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K-12 Education

12-hour “Takeover” in less than a minute

By Art Experiences, K-12 Education, News, Uncategorized No Comments

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”

By K-12 Education, News No Comments

“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!

By Art, Art Experiences, Interdisciplinary Learning, K-12 Education, News No Comments

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!

By Art Experiences, K-12 Education, News No Comments

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

By Building Community, K-12 Education, News No Comments

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.

JCSM reaches out to local schools

By Building Community, K-12 Education, Supporting Auburn No Comments

Yesterday was a bittersweet day.

Outreach is a critical part of the mission at JCSM. This year, I’ve been able to spend two Thursdays a month teaching at South Smiths Station Elementary school. SSES does not currently have an art teacher, but teachers and administrators there sought out our support. Last year during a tour at JCSM, fourth grade teacher Evelyn Baldwin asked me if I could provide art lessons for the students. I was thrilled to have the chance to be in a classroom, and explore art making with excited young students.

And what a great year it was! We made travel posters for the regions of Alabama (making connections to geography), musical instruments and rockets (using science and math skills), paper mache animals, prints, still-life drawing, and even had art history discussions. The hard work of the students was matched by their enthusiasm. While most of my mornings are fueled by coffee, the bright faces of eager learners helped wake me up, and kept me going throughout the day.

Yesterday was my last day traveling to SSES, which made me sad. But the many kind words of thanks, and a substantial number of candy bars certainly made the end of the year easier to handle. I want to express my deepest thanks to Mrs. Duke, Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Evans, and Mrs. Baldwin for allowing me to work with their students, and for their constant encouragement. Of course this would not have been possible without the support from Principal Smith and Assistant Superintendent Hunter at Lee County Schools. Their dedication and commitment to the arts in elementary education is deep, and deeply appreciated.

I also want to thank all of the students that were such a joy to work with. It was your hard work that made your art look so wonderful. I know that you’ll keep practicing your art, and making wonderful, creative, inventive new things!

JCSM continues to work to support local schools that need help with art education. And there are things that you can do to help.

First, be sure you voice your support of art education to your representatives at every level of government. Support your local school board as they work to find the budget to hire art and music teachers. Through Parent-Teacher organizations, fundraisers for art supplies, and other events at local schools, you can help ensure that every school has a full-time art educator.

Second, if you want to directly support JCSM’s outreach to schools, contact our development office online, or by calling 334-844-1675.

Museum outreach efforts demonstrate the value of art education in a very real way, helping teachers and parents make the case to school administrators and state legislators that art teachers are needed in every building. Please consider helping us continue this important work.

Summer Art Clubs begin May 30, 2015

By Art Experiences, K-12 Education No Comments

Thanks for coming to our past summer art clubs! Please visit the family programs page for upcoming events.

Our ever-popular summer art club series continues this year every weekend, all summer long! Parents are asked to join in the fun for Artypants and stART! Please register to guarantee a space and materials. Some topics may change slightly. Please note that there are no sessions on Friday, July 3 or Saturday, July 4, due to the holiday.

A few things to keep in mind when registering:

  1. Please only register the number of youth who plan to attend. Do so by selecting quantity from the drop down menu.
  2. The program is structured so that each class is its own lesson; therefore, you do need to register for each individual date you plan to attend.
  3. Note the age groups for each session: ArtyPants is for rising K through 2nd graders, stART! is for rising 3rd through 6th graders, and State of Create is for rising 7th through 12th graders.
  4. Class sizes are limited, and often these sessions are at capacity. Note that others may be on the wait list should you need to cancel. We appreciate 24 hours notice so that we can release the reservation.
  5. Online registration is managed via Eventbrite, an opt-in email service. Here is the Eventbrite privacy policy.
  6. For waitlisters or day of stand-by guests, please arrive at 10:15 am to see if there is availability. Seats may be released on a first-come, first-served basis.

Those smarty arty kids have plenty to do at JCSM on Saturday mornings! ArtyPants gives your child the opportunity to explore a wide range of materials, make new friends, and create their own art. Beginning May 30, come join our rising Kindergarten through 2nd grade students each Saturday (except for July 4) from 10 to 11:30 am.

UPDATE: All available spaces for ArtyPants are reserved at this time for the entire summer. In the event of “no shows,” a very small number of seats may be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Thank you for your interest in our summer programming.

For the growing learner, stART! gives your child the opportunity to expand their knowledge of materials. Rising 3rd through 6th grade students will begin considering more advanced applications of the elements of art such as color, line, and shape, as well as the principles of design including harmony and balance. Beginning Saturday, May 30, come join us each Saturday (except for July 4) from 12:30 to 2 pm.

See class descriptions and register for stART!

State of Create is an exciting dropin art club for teenagers (rising 7th through 12th grade). With the support of experienced staff members, we’ll explore challenging materials, professional techniques, and new art forms. Come join us each Friday beginning June 5 (except for July 3) from 1 to 2:30 pm.

See class descriptions and register for State of Create.