Archive for August, 2009

The Sounds of Art

Iceburgs 1979_28

The Icebergs

What do artworks sound like?  This spring a group of graduate students from the Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering at The University of Texas at Dallas and their professor, Dr. Frank Dufour, explored this question.  The Institute is an interdisciplinary program offering degrees that merge technology and the humanities.  Dufour and the students created digital soundscapes for works of art in the DMA, introducing visitors to new ways of interpreting and experiencing art.



A sculpture of the Buddhist judge Emma-O, Frederic Church’s painting The Icebergs, and the ancient sculpture Head of the rain god Tlaloc are among the artworks that students chose as the inspiration for soundscapes.

Each of the soundscapes that were created is a layering of collected and found sounds that students mixed and manipulated with a variety of editing software.  The process began with a study of the artwork.  What do I see?  Do I imagine real or abstract sounds?  Are historical references also an influence for my soundscape?  Melanie, a graduate student who created one sound design for The Icebergs, said “… I wanted the sound to represent the volume and expanse so I moved the sound from left to right. I then added waves and a hollow moaning sound to create the feel of the sea, the desolation of the place and the immense uninhabited space of the environment.”

Head of the rain god Tlaloc

Head of the rain god Tlaloc

All visitors can experience the soundscapes while viewing the works of art in the galleries.  Bring your smartphone to the Museum, or check out an iPod Touch at the Visitor Services desk.  To listen to a few of the soundscapes and to hear more about the project in an interview with Dr. Dufour, visit KERA’s Art & Seek blog.

Nicole Stutzman

Director of Learning Partnerships with Schools and the Community

Welcome Back, Teachers!


A big part of my job is planning professional development programs for educators.  This year we are offering a variety of experiences, including Saturday teacher workshops, Evenings for Educators, and new Thursday evening programs for teachers.  Through these programs, we want to help teachers connect with works of art in the Museum; with people, including artists, museum educators, and classroom teachers; and with creativity – that of artists as well as their own. 

Here are some tips about how to join us this year and how to get the latest information for teachers:

  • Learn more about our programs for teachers in 2009 – 2010 by checking out our newly designed Web site with more accessible information about Saturday teacher workshops, evening programs, and summer programs.
  • Send your name, school name, and email address to to receive the latest news in our new monthly Educator E-newsletter.
  • Join us for a new series of monthly Thursday evening programs for teachers.  Arrive early for a little social time with DMA education staff and other educators in the “Teachers Lounge” in the Atrium Café.  Food and drink are available for purchase.
  • Stay tuned to this blog to get behind-the-scenes info about the Museum and how we serve students and teachers.

I hope to see you at the Museum soon.  Have a great year!

Molly Kysar
Head of Teaching Programs


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