UVaM - University of Virginia Art Museum


K-12 programs

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.

Schedule a tour for Writer’s Eye 2016. Details coming soon!
WE 2016 tour booking form >

Information for Writer’s Eye 2015 is listed below for reference:

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 >

Docent-led tours

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 >

School group tour booking form >
Directions for unloading, parking, and loading buses >
General car parking map (not for school or bus groups) >
Visitation guidelines >

Early Visions

Each Spring semester, in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Virginia. The Fralin offers the ten-week Early Visions program. UVA students and children from the Boys and Girls Club 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. Mentors and mentees 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 horizons, 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

Registration required. To register for any of these Family Art JAMS, please email > or call 434.243.2050

Thanks to our generous supporters, Family Art JAMs are now free!


January 16
Investigating the Object

How do we understand objects in a museum? Together we'll explore several routes through The Fralin Museum's Object Study Gallery, and families will contribute their own ideas to the developing concept map.

This program will be held at The Bridge PAI, at 209 Monticello Road, Charlottesville.

February 20
Printing the Big Shape

We'll discuss the big, bold shapes and texture of Richard Serra's prints, and students will work with guest instructor Kris Iden to create monotype prints in the studio.


March 19
Weaving with Warp & Weft

We'll discuss the Museum's Navajo weavings in the Geometry of the Warp and Weft exhibition, and participants will create experimental weavings with guest instructor Lisa Jevack.


April 16
Living with Shadows

Growing up in the 21st century involves confronting many difficult issues, and our job as grownups is to help children learn to navigate and confront these issues. Using the student-curated exhibition—Casting Shadows—this program offers a rare opportunity to understand how art making can provide a safe and constructive medium for addressing personal fears as well as challenging issues such as racism and war.

The images we will discuss are not graphic, but the program may not be appropriate for young children or those who are sheltered from current events. We will be happy to answer any questions in advance.

1–3 pm: recommended for ages 8–10 & their families
3–5 pm: recommended for ages 11–14 & their families


May 14
Portraying American History

We’ll talk about Jacob Lawrence’s important series, Struggle: From the History of the American People, and use Lawrence’s style—called dynamic Cubism—to create narratives depicting struggles we have learned about or know about personally.


June 18
Fun with Fish & Flying Fowl

Details coming soon!


July 16
Creating Icons through Repetition

Details coming soon!


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

February 3
Children's librarian Glynis Welte explores big shapes and splatters and dots, followed by a docent-led experience of the Richard Serra exhibition, which will include tactile aids and movement!

March 2
Start with a book, and then go look! Children's librarian Glynis Welte shares a book about birds and fish, followed by a docent-led experience of the Fish and Fowl exhibition, which will include movement and art-making!

April 6
Start with a book, and then go look! Children's librarian Glynis Welte explores big shapes and splatters and dots, followed by a docent-led experience of the Richard Serra exhibition, which will include tactile aids and movement!

May 4
Start with a book, and then go look! Children's librarian Glynis Welte explores big shapes and splatters and dots, followed by a docent-led experience of the Richard Serra exhibition, which will include tactile aids and movement!

June 22
Andy Warhol: Details coming soon!

July 6
Colors & Shapes: Details coming soon!

July 20
Details coming soon!

Registration is required for each session. RSVP 434.243.2050 or email.

Kid's College

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>

Reunion Weekend Kids' College
Saturday, June 11

9 am – 3 pm

Teachers' pARTy

5:30 pm
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:

  1. Writer's Eye: Using Writer's Eye to enhance your creative writing curriculum, with veteran teachers Carly Nicholson and Erin James.

  2. Jacob Lawrence: Augmenting the history curriculum with Lawrence's Struggle series, with curator Elizabeth Hutton Turner and secondary history teacher Elizabeth Casey.

  3. Art Talk: Learning to engage your students in conversation about art, with The Fralin's docent coordinator Lauren Patton.

Please RSVP > by August 30, indicating one program choice.

Teachers' Resources

Jacob Lawrence:
Struggle... From the History of the American People

The following lesson plans are intended for elementary, middle, and high school students in social studies, language arts, and fine arts classrooms. These materials will facilitate student’s engagement with art in a way that makes them think critically about themes such as perspective, remembrance, common struggle, and historical context through using primary sources and the 13 panels from Jacob Lawrence’s Struggle Series on display at the Fralin Museum of Art. Students will have the opportunity to learn that art can be, and should be, used as an academic resource and is many times rooted in deep planning and research.

Jacob Lawrence created the Struggle Series between 1954 and 1956, a pivotal time in the Civil Rights era. Originally intended to be 60 panels, only 30 were completed and many are still in the process of being located. The 13 panels on display at the Fralin span American history from the American Revolution to Westward Expansion, a time period that plays a strong role in the Virginia Standards of Learning curriculum as well as national curriculums. The parallels one can make between the historical scenes Lawrence created and the historical events he was experiencing during their creation will allow students to realize the important impact history has on past and future generations. Many of the titles of the panels are taken straight from primary historical documents, facilitating a conversation between the topic, the painting, and the historical sources. Lawrence intended for the Struggle Series to evoke “not only the struggles and contributions of the Negro people, but also... the rich and exciting story of America and of all the peoples who immigrated to the New World and contributed to the creation of the United States.” Allow your students to engage with early America through Jacob Lawrence and primary sources.

Elementary School

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Middle School

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High School

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For more information about any of these programs, please contact the education department at 434.243.2050 or email >