Archive for May, 2013



DallasSITES from a Dallas Transplant

How do you navigate your way in a new city’s art community? That became my challenge when I moved from Philadelphia to Dallas in September 2012 to become the new McDermott Curatorial Intern for Contemporary Art. Of course, I did my research: numerous Google searches helped me make a page-long list of contemporary art venues I wanted to visit during my internship. But assisting on the DMA’s newest exhibition, DallasSITES: Charting Contemporary Art, 1963 to Present, was what really taught me about Dallas’s artistic legacy.

Two members the Dallas art scenes who have been influential for decades: Janet Kutner and Paul Rogers Harris c.1960s, Courtesy of Paul Rogers Harris, Dallas, TX

Two members of the Dallas art scene who have been influential for decades: Janet Kutner and Paul Rogers Harris, c.1960s, Courtesy of Paul Rogers Harris, Dallas, TX

I’ve spent the past nine months combing through archives, researching galleries, and learning about the evolution of the Dallas art scene. The exhibition, consisting mainly of ephemera from the past fifty years, will illustrate how dynamic the art community of North Texas has been. As a recent transplant, this project became my personal crash course. This history lesson served me well.

Map of Dallas, Courtesy of Swoon the Studio, Dallas, TX

Map of Dallas, Courtesy of Swoon the Studio, Dallas, TX

Dallas itself is a large city, and over the years the art scene has concentrated in different neighborhoods. Artists were extremely active in Fair Park and Uptown during the 1960s and 70s. With the establishment of the Arts District in the 80s, many art-related activities migrated to downtown. Deep Ellum became a serious locus for the arts in the 80s as well. Today, many galleries and institutions have relocated to the Design District. Interestingly, artist activity continued in all of these neighborhoods even when the larger cultural trends shifted. Meanwhile, universities produce interesting programs and bring important artists to visit and work in North Texas. The ephemera on view in DallasSITES reflect these events.

A visitor at the 1989 Dallas VideoFest, Courtesy of the DMA Archives

A visitor at the 1989 Dallas VideoFest, Courtesy of the DMA Archives

Some fun facts learned from this project:
Q: What is the oldest continuously running gallery in Dallas? A: Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden, established in 1955. Q: What is the oldest and largest video festival in the United States? A: Dallas’s own VideoFest! First held in 1986 at the Dallas Museum of Art, it provides a platform for experimental video art and Texas artists.

Claes Oldenburg, Poster for Injun Happening at the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, April 6-7, 1962

Claes Oldenburg, poster for Injun happening at the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, April 6-7, 1962

Claes Oldenburg is an iconic artist of the pop art movement, but did you know that in 1962 he staged one of his famous “happenings” in Dallas? Injun became a two-day collaboration with local artists at the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts (which merged with the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts in 1963 to form the Dallas Museum of Art). That was a fun discovery! Oldenburg’s relationship with Dallas has continued for several decades. Further, I discovered that one of my favorite artists, Oliver Herring, participated in a 1997 group show called Termite Terrace at Angstrom Gallery in Dallas’s Fair Park neighborhood. When DallasSITES opens, visitors will truly see how active this community has been. One of the best parts of contemporary art is the opportunity to meet artists and other art lovers at openings and talks. Each month, there are dozens of exhibition openings, artist talks, and panels that keep Dallas exciting. There are established museums, commercial galleries, and temporary spaces ranging from empty storefronts to an artist’s living room. Artists from across the United States and even internationally are showing in nearby spaces, while the roster of local talent continues to grow.

Dallas’ art scene in action: A packed house at CentralTrak for its NEXT TOPIC series panel, “Creating an Art Community/Scene” on May 2, 2013, Courtesy of Sally Glass and CentralTrak, Dallas, TX

Dallas’s art scene in action: A packed house at CentralTrak for its NEXT TOPIC series panel “Creating an Art Community/Scene” on May 2, 2013, Courtesy of Sally Glass and CentralTrak, Dallas, TX

When you see all the ephemera in DallasSITES presented in one room, the cultural wealth of this city becomes readily apparent. On May 26, you, too, can experience a crash course of your own for free!

