Archive for November, 2012

Bon Voyage!

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Our amazing Hannah Burney is spreading her wings and flying away from us today on her way back to San Francisco. Hannah has worked as the McDermott Intern for Teaching Programs and the Community Teaching Programs Assistant in the Education department for the past fourteen months, and we are going to miss her! If she had her very own trading card, she’d have some pretty impressive stats:

  • created 2 new Go van Gogh programs
  • assisted with 16 volunteer trainings
  • clocked more than 1,000 miles in the Go van Gogh van
  • taught over 100 classes to school children all around the DFW metroplex
  • shared countless numbers of fun, innovative ideas for engaging with art
  • laughed at least once a day

We wish her the very best and know that her future is bright!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

It’s a Big Day for the DMA


Yesterday we announced our move to free general admission in 2013 along with the launch of an innovative free membership model, the DMA Friends & Partners program. DMA Friends & Partners will not only strengthen our existing relationships with you but also forge new ones, expand audiences throughout greater Dallas, and build a robust global online community.

The DMA Friends program will provide free membership to anyone who wishes to join and will include opportunities for increased access to Museum programs and staff. The DMA Partners program will seek the support of individuals, corporations, and foundations desiring to be a part of the Museum’s efforts to deliver access to its extensive collection and diverse public programs. DMA Partners are also welcome to become DMA Friends and earn rewards through engagement.

DMA Friends earn rewards by engaging with the Museum both at the DMA and online. We will also create a new online engagement platform through which virtual badges are awarded to Friends who really plug-in and make the DMA a vibrant place to be. Badges will give you new ideas about ways to use the Museum that you’ve never thought of before. Earning badges will unlock special rewards and recognition like free tickets to special exhibitions or behind-the-scenes tours with DMA staff.

Our reasons for going free can be explained very simply: the DMA values the participation of the public more than we value the modest return realized from paid general admission. Art museums are different from other cultural destinations because we don’t rely as much on admissions to pay the bills. Our model is closer to that of a public library: we receive substantial philanthropic support from generous individuals, government agencies, foundations, and corporations, and we serve the public by seeking an educational outcome, not a commercial one.

The best part of our work is in seeing how artworks from across 5,000 years of visual creativity can change the way we think about the world, and how we feel about ourselves, as individuals and as a society. We look forward to welcoming you and to learning together.

Find out more about DMA Friends & Partners in the Press Room and watch yesterday’s press announcement below.

Robert Stein is the Deputy Director at the Dallas Museum of Art.

canvas: a blank slate of possibilities

Welcome to Canvas! We are so excited to announce that we are merging the DMA’s family blog with the DMA’s educator blog – what better way to canvass new ideas on a blank canvas? Whether you are a teacher, parent, grandparent, artist, or just all around fan of the DMA, we hope that this newly merged blog will quench your thirst for knowledge and creativity. From week to week, we will have posts highlighting fun things to do at the Museum, studio insights, interdisciplinary ideas, and inspirations from works of art in our galleries.

Canvas now features even more DMA authors! Check out the author page to meet some of our new writers. Staff from the Center for Creative Connections (C3) will post monthly with details about visitor interactions in C3, cool teen programs, artist workshops for adults, and gallery insights. Interpretation staff will share exciting ways that visitors are connecting with works of art and all of the ways that interpretation merges with audiences of all ages. Staff who work closely with families will share ways to connect kids to art, nifty art activities for kids, and artsy ways to make connections to holidays, kid-friendly books, and even the weather! But don’t worry, you’ll still find all of the creative and resourceful ideas geared towards students and teachers that this blog has always had (including a monthly art recipe from our resident baker, Sarah).

We hope that by joining forces, Education Staff here at the DMA can bring you even more ways to celebrate the power of art!

Amanda Blake
Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences

Culinary Canvas: Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

This month’s recipe is inspired by one of my favorite artworks in the collection, Orange, Red and Red. Like Rothko’s work, these muffins are composed of layers that add to a more complex flavor. And with Thanksgiving only yesterday, they’re the perfect way to utilize that leftover pumpkin for a Black Friday breakfast. Enjoy!

Mark Rothko, Orange, Red and Red, 1962, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Yields 12 regular or 6 large muffins
Level: Easy

Streusel:

¼ cup flour
¼ cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

Muffins:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 ounces nonfat vanilla yogurt
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line muffin pan with paper liners or lightly spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Streusel: Stir together flour, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut in cold butter until mixture forms into small crumbs. Set aside.

Muffins: In medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, pumpkin, yogurt, eggs, vanilla and ginger until combined. In another bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture in two batches, stirring with a rubber spatula until just combined.

Divide batter evenly between muffin cups, filling each cup slightly less than ½ full. Spoon an even layer of streusel into each cup. Cover streusel with remaining batter until each cup is ¾ full. Spoon remaining streusel on top of batter, evenly covering each muffin.

Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Recipe adapted from CHEFS Pumpkin Walnut Bread with Streusel.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Happy Thanksgiving from the DMA

The DMA wishes you a Happy “Turkey” Day with Don Eddy’s Williams Bar-b-qued Turkey from 1973.

