UVaM - University of Virginia Art Museum


Community programs

Community Docents

The Fralin community docents are trained in a variety of museum education techniques, including the inquiry method. After completion of the required Docent Training Course, they lead tours for school groups and community organizations and assist with the annual Writer's Eye competition and the Eyes on Art program for individuals with Alzheimer's.

After their initial training period, docents receive ongoing education from education staff, curators, and guest speakers on special exhibitions and the permanent collection. As a group, docents occasionally take field trips to other museums. Some docents also attend regional and national docent education conferences.

The museum accepts applications on a rolling basis from community members who wish to become docents, and interviews are conducted prior to the beginning of each Docent Training Course. For information about future docent training opportunities, visit the Community Docent Program page or email Docent Education.

Eyes on Art

Continued exposure to art and music can slow the decline of persons with Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders. Eyes on Art is an innovative program designed in partnership with the Arts Fusion Program of the Central and Western Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, to engage people with Alzheimer's in meaningful discussions about art. Specially trained docents lead participants and their caregivers on small group tours when the Museum is closed to the public. Programs explore different exhibitions each month, and many incorporate music and a variety of hands-on projects.

To schedule a visit from a residential facility, contact tour coordinator Riley McCall by email > or by phone at 434.243.2050.

Programs for early stage participants and their caregivers are held on the third Thursday of each month, from 2:30–3:15 pm, and provide a supportive social environment for all.

To join the early stage group, contact Sharon Hughes by email > or by phone at 434.973.6122, ext. 123

Writer's Eye

Now in its 29th year, Writer’s Eye is The Fralin's annual literary competition that challenges writers of all ages, from 3rd grade through adults, to use visual art as inspiration for the creation of original poetry and prose. Between September 8 and November 13, 2015, more than 3800 students in grades 3-12 toured the Museum for Writer’s Eye, as well as more than 400 adults from the University and the community. We received 1821 entries in all categories, an increase of nearly 8% over last year. We are pleased to announce the winners of Writer's Eye 2015:

WE 2015 award winners >

The annual Writer’s Eye Awards Ceremony will be held from 3–5 pm on May 1, 2016, at the Newcomb Hall Ballroom. First place contestants will read their entries. Second Place, Third Place, and honorable mention recipients will also be acknowledged. The ceremony is free and open to the public as well as to the families, friends, teachers, and school principals of the Writer’s Eye winners. The annual Writer’s Eye anthology will be released at this time.

Writer's Eye 2016

Writer’s Eye 2016 will mark the 30th anniversary of the program, started by the Museum’s docents in 1986. Compositions inspired by selected works on view in the Museum can be submitted in the categories of Prose or Poetry, for grades 3–5, 6–8, 9–12, and University/Adult. Entries are judged anonymously by area teachers and writing professionals. The judges for the High School and University/Adult categories are well-known writers from central Virginia. Winners are honored at an annual ceremony in the spring, and first-, second-, and third-place winning entries are published in the Writer's Eye anthology.

Information for Writer’s Eye 2016 will be available in May of 2016. Information for Writer’s Eye 2015 is listed below for reference:

WE tour booking form >
WE 2015 key dates and information >
WE tips and hints >
WE 2015 competition guidelines and entry form >
WE 2015 visitation guidelines >
Directions for unloading, parking, and loading buses >
Parking map for cars and small buses >
Evaluate your Writer's Eye tour here >