Alexander Unkovic is the McDermott Curatorial Intern for Contemporary Art at the DMA.

Meaningful Moments with Mozley

The Dallas Museum of Art offers a wide variety of educational programs, classes and workshops for the diverse set of guests who visit the Museum each day, and I feel lucky to be a part of a great number of these. One of my favorite classes to work with has been the Meaningful Moments group, which is a part of the DMA’s Access Programs for visitors with special needs. Meaningful Moments is a monthly program designed specifically for individuals with early stage dementia and their family members or caregivers. Every month, education staff design an interactive class with conversation time in the galleries, as well as a studio component. Each monthly session focuses on a particular creative theme, ranging from special exhibitions, to artworks from a particular artistic genre or geographic location, to visiting artists. April’s theme centered on the Loren Mozley: Structural Integrity exhibition, on view at the DMA until June 30.

Meaningful Moments group in Loren Mozley.

Meaningful Moments group in Loren Mozley: Structural Integrity

Loren Mozley, though an artist in his own right, played a key role in shaping generations of young Texas artists who received instruction from him during his thirty-seven year tenure in the art department at The University of Texas at Austin. This was a wonderful exhibit to share with the Meaningful Moments group because it centers on a Texas-based artist who was heavily influence by nature–themes which are central to the lives of many participants.

As part of the program, we encourage conversation and the mutual sharing of stories, as this type of socialization and exchange can not only build a stronger relationship to the works of art, but also fortify the bond between the individuals with Alzheimer’s and their spouse or caregiver. With more than 500,000 people over the age of 65 nationwide affected by Early Onset Alzheimer’s, and with no known cure, the DMA and other art institutions are offering creative ways of potentially slowing down the progression of the disease in the early stages. It is hoped that facilitated conversations about art, which encourage focused looking, responding and remembering, will offer joyous moments and strengthen cognitive skills.

In the Loren Mozley program, participants shared stories with one another regarding their vacations to central Texas or New Mexico, drawing connections between their perceptions of the landscape and those that Mozley presented in his artwork.  Additionally, they were eager to learn more about and discuss Mozley’s friendship with Georgia O’Keeffe and his admiration for Paul Cezanne.

Our fruitful gallery discussion was followed by an open-ended studio activity that related back to Loren Mozley’s artistic process. We took advantage of the gorgeous April day and walked over the to Klyde Warren Park to engage in some still life and landscape drawing. Armed with sketch pad and charcoal, couples sat throughout the park and created their own works of art, which they shared with one another.

The Meaningful Moments program has garnered attention as the first program of its kind in Dallas, taking shape a little over five years ago. For this reason, there is a wonderful sense of community and friendship among members, many of whom have attended since the program’s inception. This program is so much more than a monthly outing to an art museum for adults with early stage dementia and their care partners. It’s special, for both staff and visitors, because it is an opportunity for a group of friends to share their collective life experiences and love of art with one another.

Two couples in the Meaningful Moments group

Two couples in the Meaningful Moments group

To become involved in the Meaningful Moments program, or to learn more about the DMA’s Access programming in general, please call 214-922-1251 or e-mail us at our Access programs address.

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Seldom Scene: Re-Installing 50 Years Later an Art Exhibition for President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy

This weekend, the DMA-organized exhibition Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy opens. It brings together works of art that were on view in President Kennedy’s Fort Worth hotel suite in 1963. This is the first time the works have been reunited in fifty years. We’ve been installing in the galleries this past week, prior to the Sunday opening of this free exhibition.

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Friday Photos: Self Found

I was recently wandering around the Art Spot in the Center for Creative Connections, looking at all the wonderful creations visitors share with us, when I saw visitor Chris Jackson doing the same. “Hey, that’s me!” he said, holding a collaged portrait up to his face.

Friday photo 5-17-2013

Chris with his self portrait

“I noticed the glasses, nose, and chin and thought it was me–in the future. Sometimes I don’t have a beard. And maybe in about 20 years, my hair will be that gray.” There was no label, so we weren’t sure who made it. But I loved the enthusiastic way he connected with this anonymous smiling portrait–that’s what C3 is all about!

