Archive for March, 2013

Friday Photos: Peep Show

For years, I have admired those brave souls who submit entries to the Washington Post Peeps contest.  They always make me laugh, and it amazes me how creative you can get with chicks and bunnies made out of marshmallows.  We thought it might be fun to have our own Peeps mini-contest.  Working in teams, we re-created six works from the DMA’s collections and exhibitions using only Peeps and basic art supplies.  Enjoy our masterPeeps!

Amanda Blake and Leah Hanson, Peep Beauty Shoppe

Inspired by Isaac Soyer's Art Beauty Shoppe

Inspired by Isaac Soyer’s Art Beauty Shoppe

Pilar Wong, Hannah Fullgraf, and Andrea Lesovsky, Banquete chair with Peeps

Inspired by the Campana Brothers' Banquete chair with pandas

Inspired by the Campana Brothers’ Banquete chair with pandas

Danielle Schulz and Alex Vargo, Untitled Peep Stills

Andrea Severin and Sarah Coffey, Kneeling female figure with Peeps

Inspired by Olowe of Ise's Kneeling female figure with bowl (olumeye)

Inspired by Olowe of Ise’s Kneeling female figure with bowl (olumeye)

JC Bigornia and Amy Copeland, Odalisque (Hey, Hey Peeps)

Inspired by Lynda Benglis's Odalisque (Hey, Hey Frankenthaler)

Inspired by Lynda Benglis’s Odalisque (Hey, Hey Frankenthaler)

Melissa Gonzales and Shannon Karol, The Peepers

Inspired by Fernand Leger's The Divers

Inspired by Fernand Leger’s The Divers

Our creations were judged by a panel of illustrious judges: Director of Education Nicole Stutzman Forbes, Evaluator Stefanie Mabadi, and Conservator Mark Leonard.

All of our Peeps creations

All of our Peeps creations

Congratulations to Andrea and Sarah, who won first prize based on their excellent use of only edible materials and their creative use of Peeps!


I think this may be the start of a new yearly tradition on the Canvas blog!

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Culinary Canvas: Peanut Butter Eggs

Continuing our Easter egg theme this week, I wanted to create a recipe that recalls the yummy Easter candy everyone enjoys at this time of year. For my inspiration, I looked to our striking Brancusi sculpture, Beginning of the World, which uses imagery associated with birth. This imagery is fitting for Easter and spring, a season of rebirth and new life. And of course, it is shaped like an egg! I am a huge fan of cake balls and this recipe not only yields a delicious result, it provides the opportunity to decorate more eggs with your family. Enjoy!

Constantin Brancusi, The Beginning of the World, c. 1920, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark

Constantin Brancusi, Beginning of the World, c. 1920, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark

Peanut Butter Eggs

Yields 50-100 cake balls, depending on size
Level: Intermediate

Cake Balls:

1 yellow cake
1 cup peanut butter frosting (recipe follows)
1 ¼ cups Reese’s Pieces candy
Coating (recipe follows)

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
½ cup natural creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons whole milk


12-16 ounces good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ tablespoon vegetable shortening

Prepare cake as directed, using a favorite recipe or box mix if desired. Allow cake to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Frosting: Place the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until mostly combined. Add peanut butter and continue mixing, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Increase speed to high and add milk one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating an additional 3-5 minutes, until the mixture is light and smooth. Set aside.

Cake Balls: Break up cake into bowl of food processor and process into an even crumb. Transfer cake crumbs to medium mixing bowl.

Roughly chop Reese’s Pieces candy with food processor or by hand. Add approximately 1 cup of candy to mixing bowl, reserving remainder for use as decoration. Stir to distribute candy evenly through crumbs.

Beginning with ½ cup, add frosting to crumb mixture and stir with rubber spatula. Amount of frosting needed will vary depending on moisture of original cake. Final mixture should be evenly moist but not greasy and able to hold its shape.

To form cake balls, scoop off about a teaspoon of dough then roll between hands into egg shape. Place eggs onto wax paper lined dish and transfer to freezer. Allow to firm for at least 30 minutes.

Coating: Whisk chocolate in a glass bowl set over a small pot of simmering water until mostly melted. Remove from heat and stir in shortening, whisking until smooth.

