Archive for October, 2010



Membership Memories

This month we spotlight Caroline and Robert Belanger, DMA members since 2004.

Tell us a little bit about yourselves and why you joined the DMA? The strength of the Dallas arts community is what independently brought both of us here. Caroline moved from Austin to help run Pan American Art Projects, a Latin-American art gallery. Rob relocated from Atlanta to work with Dr. Anne Bromberg in the curatorial department at the Dallas Museum of Art. We are now running our own art-consulting business, Belanger Art Methods,  and we are proud to serve the arts community and to support the Museum as active members of the Junior Associates Circle.

What’s your favorite activity at the DMA and why? For us, it would have to be Curator’s Choice, the first Junior Associates Circle event of the year. It is always an exceptional opportunity to meet new members and to hear a curator speak about one of their favorite works of art in the Museum’s collections – right in the galleries. Not to mention that is the very event where we first met!

What is or was your favorite exhibition at the DMA and why? Caroline: In 2005, Dr. Dorothy Kosinski curated the exhibition Dialogues: Duchamp, Cornell, Johns, Rauschenberg, which revealed both the overt and covert dialogue and shared visual vocabulary evident in the work of these four modern and contemporary artists. Personally, as an art historian, I enjoyed how this exhibition investigated the exchange of philosophies and strategies throughout modernism from Dada and surrealism to pop art, and even found-object assemblage. Also, it was nice that the majority of the works in the show are in the DMA’s collections.

Rob: Charles Sheeler’s “Power” Series from 2006, curated by Dr. William Keyse Rudolph, is a great example of how small, intimate exhibitions can be among the most memorable. The exhibition focused on a series of six iconic paintings by Charles Sheeler, a self-proclaimed “precisionist” painter and founder of American modernism. The key to this exhibition was that it not only reunited all of the paintings for the first time in many years but also skillfully integrated numerous original photographic studies and archival materials into the gallery layout, offering an exceptional snapshot of the creative process from start to finish.

What is your typical day like? As art consultants, no day is really the same, but the one constant is that we are always problem-solving. For example, one day we will be curating, inventing mounts, and physically installing works of art on-site for a private collector. The next, we are in the office researching, designing, and editing an exhibition publication for a museum. The day after, we may be visiting a gallery to help a client buy or sell. Since we have a broad range of expertise, we get the chance to work on a lot of great projects with some really fascinating people.

Arts & Learning

In my daily life as an educator at an art museum, I can easily be caught up in the administrative aspects of my job.  With this post, I would like to step back and reflect on the importance of our jobs as art educators – whether in the classroom or at an art museum – and why learning through the arts is so important.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a national organization that “advocates for 21st century readiness for every student.  As the United States continues to compete in a global economy that demands innovation, P21 and its members provide tools and resources to help the U.S. education system keep up by fusing the three Rs and four Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation).”  Learning through the arts plays an important role in the development of these skills.  “…the arts promote work habits that cultivate curiosity, imagination, creativity, and evaluation skills.  Students who possess these skills are better able to tolerate ambiguity, explore new realms of possibility, express their own thoughts and feelings, and understand the perspective of others.”  View a map for the arts and 21st century skills.

A four-year research initiative at the Guggenheim evaluated the impact of its pioneering arts education program Learning Through Art (LTA) on students’ problem-solving abilities and creativity.  “With this study of the Learning Through Art program, we are pleased to demonstrate that arts education helps develop the skills necessary to persistently and adaptively work through problems,” said Kim Kanatani, Deputy Director and Gail Engelberg Director of Education, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. “By asking students to think like artists, we are imparting 21st-century skills in encouraging them to approach problems with creativity and analytic thought rather than just recitation of facts.”

Finally, the National Art Education Association website has a list of Ten Lessons the Arts Teach, which include “the arts celebrate multiple perspectives” and “”the arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source.” 

I believe that experiences with works of art can be transformative, and the DMA Teaching Programs & Partnerships department values and supports the work of classroom teachers who are providing these learning experiences for students.  Thank you for the work that you do!

Molly Kysar
Head of Teaching Programs

A Foot in the Door

 

2009 - 2010 McDermott Intern Stacie Jackson leads a tour of "The Lens of Impressionism"

 

What do Madeleine Albright, Frank Lloyd Wright, Sylvia Plath, and Conan O’Brien have in common? They all started on their career paths as interns, just as many museum curators and educators do. Internships offer invaluable opportunities to try a potential profession on for size; for those who wish to explore a career in museum work, internships provide a great way to gain firsthand experience and insights.

 

Leticia Salinas, 2009 - 2010 McDermott Intern for Family Experiences, leads a family workshop in the galleries.

 

Over one hundred people have participated in the Dallas Museum of Art’s McDermott Internship program since its inception, including many current DMA staff members as well as colleagues working at other institutions in Dallas, throughout Texas, and across the country. Each year, eight interns work closely with the Museum’s curators and educators on a variety of projects, including doing research for upcoming installations or exhibitions; writing labels, catalogue entries, and other materials; and developing and facilitating programs for Museum visitors of all ages.

The program was founded in honor of Eugene McDermott, who had a passion for learning and the arts, and the interns have the remarkable opportunity to visit with Margaret McDermott to inaugurate their internship year. Our current interns recently had lunch with Mrs. McDermott, and she encouraged them to “work hard, learn a lot, and have fun” during their nine months at the DMA and in Dallas.