Susan Diachisin
The Kelli and Allen Questrom Director of the Center for Creative Connections

Once Upon a Time…

Works of art are often seen as telling their own unique stories.  However, artists can also use stories as inspiration when creating artworks. For example, the story “How Wang-Fo was Saved” inspired the German artist Sigmar Polke to create his painting Clouds (Wolken). Check out a version of this story below:

Sigmar Polke, Clouds (Wolken), 1989, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund and the Contemporary Art Fund: Gift of 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 two anonymous donors

Once upon a time in a Chinese kingdom there lived an angry Emperor. When the Emperor was young, he was not allowed to leave the palace and explore the outside world. The young Emperor’s palace was decorated with the paintings of a very famous artist named Wang-Fo. Since the Emperor had never been outside, he thought that the world looked just like Wang-Fo’s beautiful paintings.

Finally, the time came when the Emperor was allowed to leave the palace. At first he was so excited, but his excitement quickly turned to disappointment. The real world was not nearly as beautiful to him as were Wang-Fo’s paintings. The Emperor believed he had been tricked and blamed Wang-Fo for his disappointment. He decided to punish Wang-Fo by tricking him as well.

The Emperor requested that Wang-Fo complete a painting he had left unfinished in the palace. Upon his arrival, Wang-Fo realized that it was trap. He immediately set to finishing his work, adding the sea at the bottom of a mountain. As he painted the water, the palace began to fill with actual water. Next, he painted a rowboat, and Wang-Fo could hear the oars splashing in the water. Wang-Fo quickly climbed into the boat!

The level of the water dropped and soon everyone in the palace came to see Wang-Fo’s finished masterpiece. In the painting they could see Wang-Fo in the rowboat slowly floating away from danger. Farther and farther down the river he rowed, until Wang-Fo disappeared and was never to be seen again. The End.

Concluding thoughts:

  • If you were to create an artwork inspired by “How Wong-Fo was Saved,” what would you choose to capture?
  • Do you think that Sigmar Polke’s Clouds (Wolken) effectively captured the story?  Was he focusing in on a particular moment or theme?
  • Are there childhood or family stories that you would want to commemorate through a work of art?

For more art-based stories, click on the links below:

Sacred textile (mawa') depicting tadpoles and water buffalo, early 20th century, Dallas Museum of Art, the Steven G. Alpert Collection of Indonesian Textiles, gift of The Eugene McDermott Foundation

Tadpoles and Water Buffalo

Takenouchi no Sukune and the Dragon King of the Sea

How the Moon got its Rhythm

The End!

Pilar Wong
McDermott Intern for Community Teaching

Cindy Sherman Doppelgängers

DMA staff members found their inner Cindy Sherman earlier this month when we re-created our popular April Late Night Art Byte: Cindy Sherman Photo Booth. Create your own Cindy Sherman doppelgänger before the exhibition closes on June 9 to receive the limited edition DMA Friends Super Fan: Cindy Sherman Badge! Find out how to earn this badge and bonus points here.

Adam Gingrich is the Marketing Administrative Assistant and Kimberly Daniell is the Public Relations Manager at the DMA.

Move Over Hercules – A Greek Hero DIY

We invited DMA Friend and DMA Partner Breanna Cooke to give us the inside scoop on how to quickly and easily transform ourselves into Greek heroes for Friday’s Late Night on May 17 celebrating The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum. You might remember Breanna from March’s “Wizard of Oz” Late Night when she arrived as a flying monkey. Come dressed as a Greek hero this Friday to earn the May Midnight Masquerade Badge and 450 bonus points in the DMA Friends program!

Flying Monkey

How to Create a Greek Hero Costume

Need help creating a Greek mythology costume for the DMA’s Late Night this Friday? Below are some simple steps to make your own costume without sewing or spending a lot of money. We’ll start with making a chiton (pronounced khitōn), the draped garment typically worn in ancient Greece.

