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Auburn’s Research and Innovation Campus in Huntsville is accentuated by more than 35 art objects from the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art’s collection, including new work by acclaimed artist Gamaliel Rodríguez.

The exhibition outreach initiative is the first in a developing series to share the art collection at other campus locations. Through this university partnership, administrators seek to stimulate the exchange of ideas and enrich workplace culture by highlighting the intersection of the arts, science and engineering.

A land, sea and space grant institution, Auburn University’s seal bears the inscription, “For the Advancement of Science and the Arts.” Through this lens, Surface to Air reflects curiosity, experimentation, legacy and human achievement through objects stewarded by Auburn’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art and the Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives Department. The exhibition is the first in a developing series launching a new Campus Public Art initiative that shares Auburn’s art collection and other objects in non-traditional spaces.

From the Pyramids of Giza (2500 BCE) to DaVinci’s 15th century Vitruvian Man to Nicéphore Niépce’s 1817 invention of the camera and the accompanying chemical process to develop film, scientific methodology moves alongside the creative process in pursuit of innovation. The oil paintings, etchings, ink drawings, bronze and steel sculptures, a 17th-century publication and even ephemera from outer space gathered in the Huntsville Research and Innovation Campus further reflect this continuing march through the present and on to the future, as well as Auburn University’s deep connections to some of the world’s greatest and most awe-inspiring outcomes and complex studies.


PodcastSurface to AirUniversity FacultyWatch + Listen
November 30, 2022

The Jule Museum Podcast – Episode 11: Research and Innovation

Gamaliel Rodríguez talks about his artwork installed as part of the opening of Auburn’s Research and Innovation Campus in Huntsville, Alabama. Opened in October, 2022, the facility features a temporary…
Audio GuideSurface to AirWatch + Listen
January 18, 2023

Audio Guide: Surface to Air

Aaron Levi Garvey, Janet L. Nolan Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, talks about the exhibition Surface to Air on view at the…

Selected Objects