recordings on the ACA Digital, Centaur, and Albany labels. Her CD of the solo piano music of George Rochberg garnered excellent reviews and a citation in the New York Times. A native Texan, she holds degrees through the doctoral level from the Universities of Texas and Wisconsin. She is currently the Despy Karlas Professor of Piano and Associate Director for Academic Programs at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia.
The duo has recorded a CD and has created a second program of American music, which is what they will perform in Auburn this week. In addition to Thursday’s noon concert at the museum, on Friday they will present a masterclass at Goodwin Recital Hall at 11:00 a.m. and a lecture recital at 3:00 p.m. All events are open to the public.
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. Music is featured in the relaxed, club-like atmosphere. This week the house band Cullars Improvisational Rotation will return. It is a jazz trio made up of Dan Mackowski on guitar, Patrick McCurry on saxophone, and Jason DeBlanc on bass.

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 Logo

Teen Takeover III Now Accepting Applications!

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Teen Takeover III Logo


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.

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