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.
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.
Art selections for Writer's Eye 2015 will be drawn from the Museum's permanent collection, and three new exhibitions: Jacob Lawrence: Struggle . . . From the History of the American People, Collection: Sol LeWitt and Photography, and the Cavaliers Collect exhibition which brings together diverse artworks from collections throughout the region, as well as Cuban photographs from the Museum's collection.
Writer's Eye 2015
Tours run September 8 – November 13, 2015. Entries are due November 20, 2015 at 5 pm. Scheduling for Writer's Eye 2015 tours will begin August 3.
To schedule a Writer's Eye tour, please use our online WE tour booking form >
WE 2015 key dates and information >
WE 2015 selections (will be made available shortly)
WE 2015 self-guided tour (will be made available shortly)
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 >
Writer's Eye 2014
School groups are invited to schedule interactive docent-led tours of current exhibitions. Designed to increase visual literacy on an age-appropriate level, these tours can be customized to address classroom topics or specific interests.
For more information, contact the tour coordinator >
Each spring the Museum offers the ten-week Early Visions program in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of
Central Virginia. U.Va. students and Club members are paired in mentoring relationships and embark on creative activities that encourage exploration of the Museum's exhibitions, promote critical thinking, and relate the children's discoveries to their own lives. Early Visions embodies the Museum's dual educational mission of providing learning opportunities for both students and community members by harnessing the enthusiasm and skills of University students to deliver innovative educational programs to the community. Participants learn from and about one another while working side-by-side on creative projects.
For University student mentors, the daylong training program includes an overview of Charlottesville's racial history, exercises to build self-awareness and communication skills, and fundamental techniques in art education. It's a great opportunity for students to gain experience working with children, broaden their horions, and give back to the community.
If you are a U.Va. student interested in becoming an Early Visions mentor, apply here.>
If your child attends the Cherry Avenue or Southwood Boys & Girls Club, inquire with their Club leaders.
Family Art JAMs
These popular programs combine age-appropriate tours with hands-on art activities that make the Museum's exhibitions accessible to children. The introduction of new art materials and techniques challenges children to think in new ways, and interactive tours help them develop the confidence to talk about art. By asking parents or other adult family members to serve as assistants, models, and collaborators, Family Art JAMs create an enriching experience for the whole family.
Family Art JAMs are held approximately once each month. Reservations are required; drop-ins are permitted only if space is available. Family Art JAMs are offered at the following times:
1–3 pm: 5–7 year olds and their grownups
3–5 pm: 8 12 year olds and their grownups
Thanks to our generous supporters, Family Art JAMs are now free!
The Art of Portraiture
Children and parents will tour an exhibition of portrait etchings by Lucian Freud, practice blind-contour drawing, and make contour portraits of each other.
Portraying the Artist
We'll discuss the exhibition, A Portrait of the Artist, 1525-1825, and like the work in the exhibition, children and parents will draw each other at work in the studio.
Bodies in Motion
Families will explore the student-curated exhibition, The Body in Motion, and participate in a special program of activities planned and led by University students.
What is a Line? Part I
Paul Klee said, "A line is a dot that went for a walk." We'll discuss the variety of lines used in works in the What is a Line? exhibition, and explore the myriad of ways we can create expressive lines together.
What is a Line? Part II
After a wide-ranging exploration of lines in the exhibition, we'll discuss a large-scale work by John Baldessari and create art using found images and "found" lines.
Children on Childhood
Dressing up is an essential aspect of the imaginative play of childhood, as well as the construction of identity as we enter adulthood. We explore images of dress-up in the Innocence and Experience exhibition, and use collage to create alternate identities and images of self.
To register for any of these Family Art JAMS, please email >
Fun for the Young @ The Fralin
Start with a book and then go look! Arts-related story time led by Gordon Avenue Children's Librarian Glynis Welte incorporates movement, play, and puppets, and Museum docents encourage young children to explore current exhibitions.
Wednesdays from 10–11 am: 3–4 year olds and their grownups
Ms. Glynis reads stories about artists, and we'll see some portraits of friends and pets made by Lucian Freud.
For the Big Read, we'll focus on stories from India, and Indian art in the Museum's object study gallery.
Horses and dogs are a child's best friends! Stories about horses and dogs are followed by a treasure hunt through the Museum's exhibitions.
Children are in constant motion! Ms. Glynis reads stories about movement, followed by an exploration of the student-curated exhibition, The Body in Motion.
Harold and the Purple Crayon go for a walk, hear lots of stories about lines, and then visit the What is a Line? exhibition.
What kinds of clothes do you love to wear? Do you like soft, fancy, fierce, colorful, or sparkly? Every day you get dressed, but how do you pick what to wear? Ms. Glynis reads books about children and their clothes, and then we'll look at some photographs where children's clothes play a big role.
When you're little, mothers and grown-ups around you are larger than life! We'll celebrate the big people in our lives with A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza, Lots of Moms by Shelley Rotner, and The Mommy Book by Todd Parr, and then look at pictures of mothers and children in the Innocence and Experience exhibition.
Registration is required for each session. RSVP 434.243.2050 or email.
During Reunions Weekend, children are invited to take part in exciting hands-on art programs while their parents are free to enjoy other events across Grounds.
Children participate in fun activities designed to introduce them to the Museum, expand their understanding of the visual arts, and engage them with current exhibitions. Alumni parents register through the Reunions Weekend registration. Community children are welcome if we have extra space. For more information, email>
Black Alumni Weekend Kids' College
Saturday, June 6
9 am – 12:30 pm
Reunion Weekend Kids' College
Saturday, June 6
9 am – 3 pm
Tuesday, September 1
In the Museum
At the beginning of each fall academic semester educators in all subject areas—from both public and independent schools—are invited to join us for an introduction to the Museum's collection, exhibitions, and educational programs, followed by a light supper. The evening will include three separate sessions:
- Session 1: TBA
- Session 2: TBA
- Session 3: TBA
Please RSVP > by August 29, indicating one program choice.
For more information about any of these programs, please contact the education department at 434.243.2050 or email >