Archive for December, 2010



Andrew Wyeth, That Gentleman

 

That Gentleman is one of my favorite artworks at the Dallas Museum of Art. This painting, which is located on the 4th floor in the American galleries, was painted by Andrew Wyeth in 1960. 

That Gentlemen portrays an elderly African-American man named Tom Clark, who was the neighbor of Mr. Wyeth. Although his face is hidden from the viewer, I’m compelled to further explore this composition with fresh eyes, looking for clues that express his personality. Mr. Wyeth wrote about Mr. Clark, stating: “His voice is gentle, his wit is keen, and his wisdom enormous.” This portrait is a constant reminder of how we should sometimes stop and take notice of the quiet, unsung heroes in our life.

Karen A. Colbert
Teaching Programs Intern

Seldom Scene: The Grinch Visits

On the first Tuesday of every month, admission to the DMA is free, and we have special activities for our youngest visitors until 3:00 p.m. On December 7, we had a special guest in C3, the Grinch (before his heart grew three sizes in one day). He stopped by from the AT&T Performing Arts Center, where Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical was opening later that night. DMA staff members could not pass up this photo opportunity.

Friday Photo Post

For this week’s Friday Photo Post, I focused on works of art in the collection made of silver and gold. I decided to do this after singing Silver and Gold from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on the way to work. All objects can be found on the third floor of the Museum.

Amy Wolf
Coordinator of Gallery Teaching

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The Benefits of a DMA Membership

Did you know that the DMA offers a great membership deal for teachers?  For only $40 a year, a teacher membership includes:

  • Unlimited free general admission to the Museum for one adult
  • Free admission to most special exhibitions
  • Free parking during Museum hours
  • Exclusive invitations to member previews
  • Subscription to the Dallas Museum of Art Magazine
  • Museum car decal
  • Opportunity to join the Dallas Museum of Art League
  • Free admittance to Museum film series
  • Discounts in the Museum Store
  • Discounts on dining

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the DMA, teacher memberships must be requested by phone (214-922-1247) or by mail.  A PDF of the Teacher Membership Form is available online for you to print and mail.

In my opinion, one of the best benefits of a DMA membership is Member Appreciation Week.  We had our second annual Member Appreciation Week in late November, and the week was filled with tours, lectures, and even a private Arts and Letters Live event just for members.  Member Appreciation Week 2011 will be held in late November/early December–purchase a teacher membership now so you can participate in the fun!

Discussing Gerald Murphy's Watch with DMA Members During Member Appreciation Week

I had the opportunity to lead two tours during Member’s Week, and I had a great time exploring the galleries with our members.  Knowing that the people on my tours visit on a regular basis, I challenged them to look at familiar works of art in a new way: through a literary lens.  We examined paintings by Gerald Murphy, Jacques-Louis David, Jean Baptiste Marie Pierre, and a sculpture by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux.  If you want to learn more about how these works of art relate to literature, check out my past blog post: Literary Connection to the DMA Collection.

If you would like to make your own literary connection to the collection, we will be releasing a self-guided tour called “What’s the Story” later this spring.  Once it is completed, you can download a PDF of the tour from home or you can pick up a copy at the Museum. 

Shannon Karol
Coordinator of Museum Visits

The Starting Line

Annette Lawrence, "Coin Toss," 2009, stranded cable, The Art Program at Cowboys Stadium

Try to imagine the longest line of paper conceivable. Now think about how much time it would take to create it. How many people would participate? What would this mass of paper look like? Well, the DMA’s Center for Creative Connections teamed up with Big New Field artist and Community Partner Annette Lawrence this month to start the longest paper line possible.

In the Art Studio earlier this month, Museum visitors crowded around the tables using long rolls of white butcher paper, 4-foot rulers, and double-sided tape to create their own addition to Lawrence’s continuous line. Sounds of paper ripping and scissors cutting echoed throughout the Center as the lines our visitors made snowballed to the ground before they rolled them up onto giant spools. Couples worked together to merge their own lines into one and siblings helped each other meld their contributions to the larger spool. The line continued to grow and grow like a living being.

Every six months the Center for Creative Connections invites a Community Partner to creatively respond to the Center’s current exhibition. Our newest partner, Annette Lawrence, came up with the idea to allow visitors to be an active part of the project. Through a series of workshops now through next September, Museum visitors can contribute to a collective paper line by tearing and taping pieces of white butcher paper together. Center staff will collect and store the paper on large spools until Lawrence installs the line in the Center next fall. Once installed, those visitors who contributed to the line will be invited to come view the final work.

Imagine the metamorphosis of two-dimensional pieces of paper into a three-dimensional sculptural form. Visitors were excited to think about how the artist will install the line in the Center,  thinking it might be a never-ending maze of white strips hanging from the ceiling and covering the walls or imagining it as a huge ball of yarn. For now we have to wait for the end result, but until then the line will continue to evolve.