Don Eddy, Williams Bar-b-qued Turkey, 1973, color lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dr. Roy M. Fleischmann

And start your Black Friday now with the “Paint It Black” board on the DMA’s Pinterest page.

Kimberly Daniell is the Public Relations Specialist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Thanksgivingtime

I always look forward to Thanksgiving, as it kicks off my favorite time of year. I also love spending the day watching parades and eating delicious food with my family and friends, while acknowledging the people and things for which I am grateful. (I am thankful for so many things this Thanksgiving!) What I really look forward to each year, however, is indulging in one specific dish…

This poem is titled after my favorite Thanksgiving food. Can you guess the title (and my favorite dish)?

The potato that ate all its carrots,

can see in the dark like a mole,

its eyes the scars

from centuries of shovels, tines.

May spelled backwards

because it hates the light,

pawing its way, padding along,

there in the catacombs.

The poem is titled Yam by Bruce Guernsey.

I found this poem and many others through a great poetry resource: The Poetry Foundation website. A  sorting feature helps users browse through poems by poet, subject, occasion, or even holiday!

Poetry can be a great vehicle to connect with artworks. Take the following stanza from John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem, The Pumpkin. Think of a work of art that resonates with the poem. Why did you make that association?

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South come the pilgrim and guest,
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored,
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before,
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

Here are some works of art that I associated with Whittier’s stanza.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Andrea V. Severin
Interpretation Specialist

Artworks shown:

  • Matthew Barney, The Cloud Club, 2002, Mason and Hamlin Symetrigrand piano with stainless steel, silver, white mother-of-pearl, gold lip mother-of-pearl, black lip mother-of-pearl, green abalone, quartersawn Honduras mahogany, lacewood, walnut, ash burl, redwood burl, madrone burl, and Chilean laurel marquetry; internally lubricated plastic; potatoes; concrete, and sterling silver, Dallas Museum of Art, Contemporary Art Fund: Gift of Arlene and John Dayton, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon E. Faulconer, Mr. and Mrs. Bryant M. Hanley, Jr., Marguerite and Robert K. Hoffman, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Deedie and Rusty Rose, Gayle and Paul Stoffel, and three anonymous donors; DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund; and Roberta Coke Camp Fund
  • Stephen De Hospodar, Family Portrait, 1932, Linoleum cut, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the artist
  • Russel Vernon Hunter, Sunday after Dinner, 1943, Oil on masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase
  • Doris Lee, Thanksgiving, 1942, Lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts, The Alfred and Juanita Bromberg Collection, bequest of Juanita K. Bromberg
  • William S. Warren (designer), “Vogue” pie server, 1935, Wallace Silversmiths (manufacturer), Dallas Museum of Art, The Jewel Stern American Silver Collection, gift of Jewel Stern

Crawl Space: Within the Walls

We recently opened our DMA Staff Art Show, Crawl Space: Within the Walls, on Level M2. DMA employees love art, and some members of our staff create their own works. Stop by and visit the Staff Art Show, on view through January 6, 2013.

Late Night on the Streets of Paris

Last Friday, the Museum kept its doors open until midnight celebrating Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries. During this special Late Night, visitors went on tours of the exhibition, attended lectures about the Parisian celebrities featured on the posters, learned a few French words and phrases, and much much more! Check out some of the highlights of the evening below.

The Matt Tolentino Band created a Parisian ambiance with their French mussette style, getting couples on their feet dancing.

About every hour, an energetic and impressive crew of acrobats, contortionists, and circus performers from Lone Star Circus amazed visitors up and down the Concourse.

Throughout the night, the Poster Studio at the end of the exhibition remained packed with visitors creating their own posters to take home and display on the Poster Studio wall.

From art-making in the Center for Creative Connections to yoga with our resident yogini, there were plenty of activities available for kiddos. One of my favorite family programs is Bedtime Stories with the award-winning storyteller Ann Marie Newman. She always comes dressed in character with props, images, and incredibly creative interactive stories. On this occasion she based her stories on posters from the exhibition. While she animatedly told the tales, images were projected on the wall behind her and kiddos were invited to act out the stories all around her. It was quite a sight to see!

Did you miss all the Late Night Friday fun? Not to worry! The exhibition is open through January 20th and there are plenty more Posters of Paris inspired programs scheduled, including a City of Light free First Tuesday, Gallery Talks, and art-making activities for your littlest learners. We also have some ongoing activities available for anytime you visit the exhibition. As you enter, pick up a Posters of Paris Scavenger Hunt to guide your journey through the streets of Paris, then before you bid us “adieu” create your own poster in the Poster Studio. If you’re still feeling inspired after your visit, use our Culinary Canvas recipe to bake your own Sarah Bernhardt cookies or download our poster-making activity to try at home.

Amusez-vous, mes amis!

