Located along a popular route for Auburn students andÂ transits alike, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of FineÂ Art at Auburn University, or the Jule, brings the entireÂ community together to experience visual arts. OpenÂ since 2003, the museum provides a creative perspective that can beÂ influential, especially in a childâ€™s school years.
The Jule is all about innovation and encouraging collaborationÂ among students, faculty and local citizens. Because the university isÂ a public research institution that takes pride in object-based research,Â the Jule embodies this motto. The museum allows its guests to learnÂ about different artistic modes while developing their cultural senseÂ and relationships with one another.
Charlotte Hendrix is the Juleâ€™s senior communications andÂ marketing specialist. She said that, at its core, the museum showcasesÂ diversity, community and accessibility.
â€œMy role is to promote the museum as a welcoming space forÂ everyone to explore, engage with and experience the visual arts,â€Â she said. â€œI also highlight the ways in which the museum serves EastÂ Alabama and beyond as part of Auburn University.â€
She works closely with her fellow senior directors on a day-to-dayÂ basis.
â€œWe are often working on the next exhibition, as well as publicÂ programs that will engage the public,â€ Hendrix said. â€œThere is alsoÂ time spent dedicated to the exhibitions on-view and the accompanyingÂ engagements.â€
There are three exhibitions currently on view through Jan. 2:Â â€œAnila Quayyum Agha: The Weight of Black,â€ â€œThe Joy Fieldsâ€ andÂ â€œOutside In.â€
The â€œOutside Inâ€ exhibit features the Auburnâ€™s Museum of NaturalÂ History seasonal specimens along with some of the Louise Hauss andÂ David Brent Miller Audobon Collection selections. The specimens areÂ showcased next to their corresponding artwork representations thatÂ quite accurately display the 19th-century components.
Guests are welcome to explore all the exhibitions the museum hasÂ to offer. Exhibits provide different artistic experiences, all of whichÂ promote learning opportunities.Â Exhibition season partnerships are welcomed and encouraged.
These experiences give people the chance to share their interest in artÂ with the surrounding community. The Jule has different sustainingÂ partnerships ranging from $25,000 to $100,000. To learn more aboutÂ the parameters with each type, visit the website, which is linked at theÂ end of this article.
Hendrix said that many university employees, as well asÂ community members, feel a sense of pride for the quality of theÂ exhibitions. Those retiring in Auburn feel a welcoming presence whenÂ they step through the museumâ€™s doors.
â€œMany school-aged children begin a lifelong love of museumsÂ by visiting as a part of a program or tour,â€ Hendrix said. â€œIâ€™ve alsoÂ observed people enjoying the grounds for recreation and relaxation, asÂ there are several outdoor sculptures on view.â€
The Jule provides children and university students with a level ofÂ art exposure that goes beyond classroom learning.
This museum was one of the first in Alabama to reopen with limitedÂ occupancy in August 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. ToÂ facilitate a safer start, the Jule implemented guidelines from Auburnâ€™sÂ â€œA Healthier U,â€ which is the universityâ€™s way to combat the virusÂ while keeping the school open. For example, on Aug. 3, AuburnÂ reinstalled the indoor mask policy, regardless of vaccination status. Â The Jule followed suit.
Hendrix said that visiting the museum is a suitable activity forÂ many, partly because one can go alone or in a small group. Therefore,Â museum guests can still visit the museum while keeping in mindÂ social distancing and other health precautions.
The Jule will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2023 withÂ celebrations, including bringing back the juried outdoor sculptureÂ exhibition.Â While observing all that the museum has to offer, guests can stopÂ by to browse in the museum shop while there. The shop providesÂ unique gifts that are curated from museum collections and exhibits.Â Works are affordable and created by local and regional artists.
Purchases in the shop go toward developing the museumâ€™s program.Â Museum guests, as well as Auburn University students, faculty andÂ staff, [can] receive discounts on the regular merchandise also.Â The Jule accepts charitable gifts and donations. There is no feeÂ for admission to the museum. However, those who donate canÂ help preserve the museumâ€™s collections, as well as contribute to theÂ engagement opportunities held with school-aged children and collegeÂ students.
The Jule is located at 901 S. College St. and is available viaÂ the Tiger Transit using the Fine Arts line. The museumâ€™s hours ofÂ operation are Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,Â with an extension until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. It is closed everyÂ Monday. The wide-ranging hours give both students and communityÂ members flexibility in visiting the museum at their own convenience.
To make a donation, visit the website, www.jcsm.auburn.edu/. ToÂ learn more, call 334-844-1484.