UVaM - University of Virginia Art Museum


K-12 programs

Writer's Eye

Now in its 28th 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 2014 were drawn from the Museum's permanent collection, and three new exhibitions: Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument, Realms of Earth and Sky: Indian Paintings from the 15th to the 19th Century, The Lyrical Line: Prints by Jacques Villon and Stanley William Hayter, as well as loans from the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection and the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk.

Writer's Eye 2015

Tours run September 8 - November 13, 2015. Entries due November 20, 2015 at 5pm. The following documents pertain to Writer's Eye 2014, and will be updated in August of 2015.

Writer's Eye 2014

To view a list of winners of Writer's Eye 2014, click here. >

To schedule a Writer's Eye tour, please use our online WE tour booking form >

WE 2014 key dates and information >
WE 2014 selections >
WE 2014 self-guided tour >
WE tips and hints >
WE 2014 competition guidelines and entry form >
WE 2014 visitation guidelines >
Directions for unloading, parking, and loading buses >
Parking map for cars and small buses >
Evaluate your Writer's Eye tour here >
WE 2013 award winners >
Writer's Eye Anthology >

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 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 [insert link].

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!


January 17
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.

February 21
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.


April 18
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.


May 10
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.


June 27
What is a Line? Part II

More exploration of lines TBD. What is a Line?


July 18
Children on Childhood



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

February 11
Ms. Glynis reads stories about artists, and we'll see some portraits of friends and pets made by Lucian Freud.

March 11
For the Big Read, we'll focus on stories from India, and Indian art in the Museum's object study gallery.

April 8
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.

May 13
Children are in constant motion! Ms. Glynis reads stories about movement, followed by an exploration of the student-curated exhibition, The Body in Motion.

June 17
Harold and the Purple Crayon go for a walk, hear lots of stories about lines, and then visit the What is a Line? exhibition.

July 1

July 15

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>

Black Alumni Weekend Kids' College
Saturday, June 6

9 am – 12:30 pm

Reunion Weekend Kids' College
Saturday, June 6

9 am – 3 pm

Teachers' pARTy

Tuesday, August 25
5 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. Teaching creative writing through Writer's Eye, with veteran Writer's Eye teachers Patricia Vandever and Geraldine Kruger

  2. Using Gordon Parks' Harlem Gang Leader essay to explore the depiction of African Americans in the nations' media, with UVa professor John Edwin Mason

  3. Utilizing the Museum's cultural objects and new iPad apps to enhance K-12 curriculum, with academic curator Jordan Love

Please RSVP > by August 23, indicating one program choice.

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