UVaM - University of Virginia Art Museum


K-12 programs

Writer's Eye 2016

Now in it’s 30th year, Writer’s Eye, started by The Fralin’s docents in 1986, is an annual literary competition that challenges writers of all ages. Writers from 3rd grade through adults 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. 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.

Entries are judged anonymously by area teachers and writing professionals. This year’s Distinguished Judges include authors Lisa Russ Spaar and Christopher Tilghman. Lisa Russ Spaar, the Distinguished Judge for Poetry, is the author/editor of over ten books of poetry and criticism, including the Monticello in Mind: 50 Contemporary Poems on Jefferson. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Poetry, Pushcart Prize Anthology, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily. Christopher Tilghman, the Distinguished Judge for Prose, is the author of two short story collections, In a Father’s Place, and The Way People Run, and the novels, Mason’s Retreat and Roads of the Heart. His reviews and essays have appeared frequently in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere. Learn more about this year’s judges here.

Art selections for Writer’s Eye 2016 will be drawn from four new exhibitions: Andy Warhol: Icons, THE GREAT WAR: Printmakers of World War I from the VMFA, A Gift of Knowing: The Art of Dorothea Rockburne, and New Acquisitions: Photography, as well as from the museum’s permanent collections.

Docent-led Writer’s Eye tours begin on August 29th, 2016 and end November 22nd 2016. Schedule a tour for Writer’s Eye 2016.
WE 2016 tour booking form >
WE 2016 electronic submission form >

Additional Information

WE 2016 key dates and information >
WE 2016 competition guidelines and entry form >
WE 2016 visitation guidelines >
WE 2016 self-guided tour >
WE 2016 image selections >
WE tips and hints >
Directions for unloading, parking, and loading buses >
Parking map for cars and small buses >
Evaluate your Writer's Eye tour here >

Writer's Eye 2015

Between September 8 and November 13, 2015, more than 3,800 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 1,821 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 >

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!


July 16
Creating Icons through Repetition

Enjoy a discussion of how Andy Warhol elevated people and everyday objects to the status of icons through his treatment of them, and then use simple block printing techniques to make multiple copies of a single image.

September 17
Pop Art Portraits

October 15
Celestial Compositions

We’ll discuss the paintings of Dorothea Rockburne—whose work is influenced by mathematics and astronomy—and use paint, collage, and other materials to create compositions that convey the awe-inspiring nature of space.

November 19
Printing Narrative

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

Spring 2017 — Dates TBA

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
June 2017 — Dates TBA


Teachers' pARTy

August 30
5:30 pm
In the Museum

Join us for our annual introduction to using the Museum as a teaching resource, and enjoy a light supper by Hotcakes. The evening will include three separate sessions:

  1. Art: Explore the contemporary relevance of Andy Warhol’s portraits, and the work of living artist Dorothea Rockburne.

  2. History: Enhance your history curriculum with prints from The Great War, and Danny Lyon’s photographs of the Civil Rights Movement.

  3. Writer's Eye: Use Writer’s Eye to enhance your creative writing curriculum, with English teacher and Writer’s Eye judge Erin James.

Please RSVP by email > or call 434.243.2050 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 >