Supplies
White sheet OR 2 yards (approx.) of white or cream fabric: It should be long enough to hang from your shoulder to the floor. If you want it to be knee-length, you’ll only need about 1.5 yards or less.
Safety pins: We’ll be pinning the fabric together, but you can also sew it together.
Gold rope, belt, or ribbon
2 brooches (optional)

02_ChitonSupplies

Making a Greek Chiton

1. Cut the Fabric
Cut the fabric lengthwise so you have two long rectangles. One rectangle is the front, and the other is the back. If you’d like to have a knee-length chiton (more common for men), this is a good time to cut it shorter. (Bonus: If you don’t like the frayed edge at the bottom of the fabric, you can glue gold ribbon along the bottom edge to cover it.)

03_Step1_GreekChiton_CutFabric

2. Pin the Shoulders and Sides
With safety pins, fasten the top corners of the front to the top corners of the back. You’ll want to bunch the fabric together a bit as you pin it. Be sure to tuck in the edges of the fabric if it’s fraying. Next, pin the sides of fabric together along your ribcage. It doesn’t have to be perfect, this is to help keep the fabric from blowing open.

04_Step2_GreekChiton_PinShoulders

3. Tie on Your Belt
Tie your belt around your waist or rib cage. You can use any kind of belt, rope, or ribbon. You can even paint something gold if you don’t have anything.

05_Step3_GreekChiton_TieBelt

4. Add the Brooches
Pin your brooches to your shoulders. You can use them to hide the safety pins. I didn’t have any brooches, so I bought some earrings at a thrift store, glued them together, and added a pin to the back. You could even make your own out of cardboard or craft foam and paint them. Get creative!

06_Step4_GreekChiton_AttachBrooches

Accessories and Props for Your Specific Greek Character

It’s time to customize your outfit with some props. They don’t have to be complicated in order to be effective. Below are some simple ideas to help identify yourself as a specific character:
1. Lightning Bolt and Beard = Zeus, King of the Greek Gods
Lightning Bolt: Draw a lightning bolt on foam board or poster board; cut out the shape and color with silver paint.
Beard: Paint on a beard with face paint OR purchase a beard from a party or costume store.

2. Laurel Wreath = Apollo, God of Music, Arts, and Enlightenment
Laurel Wreath: Create a headband with poster board. Draw leaves and cut them out. Use hot glue to stick the leaves in place, overlapping as you go. Color with gold spray paint.

07_ApolloCostume_LaurelWreath

3. Feathery Wings = Eros, God of Love (Cupid!), or Nike, Goddess of Victory
Wings: Purchase wings from a costume or party store OR draw wings on poster board. Cut out the shape of the wings, attach elastic straps with hot glue, and loop over shoulders.

4. Shield, Spear, Helmet = Athena, Goddess of Warfare
Shield: Find a large plastic platter or cut a circle out of foam board. Glue on a handle made of foam board or cardboard; color with gold spray paint.
Spear: Use a broom handle or dowel and color with gold spray paint. Draw a spearhead on craft foam. cut out two spearheads from the craft foam. Glue the craft foam together at the edges, and slide the broom handle into the pocket formed by the two pieces.
Helmet: Purchase gladiator-style helmet at a costume or party store; color with gold paint OR get creative with craft foam and hot glue to make your own!

athena

4. Shield, Spear/Sword = Hercules or Achilles, Hero of the Trojan War
Shield and Spear: Follow steps above for Athena.

6. Gold Tiara/Crown, Veil = Hera, Goddess of Marriage and wife of Zeus
Tiara/Crown: Make a crown out of poster board; color with gold spray paint.
Veil: Take a piece of sheer fabric or leftovers from your chiton; attach to tiara/crown with staples.

7. Roses and Scallop Shells = Aphrodite, Goddess of Love
Roses: Purchase some fake roses or flowers from a thrift store; color them with gold spray paint.
Scallop Shells: Draw some shells on poster board; color with gold spray paint and add the shells to your flower bouquet.

Need to look up some other characters from Greek mythology? Check out this list on Wikipedia for more ideas.

See you on Friday at Late Night at the DMA!

Breanna Cooke is a Graphic Designer, Costume Creator, and Body Painter living in Dallas. To see more of her work, visit breannacooke.com. Check out progress photos of her latest projects on Facebook.


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