Annette Lawrence, "Free Paper 12 / 05," 2006–08, mixed media, Dallas Museum of Art, Charron and Peter Denker Contemporary Texas Art Fund, 2008.100.a–e, © Annette Lawrence

The Center for Creative Connections has previously worked with the following Community Partners: the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA); Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts; University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design, New Media; textile artist Lesli Robertson (UNT), and, currently, the Center for Creative Computation, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University.

Annette Lawrence will participate in the DMA’s “State of the Arts” series, a conversation about the arts and the cultural landscape of the Metroplex, on Thursday, January 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Hadly Clark is the Center for Creative Connections Coordinator for the Dallas Museum of Art

Community Connection: Thriving Minds

The DMA partners with Thriving Minds, a city-wide initiative to provide arts and cultural experiences for Dallas students, in the offering of an extended arts program during after school hours.  We have partnered with Thriving Minds and their umbrella organization Big Thought in several ways over many years.  The after school program is our newest partnership, which has become my focus during the past two years.  I am fortunate to work closely with Creative Specialist Laura Orange on this program: we share an excitement and enthusiasm for serving students during after school hours with programs that are educational, meaningful, and most importantly, fun.

Tell us a bit about your background and how you came to your position at Big Thought.

When I was in my early twenties, I studied with a professional company that had connections with the Paris school of Marcel Marceau.  We became the United States version of that company.  The man I studied with supported himself by being a resident artist for the state of Ohio, and he trained me on how to make a living by putting together a show and getting involved with various state arts commissions.  I ended up here in Texas in the early 80’s when Young Audiences was forming.  Young Audiences wanted a mime company, and they asked me to create one their second year.  I spent years performing through schools, doing residences and other work through Junior Players and Dallas Children’s Theater, and along the way I learned about arts administration.  As Young Audiences developed, they realized they needed in-house arts administration staff and brought me on board – that was probably ten years ago.  Young Audiences grew into Big Thought and extended into afterschool programming.  I was the representative here for 21st Century programming and was able to connect organizations with afterschool programs.  Now we staff programs at schools, and I realize I’ve almost come full circle.

What advice would you give to artists who are interested in teaching school children?

Don’t take yourself too seriously.  You’ve got to enjoy children and enjoy the journey they’ll take you.  Sometimes, something will happen that can be a really brilliant idea if you’re not stuck on what you want to do.  Some of my best adventures happened when something didn’t work right, and I decided let’s try this and see what happens?  It became a lot more fun.   

You have a performance background.  How do works of art connect with your approach toward teaching?

Works of art can be very inspirational.  From the mime background, every picture tells  a story, and there’s movement and everything.  We’ve physically recreated works of art in performances with our bodies.  You can also do a movement exercise where you take a still picture, and ask students what do you want to be in it?  A blade of glass, a tree, birds flying, part of a hill…if we were to unfreeze it, what are the little movements that would happen?   What sounds would it make?  Students can use these things to understand line, form, and shape of physical bodies.  Since mime is abstract, there is a lot to connect with abstract paintings, too.

If you could be doing anything else, what would it be?

Probably sitting on the beach and watching the ocean.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Our annual drive home to my parents’ house is usually pretty funny.  We rent a minivan and I call it “Operation Little Miss Sunshine”.  Me, my brother, my husband, my dogs, and whatever we can stuff in the van drive to Mississippi and back together.

Laura paints a henna tattoo on a colleague.

Insourced: Works by Dallas Museum of Art Staff

Every two years, DMA staff are invited to showcase their artistic talents.  Below are some things that make Insourced: Works by Dallas Museum of Art Staff a unique exhibition:
  • It features sixty-eight works of art submitted by forty-three DMA employees.
  • Submissions came from a variety of departments, which include Accounting, Collections Management, Curatorial, Development and Membership, Education, Exhibitions, Information Technology, Libraries and Imaging Services, Marketing,  and Security and Operations.
  • Artwork labels include a photograph of the artist, his/her position title at the DMA, and the number of years he/she has worked here.
  • The exhibition lets us see a new and, at times, previously unknown side of our colleagues.

Below are images of the overall exhibition and a few artworks by DMA educators.  View Insourced: Works by Dallas Museum of Art staff on Mezzanine 2 next to the Mildred R. and Frederick M. Mayer Library through March 13, 2011.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

One of two submissions by Teaching Programs McDermott Intern, Karen Colbert.

Untitled/Bring Back My Saturday Morning by J.C. Bigornia, Coordinator of Family Experiences

Snow at Hammonasset and Drfitwood at Hammonasset by Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services


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