Archive for August, 2010

Friday Photo Post: What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I took a week of vacation in July and spent a few days in San Francisco.  This was my first time to visit this city, so I had to explore some of the museums while I was there.

Topping my list was the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  I had heard so many great things about their collection, and I have often referred to their teacher resources.  I spent a wonderful morning there, and I can’t wait to visit again.

I also visited the de Young Museum.  I particularly loved their large collections of African art and Oceanic art.
Lastly, I visited the Contemporary Jewish Museum, where I had one of my best museum experiences ever.  I watched a scribe writing a Torah scroll,  participated in the People’s Torah, listened to Jews on Vinyl, and explored an exhibition of works of art by Maira Kalman.
I hope to make it back to San Francisco soon so that I can visit some of the city’s other great museums!
Molly Kysar
Head of Teaching Programs

Community Connection: The Best of Both Worlds

It is just me, or is anyone else shocked that we are already in the second week of August?  As we look forward to the 2010-2011 school year, it only makes sense to feature a classroom teacher in our monthly Community Connection blog post.  Meet Michelle Alcala, who begins her fifth year as art teacher at Salazar Elementary School in Dallas ISD.

Michelle and her children

What are some ways you’ve worked with the DMA?

I began by bringing my students here for visits.  My 4th-graders come every year and really enjoy the experience.  Another teacher and I started Saturday programs with our students, and we bring a group of fifteen to twenty students from all grade levels and their families to the Museum once a month. 

Last year, I was invited to create artwork with students for the Art Ball, the DMA’s annual black-tie fundraiser event.  My students were so excited to see their work in a real museum setting, which is unbelievable for an elementary school student.  They brought their families to see their work and dressed up; the pride they had was great.

I’m also a part of the teacher panel and am hoping my insights help with the new online resources for teachers.  Before, I did not use the DMA online teaching materials very often, and I’m hoping my contribution will help art teachers and other teachers.  [Michelle is part of a select group of teachers collaborating with Museum education staff on an IMLS grant focused on redesigning the DMA’s online teaching materials.]

How has your work with the DMA affected your approach to teaching?

I’m always trying to find things that I can tell my students about that will help them make connections to the Museum and encourage them to visit with their families.

Do you consider yourself an artist?  What are your creative outlets?

Initially, I intended to go to art school.  I ended up having children and realized they were more my passion than becoming an artist.  I tried to find the best of both worlds, and that’s when I came up with teaching art.  I still sketch and paint sometimes, but not in the volume that I used to before I started teaching.  I also love to read.

How do you spend your summer months?

I spend my summers with my children at my home in Oak Cliff.  We play and read and go to the zoo and go to museums and as many different free things as we can find.  We just got back from a trip to Florida and Disney World.  I also went to Chicago with my mother.  It was wonderful.  I visited the Art Institute and went on a tour of the new wing.  It was just incredible, seeing so many pieces of art. 

What do you most look forward to in the 2010-2011 school year?

To my new art lessons, both my own that I’ve created and ideas from the DMA.  I also look forward to seeing the kids again.  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen all of their little faces, and I’m ready to get back into it.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

Installing African Masks: The Art of Disguise

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Welcome to the debut of “Uncrated,” the Dallas Museum of Art’s new blog!

With the August 22 opening of African Masks: The Art of Disguise fast approaching, installation began the first week of August. Typically the installation of an exhibition takes about two weeks, but with the complex mounts, costumes, graphics and AV needs, this show will take a full three weeks to pull together. The exhibition will be on view in the same gallery previously occupied by The Lens of Impressionism: Photography and Painting Along the Normandy Coast, 1850-1874.  However, visitors will notice a significant difference in the look and feel from the previous show. Demo and construction began in June, drastically transforming the space into a large open gallery enveloped in warm oranges and yellows.

Friday Photos: African Masks

I am so excited for our upcoming special exhibition African Masks: The Art of Disguise, opening August 22nd.  We will offer Museum Visits and programs for teachers related to African Masks this fall.  We will also have a brand new African Masks themed Go van Gogh program

Some of our Teen Docents helped to create sample masks that volunteers can use during the African Masks Go van Gogh program.  I was so impressed with their creativity that I wanted to share their masks with you.  My favorite is the ferocious lion.

We’re currently accepting requests for the African Masks teacher workshop, as well as Museum visits and Go van Gogh –submit your request form today!

Shannon Karol
Coordinator of Museum Visits

Fall Teacher Workshops

As we all prepare for the 2010-2011 school year, I wanted to share upcoming opportunities for you to engage with Museum education staff and educators from around the DFW area, and, of course, explore works of art from all times, places, and cultures.

Register now for one or more of the following Teacher Workshops at

Teacher Workshop with Artist Jill Foley
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 from 9:00am – 4:00pm

Meet mixed-media artist Jill Foley and contribute to Living Room, her imaginative cardboard environment.   DMA staff and the artist will lead this interactive and creative workshop that includes time in the studio and in the Museum galleries.

 Arts of Mexico 
Saturday, September 11, 2010 from 9:00am – 12:30pm        

Explore the arts of Mexico in the Museum’s collection and the historical significance of artworks and artists in the exhibitions José Guadalupe Posada: The Birth of Mexican Modernism and Tierra y Gente: Modern Mexican Works on Paper

African Masks:  The Art of Disguise
Saturday, September 25, 2010 from 9:00am – 12:30pm

Experience the power and wonder of African Masks: The Art of Disguise.   Investigate the functions and meanings of African masks and consider how they are used today.

 French Art 
Saturday, November 13, 2010 from 9:00am – 12:30pm

Explore 18th -20th century French paintings and sculptures, the Reves Collection, and the special exhibition The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Until next time….
Jenny Marvel
Manager of Programs and Resources for Teachers

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