Remove half of eggs from freezer. Insert toothpick into egg and dip into coating until fully covered, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. A small espresso spoon is useful for distributing chocolate evenly over egg. Quickly sprinkle with reserved candy while still wet. Place toothpick into foam board and allow chocolate to set.

Remove remaining eggs from freezer and repeat process until complete. Once dry, remove toothpicks and refrigerate in air tight container.




Original recipe utilizing cake ball tips from 52 Kitchen Adventures and Miss Candiquik.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Artful Eggs

The Easter holiday is almost upon us, and I for one am so excited to decorate Easter eggs! I am proof of the fact that this festive activity is for children and adults alike. Moreover, if approached in the right manner, decorating Easter eggs can be downright artistic. Beautiful eggs don’t require expensive materials or a BFA–in fact, all it takes to create some slamming shell designs is inspiration, imagination, and a few items found around the house!

Step 1: Boiling the eggs. Boiled eggs stand up better to the treatment required to decorate eggs (dyeing, drawing, wrapping). Place eggs in a medium sized pot and add enough water to reach about an inch above the eggs. Bring water to a roaring boil, remove from heat, then cover eggs for 15 minutes. Drain water, and allow eggs to cool. (This step can be accelerated a bit by placing eggs in a bowl of water in the refrigerator).

Drying rack made with flathead pins and foamcore.

Drying rack made with flathead pins and foamcore.

Step 2: Preparing the materials. As I said, artful eggs require simple materials: newspaper, food coloring, spoons, tongs, glass cups or mugs, white vinegar, a small paintbrush, tempera paint, hot water, Styrofoam board, and flathead pins. Placing flathead pins in a grid pattern on foam board creates a great drying rack for dyed eggs.

To mix colors, place 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 2/3 cup hot water in your cup along with 3 drops of food coloring. Add more drops to darken the dye. This is a great (albeit stinky) way to review color mixing with kids–experiment and see what fun colors you can come up with!

Step 3: Finding inspiration. Inspiration can come from a variety of sources, but for this year’s batch I’d recommend using the DMA’s permanent collection as a muse. The Museum’s encyclopedic collection provides a wealth of ideas, and, who knows, you might gain some artistic insight during the art-making process! When choosing works of art I looked for bright colors, simple shapes and bold lines, as these would lend themselves well to my oblong canvases. Here are the four works I decided upon:

Step 4: Decorate! Before diving into your artistry, wipe each egg down with some vinegar (this will prepare the shell for the dyeing process).  It was interesting to use works of art that employed different decorative techniques.

  • The Matisse egg was first dipped into an orange dye for two minutes (increasing the amount of time in the dye will lead to a darker color).  After the egg dried, a small brush with tempera paint was used to add blue and green leaves and red berries.


  • To create the neutral background of the Pollock, the egg was dipped into orange and then blue dye (about 10 seconds each). I was then able to perform my own version of action painting!  With my paintbrush I flicked, splattered and flung watered-down black, white and grey tempera paint onto the egg. (Action painting can get messy, so newspaper comes in handy!)
  • Rothko’s contemplative color duo was completed by dipping the bottom of the egg in the orange dye (for about 30 seconds) and the top in red (30 more seconds). The egg should be left to dry between each dip. The middle portion of the egg was not taped, since I think the frayed edge caused by the dye enhanced the Rothko-style.
  • Completing the Mondrian egg took a little tempera paint and patience! Who knew that painting a grid pattern onto a rounded surface isn’t the easiest thing to do. With the straightest lines I could muster, I painted Mondrian’s primary color scheme onto the clean, un-dyed surface of the egg. It took a few layers of paint (left to dry in-between) to achieve more opaque colors.

Step 5: Display and Enjoy! 

Artful eggs. L-R: Henri Matisse, Ivy Flower; Jackson Pollock, Cathedral; Mark Rothko, Untitled; Piet Mondrian, Composition with Large Blue Plane, Red, Black, Yellow, and Gray

Artful eggs. L-R: Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Piet Mondrian

These artful eggs are too good to keep to yourself!  Share your masterpieces with us through Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or even post them here on DMA Canvas–we’d love to see your DMA inspired works of egg-art! Now that you’ve completed your artwork the real question emerges: which will taste better, a Matisse or Pollock deviled egg?

