Jule Collins Smith
MUSEUM OF FINE ART
Senior, art with a minor in Spanish
I think the museum experience is important for all Auburn students. For art majors, to be able to interact with the space and see the paintings, drawings, and sculpture up close and in person is a totally different experience than when you just view them online. The internet has become such a convenience, especially for our generation. I think it is important for nonmajors, too, to be aware of the kind of conversations going on in the art world, both in the past and present. There are ideas expressed creatively that are not just “art people” thoughts. These views are very human and relatable for everyone.
I attended an exhibition at the museum where the artist was working in the gallery on an unresolved painting. It was an intimate setting, so I got to talk one-on-one with him about his process, how he develops ideas, and actually see him putting the paint on the canvas. He was very approachable, taking the persona of a great artist, and making it seem possible that those achievements might be my own someday.
CEO, Davidson Technologies
I supported the Rembrandt, Rubens, Gainsborough and the Golden Age of Painting in Europe exhibition at Auburn because paintings from the period of 1600 to 1800 are a strong representation of fine art on a worldwide scale. Having such a collection on display at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art allows those who might not have traveled to other parts of the country, or even the world, to experience these historic works. In studying them, students are able to expand the horizons of their education. My own experience tells me that these types of encounters broaden your scope of world activities.
There’s no doubt that having a top university art museum says something extremely positive about Auburn as a town and a university. Creating such opportunities for an appreciation and understanding of fine art is a resource not available at most universities in the state. I am passionate about supporting the museum at Auburn because I believe higher education is essential to equip all students and friends of the museum with better capabilities for our nation’s future.