Shannon Karol worked with Dr. Roslyn A. Walker, Senior Curator of the Arts of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific and The Margaret McDermott Curator of African Art, as a McDermott Curatorial Intern in 2005–2006, and she returned to the DMA as Coordinator of Museum Visits in 2007. I asked Shannon about her experience as a McDermott Intern, and she said:

The best part of being a McDermott Intern is that you are truly a member of the DMA staff.  Even though I was a Curatorial Intern, I was able to collaborate with staff members in the Collections and Education departments on projects and installations. I also love the sense of camaraderie that you feel as a McDermott Intern. My fellow interns from that year are still some of my closest friends!

 

Shannon leads a tour of "All the World's a Stage"

 

Logan Acton worked with the Teaching Programs staff last year as a McDermott Education Intern, and he accepted a permanent position as Assistant to the Director of Education this summer. Logan said, “As an intern, I was able to explore the Museum’s collections and share my growing knowledge of them, and particularly my passion for contemporary art, with students and other visitors.” You can read more from Shannon and Logan on the DMA Educator Blog.

 

Logan discusses contemporary art at a Teacher Workshop.

 

Eight new McDermott Interns began their nine-month tenure at the DMA in September, and they will all contribute to Uncrated in the months to come. We look forward to sharing their experiences and insights about life and work at the DMA. You can join the interns, along with other members of the DMA staff, to explore the Museum’s collections and exhibitions during weekly gallery talks on Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m.

 

Welcome to the 2010 - 2011 McDermott Interns!

 

Lisa Kays is the Manager of Adult Programming at the Dallas Museum of Art

Friday Photos: Mesquite ISD

We are fortunate to have a long-standing partnership with Mesquite ISD students and art teachers, and we all look forward to their DMA visits each year.  Last Thursday, thirty art and social studies teachers from Mesquite ISD spent the evening at the Museum exploring the galleries and special exhibitions in preparation for their upcoming DMA Mesquite Week visits.  Teachers visited a variety of special exhibitions, including The Mourners, the new C3 installation Encountering SpaceAfrican Masks, and Mexico 200: Jose Guadalupe Posada.  After spending forty-five minutes in the galleries, teachers created a lesson plan relating to one of the exhibitions that they will use in their classrooms. The Posada exhibition sparked a lot of great ideas with the teachers, and it was exciting to hear how they plan on having students turn 2-D illustrations into 3-D works of art.

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This week we welcomed 7th and 8th grade students from each Mesquite middle school for docent-guided visits.  Students spent time in our special exhibitions, as well as in our European galleries.  Art I students focused on art historical developments during their tour, while Art II students viewed contemporary art. Over 1,200 Mesquite middle schoolers visited the DMA this week, and we’ll see each Mesquite 6th grader before the month of October is over!  

Shannon Karol
Coordinator of Museum Visits

We [Heart] Office Supplies

Especially when we repurpose them as art materials!

Teachers, here’s a fun challenge to give your left brain a break (should you or your students need one after standardized testing).  This DMA Creativity Challenge, aka art-making activity where limited materials and time are provided, is guaranteed to flex your brain muscle and challenge your creativity. 

We [Heart] Office Supplies Challenge
The Challenge: To create a sculpture using only materials commonly found in office desk drawers. 

  • Begin by gathering materials.  Try combinations of the following to create your artwork: binder clips, post-it notes, rubber bands, file folders, paper clips.  Grab a pair of scissors, but leave the tape, glue/glue sticks in the desk drawer for more of a challenge.
  • Sketch out your ideas on blank paper.  
  • Give yourself a time limit.  The pictures below are artworks made over an hour’s time, but making sculptures in ten or fifteen minutes is just as fun.
  • Make a label for your sculpture: title it, date it, name the artist(s), and write a short creative description of it.
  • Display your artwork in the classroom or wherever else you keep your creations.

 Ready, go!

Amy Copeland
Coordinator of Go van Gogh Outreach

European Gallery Reinstallation

The 17th and 18th century European galleries were reinstalled over the summer. Curators Olivier Meslay and Heather MacDonald created a fresh floor plan in order to permit more works of art to be on display. Artists currently represented in the galleries include Jacques-Louis David, George Romney, Joseph Vernet, J.M.W. Turner, Paolo de Matteis, and Jean-Baptiste Greuze.

In addition to these changes, the 19th and 20th century galleries will be closed between October 22 and November 12 for reinstallation. We hope you will visit these galleries to see their updated works of art after the 12th.

Amy Wolf
Coordinator of Gallery Teaching

Let’s Celebrate the Arts

On Saturday we were excited to launch Art in October in the Dallas Arts District with a free admission day of activities and even an exhibition sneak peek.

 

Art in October

 

There are so many wonderful cultural events happening every day in Dallas, and especially in the Arts District, that we need a month to celebrate them all!  Here at the DMA we hosted a delegation from Dallas’s “Sister City,” Dijon, France–five Michelin-starred chefs and one sommelier–outside our Flora Street Entrance.

 

Chefs from Dijon shared some amazing dishes with visitors.

 

 

Some delicious French food prepared by our visiting chefs from Dijon.

 

For four hours they prepared and offered samples of food and wine  from Burgundy, the land of The Mourners.

 

Visitors enjoying a free sneak peak at "The Mourners"

 

Inside, we had performances throughout the day, including spoken word pieces by Booker T. Washington students, flash mob dances, and an appearance by the Plano Senior High Chamber Singers in full medieval dress (see them again on the October 15 Late Night).

 

The Plano Senior High Chamber Singers

 

 

Masterpieces in the works at the Space Bar in C3

 

Your Museum staff happily joined in on the fun, even grabbing a few bites of escargot panini along with our more than 4,500 weekend visitors. We can’t wait for the rest of the Art in October celebration!


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