Artworks Shown:

  • Henri Matisse, Ivy in Flower, 1953, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation
  • Jackson Pollock, Cathedral, 1947, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Reis
  • Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1952,  Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated
  • Piet Mondrian, Composition with Large Blue Plane, Red, Black, Yellow, and Gray, 1921, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mrs. James H. Clark

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Special thanks to Alex Vargo for her eggcellent work.

Everything’s Turning Up Chagall

Art in Bloom guests were immersed in a world of art, color, and flowers today at this year’s floral symposium and luncheon. Bella Meyer, a New York-based floral designer and the artist Marc Chagall’s beloved granddaughter, entertained the audience with stories about life in the Chagall family, the symbolism in her grandfather’s art, and interpretations in flowers of several of his paintings. Over lunch, complete with edible flowers, a colorful fashion presentation by Allie-Coosh provided inspiration for what was to follow . . . a tour of the DMA’s exhibition Chagall: Beyond Color. Did you know that we are the only U.S. venue for this internationally touring exhibition?

Floral arrangement inspired Edgar Degas’ Group of Dancers in the DMA’s collection

Floral arrangement inspired Edgar Degas’ Group of Dancers in the DMA’s collection

Edgar Degas, Group of Dancers, c. 1895-1897, pastel and gouache on panel, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Edgar Degas, Group of Dancers, c. 1895-1897, pastel and gouache on panel, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Floral arrangement  inspired by Camille Pissarro’s Apple Harvest in the DMA’s collection

Floral arrangement inspired by Camille Pissarro’s Apple Harvest in the DMA’s collection

Camille Pissarro, Apple Harvest (Cueillette des pommes), 1888, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Munger Fund

Camille Pissarro, Apple Harvest (Cueillette des pommes), 1888, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Munger Fund

Floral arrangement inspired by Victor Higgins’ A Mountain Ceremony in the DMA’s collection

Floral arrangement inspired by Victor Higgins’ A Mountain Ceremony in the DMA’s collection

Victor Higgins, A Mountain Ceremony, c. 1930, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift

Victor Higgins, A Mountain Ceremony, c. 1930, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift

Preparing for Art in Bloom in the DMA’s Atrium

Preparing for Art in Bloom in the DMA’s Atrium

“Valentina” by Jessica Jesse

“Valentina” by Jessica Jesse

“Chimera” by Jessica Jesse

“Chimera” by Jessica Jesse

Dallas League Members and models during Art in Bloom 2013

Dallas League Members and models during Art in Bloom 2013

Debbie Stack is Director of Special Events and Volunteer Relations at the DMA.

Friday Photos: Oh, the places we’ve been!

Go van Gogh van

Go van Gogh van

With the recent introduction of our DMA Dashboard, we’ve been keeping a careful eye on the mileage of our Go van Gogh van, which has made for some fun stats tracking.

So far, our outreach this school year has taken us 1,300 miles—enough for a trip from the Museum to Washington D.C.!  Below are a few other fun facts about our outreach destinations and the van trips we’ve taken this year.

  • Destination closest to home:  Ben Milam Elementary, a mere 2.6 miles away—soo close we could almost bike there.
  • Farthest afield: Brentfield Elementary, a 63.4 mile round-trip!
  • All the usual places:  L.K. Hall Elementary, Ronald McNair Elementary, and Thomas Tolbert Elementary are in our van’s GPS frequently—we’ve visited each at least five times.
  • Home(s) away from home:  William Anderson Elementary and Zion Lutheran School are our homes away from home.   We’ve made ten trips to each for a whopping one-fifth of our total mileage!

Our next van excursion will be tomorrow, Saturday March 23.  The Go van Gogh team will be at Firewheel Town Center in Garland, to provide art-making activities at Kidsfest, from 11:00am-3:00pm. We hope you’ll make the trip and join us there!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

DMA Friends: A Daily Dose of Art

“I travel a lot and always go to an art museum. But it’s expensive. Here—it’s free. I come all the time and stay like fifteen minutes…I get my daily dose of art.”


This month, Robert “Bobby” Kaufman became the first DMA Friend to claim a high-point-level reward offered through DMA Friends, the free membership program that launched in January 2013. “The quality of rewards is so high and a positive incentive for coming [to the DMA].” For 35,000 points, Bobby claimed the “Dinner and a Movie” reward. Come this May, he’ll dine on the DMA’s dime and watch a movie of his choosing with his invited guests in the Horchow Auditorium. Way to go, Bobby!

