Auburn’s Jule Collins Smith Museum presents an auditory journey through Alabama

AUBURN – The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University has installed “Sound Mapping Alabama: A Journey through Alabama Navigated by Ear.” This compilation of recordings collected in Alabama by Rich Curtis will be embedded in the museum’s south garden through April 30.

The more than 30 recordings in Rich’s outdoor sound piece include the sounds of swamp crickets chirping in Wind Creek, a gut-string banjo being played in Anniston, cars passing over the Edmond Pettis Bridge in Selma, Sacred Harp singing in Montgomery, hydraulics in a sock factory in Fort Payne, a rattlesnake sighting in Waverly, prayer in church in Camden and a Civil War funeral for an unknown Confederate soldier in Mobile.

Curtis, an Alabama native, received his master of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004. Since then, he has created multimedia projects that investigate the character of place through sound. Curtis has created projects in the United States, Canada, Kenya and the Netherlands. He currently teaches in the art department at the University of North Alabama.

On Thursday, April 16, at 5 p.m. at the museum, Curtis will discuss the history of his work and his latest project, “Mockingbird: Mapping Sights and Sounds.”

“Sound Mapping Alabama” was funded in part by a technical assistance grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

For more information on Curtis’s Mockingbird project, go to For more information about the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, go to or call (334) 844-1484.

(Contributed by Colleen Bourdeau.)

Contact: Colleen Bourdeau, (334) 844-7075 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (

Rich Curtis

Rich Curtis