Hannah Burney
Community Teaching Programs Assistant

A DMA I Do

Last Saturday, November 10, our very own Nicole Stutzman tied the knot with one of our fellow DMA staffers, Ted Forbes. It was a beautiful ceremony and celebration that fit the happy couple to a T. Congrats Nicole and Ted! Here’s to a wonderful life together filled with happiness, love, and art!

Andrea, Sarah, Hannah, Shannon, Melissa, and Amy

Nicole being serenaded to You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Getting Inside the Teenage Brain

Last month, Shannon and our colleagues at the Nasher Sculpture Center decided to bring together our respective teen groups so they could get to know each other.  The DMA Teen Docents met with the Nasher’s Student Advisory Board for an evening of art-making, food, and conversation.  Our main conversation point centered on things docents should (and shouldn’t) say or do on high school tours.  Our docents often have a hard time connecting with our teenage visitors, so we thought that sharing advice in the teens’ own words would be the first step in helping our docents feel more comfortable with these groups in the galleries.  Some of the comments that resonated with docents were:

  • I really don’t like when docents treat you like children or assume that you don’t know anything and are very momish around students.
  • Make it not just guiding us around like sheep, but know really interesting facts about that artist, the time period, the technique, or that specific work of art.  Like what makes it really cool or unique and why does it deserve to be at the Museum.
  • Show respect towards the artist and be open-minded about the work.
  • Pay attention to your group.  If they’re not engaged or interested, move on so they don’t zone out for the rest of the tour.
  • Make it cool and interactive and not just looking at the works of art.

A group of teens in the DMA’s galleries

Our docents also read an article written by a 15 year-old titled Why Museums Suck.  Howard Hwang visited six museums in Los Angeles and shared his frank opinions about what made each Museum so terrible.  Hwang isn’t shy about voicing his distaste for art museums, labeling them as boring, places for “old people,” and even describing docents as “answering machines.”   His opinions brought a bit of levity to our discussion, but a lot of his comments really did hit home with our docents.  How can we connect with someone who hates old, boring art and is most concerned with what he’ll buy for lunch?

We talked a lot about how we can make make teenagers feel comfortable in the Museum, and we agreed that a tone of mutual respect needs to be set at the very beginning of a tour.  Many docents felt that we need to set up the expectation that the students will be engaged in the tour, but also that they’ll have fun while they’re at the Museum.  One docent mentioned that we need to “pop the bubble of pretention” and remind students that we’re all looking at works of art and learning together.  Docent-guided tours are not intended to be lectures–as Hwang put it, that type of tour “is like being in a locked room with Oprah talking constantly.”  Instead, tours should be conversations with docents and students both contributing to the dialogue and moving the conversation forward.  By helping students feel comfortable and welcome, they’re more likely to want to engage in these discussions.

A DMA Docent discusses American art on a guided tour

Another of Hwang’s directives to museums was decidedly simple: “You have to make it hands-on and interactive.”  At the DMA, the Center For Creative Connections (C3) is answering this call, and cultivating an interactive space where visitors can look, touch, listen, read, make and talk about art.  C3 endeavors to inspire and engage audiences through unique programming, like our Urban Armor workshops.  This distinctive program for tweens and teens offers students a chance to meet, relate, and investigate themselves and the world around them.  Classes are designed in a way that the concept of identity is the heartbeat of each workshop.  Teenagers are at a critical age of self-discovery, so each Urban Armor workshop is designed to promote decision-making, critical thinking skills, and self-determination.

A photograph from the most recent Urban Armor workshop at Klyde Warren Park

This past Sunday, Urban Armor took teens on a photography walk through Klyde Warren Park.  The workshop focused on using positive and negative space in environmental photography, and encouraged students to reflect on the individual choices they make when taking a photograph.  Armed with a camera, each participant explored the Park on their own, with DMA staff acting as facilitators.  This time of autonomous art-making is a central component of each Urban Armor workshop.  The final portion of class was dedicated to discussing what each student had captured during their photo walk.  It was important to encourage the teens to reflect upon and discuss the individual decisions made during each photograph, so that their individual choices could be linked to tangible outcomes.  Each student’s collection of photographs was uploaded to the DMA’s Flickr account, where they are able to view their own and other’s images, and share with the public.  The most exciting outcome of the workshop will come a few weeks from now, as each student enters his or her photographs into the C3 Encountering Space photography exhibition.  Teens have an opportunity to see their artwork publicly displayed in the C3 space!

The Urban Armor participants in Klyde Warren Park

At the DMA, we are working to cultivate spaces and programs that engage teens and involve them in the Museum.  Maybe teens like Howard Hwang would think differently about museums if they could see their artwork hanging on the wall.  We are also continuing to work with our docents to provide tips to better engage with teens on tours.  For now, we’re going to turn the conversation over to you.  If you’re a teacher, what tricks do you use to get teens talking about art?  If you’re a teen, what would you like to see happen at the DMA that might make you want to spend more time here?  We look forward to your responses!

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent Programs and Gallery Teaching

Danielle Schulz
McDermott Intern for Family Experiences

Special thanks to Amanda Batson and J.C. Bigornia.


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