I sat down with Bobby for a chat last Thursday and discovered that he is without a doubt one of our most loyal DMA Friends. He stands out among our growing crowd of 5,500+ Friends who participate in DMA activities ranging from viewing art in the galleries to making something in the Center for Creative Connections to attending our weekly Gallery Talks. Bobby earns points by visiting and participating often, in short spurts. He spends most of his time in the American and European galleries, where he returns to favorite works and leaves feeling inspired. “I can’t paint. . . . But looking at the masters is a reminder to me to try to create something important.” An aspiring poet, he hopes to make his mark in the field of writing one day. He eloquently related to me how details in two of his favorite European paintings—in particular the gestures of figures in each painting—inspire him to be evocative and thoughtful when describing characters through his words.

Born and raised in Dallas, Bobby told me that he came to the Museum maybe once when he was growing up. Two years ago, his parents gave him a DMA membership when he took a teaching position in the English Department of a Dallas-area high school. Then, he started visiting the DMA every few months. Since the DMA returned to FREE general admission and launched the DMA Friends program in January, he’s visited nearly every day–often after school on weekdays. He opted not to renew his DMA membership because the DMA Friends program gives him exactly what he needs for an art museum experience.

Want to learn more about how to become a DMA Friend and earn points and rewards like Bobby? Visit and then come by the Museum to see us!

Nicole Stutzman Forbes is the Chair of Learning Initiatives and Dallas Museum of Art League Director of Education at the DMA.

A Click of the Heel

Late Night Creativity Challenges are something I look forward to each month. The energy, originality, and competition unleashed in the galleries of the Museum is so inspiring. The visitors who participate in these activities are able to look at the artwork in our collection in a whole new way.

Here are some of the thoughts of our challengers and participants:

“The creativity challenge helped me step out of my ‘corporate head’ and connect with the artwork in such a way that I was able to make a connection with the pieces and see them with new eyes.   The artwork my team was assigned to work with was not something I would normally have gravitated to in a visit to the museum, yet by the end of the challenge, I was quite fond of the work!”

“I really enjoy the challenges, they make me appreciate the art and it’s fun to go by paintings I’ve written songs about or made Facebook pages for because of the challenge. It makes me really look into the piece and walk away with a better understanding and more of a connection rather than reading a brief synopsis and walking away. Not only have I been able to go in depth with a few pieces but have been able to remember other pieces fellow participants have made things about. Interacting with art was something I thought I could never do. Appreciating art was something I also considered out of my reach. Creativity Challenges have proven me wrong in both of those regards and created a whole new experience for visiting the DMA”


Me with our special guest Robert Sabuda

The latest challenge was inspired by the paper mechanics of the great author, illustrator, and pop-up creator Robert Sabuda. Having been inspired by Sabuda and a longtime fan of his work, I was thrilled to create a program inspired by him. And did I mention that he was also our guest judge for the creations?

The theme for our March Late Night and the fuel for my Sabuda Creativity Challenge was the wonderful Wizard of Oz. The teams were challenged to create their own shoes inspired by Dorothy’s ruby slippers, which of course gave Dorothy the power to go home. Each team had to create their own magically-powered shoes with the limited materials of paper and tape. After they created their shoes, the teams modeled their creations and explained what magical powers their shoes possessed, all while walking down a handmade yellow brick road leading them into the gates of The Emerald City–well, the gates to the DMA’s The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection to be more exact.

“The most rewarding experiences (and the projects that are most successful) have occurred when people work together. The winner of the latest creativity challenge is a good example. The family that won made red shoes with fringed red construction paper, and each person in the family had a specific job. Their project was successful, I think, because they developed prototypes together and found usefulness for everyone. From my perspective, the most creative teams are typically the larger teams. While the art hanging on the walls is certainly inspiring, the collaborations and conversations between team members seem to be the best idea-catalyst.” – C3 Volunteer

Here are a few examples from the challenge:



These shoes were unique for many reasons, but what struck our guest judge and I the most was the power the shoes had to take the person who was wearing them into any situation. They could be courageous when wearing the shoes and defeat any obstacle that came across their path. They also named the shoes after our guest judge, which is always a nice touch!

