Archive for May, 2010

Summer Seminar: Exploring the Creative Process

Each summer, the Dallas Museum of Art and The University of Texas at Dallas collaborate to offer Summer Seminar, a graduate-level course for teachers.  Summer Seminar is an opportunity for teachers to immerse themselves in art and learning alongside other educators for one week.

The topic changes each year, and this year the title is The Creative Process.  We will be exploring both the theory and practice of creativity in sessions led by Dr. Magdalena Grohman and myself along with other DMA educators and UT Dallas faculty.  Sessions will include gallery experiences in the Museum’s collections and Center for Creative Connections, creative thinking workshops, and discussions about classroom applications.

Tuesday, June 15 – Friday, June 18, 2010
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily
$100 registration fee

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with other educators, have meaningful experiences with works of art, and rejuvenate your teaching!  Visit the Web site for more details and to register.

Molly Kysar
Head of Teaching Programs

Looking Closely with Friday Photos

Working in a museum with an encyclopedic collection has provided opportunities for me to learn about many works of art. I am always amazed at the variety of materials that can be found in the galleries. Here are some images of works of art that are made from various materials. Enjoy looking closely at them!

Amy Wolf
Teaching Programs Coordinator

Community Connection: Close Collaborations

One of my favorite things about my job at the DMA is the opportunity to work closely with teachers and students over an extended period of time.  Over the last three months, I’ve worked with Shawna Bateman and Daniel Hall through the Thriving Minds After School Program.  During this process, I gained valuable knowledge about the after school environment, which is immensly different than during-school hours.  An extra bonus for me was getting to know these two very interesting people: Daniel performs regularly with a variety of musicians and bands who collaborate in The Dallas Family Band, and Shawna shared an incredible found object sculpture she had made years ago to connect with one of the after school program activities.
What are you learning from your experiences in the Thriving Minds After School Program?

Daniel:  I’ve learned that when working with kids, things don’t always go as you planned.  That’s not always a bad thing –  you’re able to see art and teaching in different ways than you would have normally imagined, based on the responses of the kids and the way things flow in the classroom.

Shawna:  The biggest thing I’ve learned is how important arts education is for children.  We have a great need for arts education, and the arts are often the first thing that goes with budget cuts.

What do you do outside of the after school program, and how does that inform your work with students?

Daniel:  I’m a performing musician and artist, so I’m teaching kids about things I know and actually do.  I spend just as much – if not more – time practicing the discipline I teach, as opposed to a chemistry teacher who might spend all their time in classroom and little time working directly with chemicals.

Daniel, far left, performs with The Dallas Family Band outside the Flaming Lips concert during NX35 Conferette in March 2010.

Shawna:  I hike, read, and catch dragonflies.  I also paint and make jewelry, which allows me to talk with students about creating things on a level they can relate to.  A lot of times, kids think of art as something that someone else does. 

Shawna sits in her favorite park, thinking.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Daniel:  I don’t typically like to think in concrete terms for the future, but I will say that I’ll be playing music for the rest of my life. Five years from now, I’ll still be a practicing musician and artist.  The way that will work itself out is entirely unknown, and I’m not going to worry about that.

Shawna:  On the top of a mountain with a lovely hat.

Do you want to share any memorable experiences with the after school program this year?

Daniel:  There are always funny things that kids say that make for hours of conversations with my friends later.

Shawna: I really loved hearing that the kids would not stop talking about the artist.  Not only did they absorb what I taught them, but they were excited to use that information.  [Shawna’s students visited the DMA and viewed the artworks they discussed in the classroom.  The group leader told Shawna that she had to adjust the timing of their visit because the students wanted to tell her everything they remembered about the artist.]

Upcoming Arts and Letters Live…

Arts & Letters Live has a slew of exciting authors slated to visit the DMA in the coming months, coinciding with the recent opening of the DMA’s new special exhibition Coastlines: Images of Land and Sea.  Author Robert Kurson will be at the DMA on Thursday, May 6th to talk about his book Shadow Divers, which tells the story of two weekend scuba divers who risk everything to solve one of the last mysteries of World War II (get tickets).  If you haven’t visited Coastlines already (or even if you have), there is a great opportunity to learn about the exhibition before the lecture; Heather MacDonald, The Lillian and James H. Clark Associate Curator of European Art, will lead a tour of Coastlines at 6:30, with Kurson’s lecture to follow at 7:30.  Then join Isabel Allende at First United Methodist on Thursday, May 13th to hear about her new book Island Beneath the Sea, which tells the story of the intertwined lives of Tete, a Haitian slave, and Toulouse Valmorain, a plantation owner’s son.  Click here for tickets. 

Justin Greenlee                                                                                                                               McDermott Intern, Teaching Programs and Partnerships

UT Dallas Students Make Creative Connections

Every year the Dallas Museum of Art collaborates with The University of Texas at Dallas to offer an honors course.  At the end of the semester, students create projects that draw connections between the discussions they have had and the artworks they have experienced. This year’s class focused on the process of creativity and drew to a close on Thursday evening. Here are a few photos of some of the amazing projects students produced: 

Combining Trenton Hancock's interest in storytelling with Tim Rollins' use of literature

Another take on Tim Rollins and the K.O.S.

This student was inspired to translate colorful flowers into fashion design

This student gave new life to Chihuly's work as each disc spins out from the painting

This work combined elements drawn from Vernon Fisher and Dorothea Tanning


A close-up including collaged images

Logan Acton
McDermott Intern for Teaching Programs

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