The staff members of Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art are a dedicated group of artists, photographers, historians, curators, designers, and writers who all believe art changes lives. Beyond the “9 to 5,” we recognize that JCSM is a charitable, nonprofit organization that enhances life-long learning and community enhancement.
For the spring membership drive March 25-28, these staff members wanted to share why they support Auburn’s art museum and what they enjoy. If you join during these dates, you can take 10% off your membership and get an “Art Changes Lives” t-shirt (while supplies last).
I joined to show support for the museum and join the more than 600 other online student members. As a part of the campus opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students, JCSM is one of the wide variety of resources that makes the university experience rich.
My favorite artist in the collection is José Bedia and E incontrolable será (It will be uncontrollable), 2007. My favorite program is split between art clubs, which are a great time for me, as I get to teach and make art with students, and the docent-training program, since it’s fun to see adults find the same joy in the visual arts as children.
I grew up in Auburn, but attended college out of state. At the time, there wasn’t an art museum here. I remember my mom telling me the university was building one, and upon hearing this, how I wished there had been something like that when I was a kid. When I moved back to the area from Washington, DC, I was overjoyed to join the museum staff.
There are exhibitions on view that one would expect in major cities, right here in my hometown. One of my favorite programs is the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers (SCTIF). I regularly attended independent filmmaking screenings and panels in DC. The SCTIF films are always amazing and the guest filmmakers insightful. My favorite exhibition (as of now!) is Out of the Box: An Outdoor Juried Sculpture Exhibition. The sculptures add so much to the already spectacular museum grounds.
I really do believe in JCSM’s mission: art changes lives. I am lucky to have this job that allows me to meet new and interesting people and gives me reasons to stay connected to those I know on campus, all in the name of making Auburn University more culturally rich. My membership is a symbol of my commitment to our goals.
My favorite work of art? That’s a hard question. I curate the Louise Hauss and David Brent Miller Audubon Collection, so my familiarity with and the research I have done on it makes me have a deep appreciation. I am especially fond of the Audubon Robin print. I am very fond of Peter Graham (Scottish, 1836–1921) Highland Cattle in a Stormy Landscape, 1886 and JamesPeale (American, 1749–1831) Still Life with Watermelon and Peaches, ca. 1820, in the permanent collection. I also think quite often about a piece we showed in an Auburn Collectsexhibition of the Dr. Ed Hayes’ collection called About to Change His Tune, by Stephen James Ferris (American, 1835–1915). But these are just ones that come to mind right now.
One of my favorite programs to date is FILM@JCSM, a program that draws on the talents of Auburn faculty. Led by Dr. Sunny Stalter Pace, the faculty members choose a series of films that relate to one of our exhibitions and invite members from our own faculty or scholars form elsewhere to introduce the films and lead discussion. I love it that the people involved in that program feel ownership of the museum, and they bring smart, interesting voices into our programs.
JCSM’s lunch time music programs are popular, and we’ve carried that over into our expanded Thursday evening hours with live jazz from 6 to 8 pm with tapas and cocktail menus from 5 to 8 pm.
Cindy Cox, sustaining member, membership officer
Growing up, my parents always took us to the museums in downtown Chicago. I was so fortunate to be exposed to the different cultures through art. I believe that art begins the conversation of learning about different cultures for children. I joined because I want to continue the conversation of experiencing different cultures and eras. JCSM is truly spectacular, and I love being a part of it!
My favorite collection is Advancing American Art. I love the story behind the acquisition of this collection in 1948. I love that the AU Art department head Frank Applebee felt so strongly about this great collection that he rallied the university and department into acquiring 36 works for $1,072! Today, we pay tribute to this initial purchase with the 1072 Society. Community and alumni efforts through 1072 Society have resulted in 18 new pieces of artwork that enhance our teaching capabilities.
Drop by during our membership social on Wednesday, March 26 from 5 to 7 pm and enjoy BBQ sliders, pimento cheese crostini, sweets table, and much more from Ursula’s Catering. Cash bar available for those 21 and above with valid I.D.
Out on the terrace, Scooter McGavin band will present their special sound of Folky-Americana-Funky-Rock. Help us with headcounts by RSVP’ing below. This event is free and open to the public. Gallery admission is free courtesy of JCSM Business Partners.