Come join in the fun next Late Night on April 19!

Amanda Batson
C3 Program Coordinator

Creative Comics

Dallas students had a great time learning about comics on Sunday, March 10, at the DMA’s Urban Armor workshop. Urban Armor is a program that allows teens and tweens to take a closer look at the Museum’s collection and create unique art in the DMA’s computer-equipped Tech Lab.


Workshops are generally scheduled twice a month for two hours and are free; for more information, and to register, visit the DMA’s Urban Armor page.

Local comic book artist and illustrator Kristian Donaldson led our recent workshop, which covered the basics of drawing comics and their history and progression. Donaldson completed his training at the Savannah College of Art and Design and has worked for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse Comics, and Dallas Observer/Village Voice Media. He has also taught several classes for young adults and college-age students across the U.S.


The workshop was inspired by the recent Arts & Letters Live program featuring Art Spiegelman on February 27. One of the perks of being the McDermott Intern for Adult Programming and Arts & Letters Live is getting the chance to create a program based on my passions and interests. I grew up in small-town Texas, far from any art institutions, so as a relatively new museum-goer I have become keenly aware of a certain gap in museum activities. While programs for children, families, and adults abound, similar activities for teens and young adults often do not. One of the things I love about the DMA is that we do have programs like Urban Armor, teen-friendly author events, and student discounts. When I saw that Spiegelman was coming to Dallas, I thought that the formula of comics + teens + local art programs at schools like Booker T. Washington + Urban Armor at the DMA + FREE = awesome.


And so it began. Students age 14-17 gathered in the Center for Creative Connections to be schooled in the awesomeness that is comic book art. Kristian was very open-minded and supportive in his approach, encouraging the students to run with whatever style comes naturally, because there is no “right” or “wrong” way to draw a comic. While working with his self-professed current obsession with outer space, Kristian showed us step-by-step how to divide a basic template into three parts, set the scene with a general landscape, bring in human anatomy and emotion using shapes and positive and negative space, and lead into a story that is completely up to the artist. WOW. It was mesmerizing to watch the students create their own unique interpretations of what a comic should be. One student focused on what can only be described as a well-drawn noodle monster. I was amazed at the skill level and creativity flowing in the room.

After the workshop was over, Kristian kindly signed some of his work for the students as they begged for another program with him later in the season. Comics: Part II, anyone?

Emily Brown is the McDermott Intern for Adult Programming and Arts & Letters Live at the DMA.

Cindy Sherman SmARTphone Tour

Cindy Sherman, a retrospective exhibition of the artist’s work from the mid-seventies to the present, opened this past weekend.  About 160 larger-than-life photographs fill up the Barrel Vault and its adjacent galleries. The majority of the photographs show the artist as model, posing in a variety of costumes and guises.

Sherman often creates her photographs in a series. In this exhibition, for example, you can see Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills, which were created to appear like snapshots of movie scenes, or her History Portraits that stylistically reference Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Neo-classical portraiture.


Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #56

Before, during, or after a visit to the exhibition, check out the Cindy Sherman smARTphone tour. This tour includes audio commentary from MoMA curators and from Cindy Sherman herself about her work. It also includes ten video interviews, with artists and other art-world figures who are asked to discuss their favorite Cindy Sherman photograph. These offer a unique, personal perspective to work in the exhibition. Which Cindy Sherman photograph is your favorite?

sherman sp

The DMA offers free Wi-Fi in the galleries, so be sure to connect before accessing the smartphone tour for optimum access!

Andrea V. Severin
Interpretation Specialist

Artwork shown:

  • Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #56, 1980, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Acquired through the generosity of Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder in memory of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd © 2012 Cindy Sherman

Open Office: Foundation and Government Relations Director

I inherited my office–and the majority of this wall collage–from its former resident. I had always admired her creative office décor, so I immediately added to it when I moved in. The timespan of exhibitions reflected on the wall ranges from 2004 (Splendors of China’s Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong) to present day (the newly opened Cindy Sherman). It’s fun to see a visual history of the shows we’ve presented over the last decade. Too bad it’s the only organized area of my office.

29 27 28

Anne Palamara Smith is the Director of Foundation and Government Relations at the DMA.


Flickr Photo Stream