Archive for September, 2013

All Dolled Up

Our 30,000 (and counting!) DMA Friends have some fun and unique rewards to choose from, one of which was the Art Beauty Shoppe Reward. Our lucky DMA Friend Lacey recently redeemed this special reward, which allowed her and three friends to get their hair and makeup styled in 1930s fashion (courtesy of Pouf) and then have a photo shoot with Isaac Soyer’s Art Beauty Shoppe (1934) in the American Art Galleries. The ladies came prepared with vintage outfits and props, including a 1934 Ladies Home Companion. Check out the scene below and stay tuned for an upcoming blog post from Lacey about her experience.

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Sarah Coffey is assistant to the chair of learning initiatives at the DMA.

Friday Photos: Getting In Touch

With October just a few days away, the DMA is gearing up to participate in Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month. Art Beyond Sight raises public awareness of ways that individuals who are blind or visually impaired can take part in art-related activities.

One way that art can be explored beyond sight is through the sense of touch. Wandering the DMA’s galleries, it’s easy to find works of art that are full of interesting textures. Although we can’t actually touch the displayed works of art, it’s still fun to imagine how they might feel. Here are a few of my favorites:

pangolin

I imagine that this pangolin skin hat has an extremely scaly texture. Unlike the smoother scales of some animals, the pangolin’s skin seems to be much pricklier, almost like a pine cone!

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This Peruvian panel is covered in a thick mass of beautiful macaw feathers. I imagine that the lush feathers make this work of art extremely soft to the touch.

sharp

This Indonesian jaraik was once hung outside a house as a protective figure. Made from wood and metal, the lower portion of the jaraik is pointed at the ends, like a misshapen pitchfork. Because of this, I imagine that it would be sharp to the touch.

smooth

Brancusi’s sculpture, Beginning of the World, includes an egg-shaped form made from marble. I imagine that the marble figure has a smooth, sleek texture—much like the eggs that I purchase regularly at the grocery store!

What other works of art can you find that are smooth, sharp, soft or scaly? Can you think of any other textures that are found in works of art here at the DMA? Tell us what your favorite textured works of art are and be sure to visit us during the month of October to take part in one of our many Art Beyond Sight activities!

Artworks shown:

  • Pangolin skin hat, 20th century, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa, Dallas Museum of Art, Lent by Michael and Shelly Dee
  • Panel with rectangles of blue and yellow featherwork, c. A.D. 650-850, Huari culture, Peru, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund
  • Protective figure (jaraik) in the form of an animal, 1900, Taileleu village, Indonesia, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Fund, Inc.
  • Constantin Brancusi, Beginning of the World, 1920, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H, Clark

Amy Elms
McDermott Education Intern for Visitor Engagement

We ❤ Feedback

Lately we’ve been talking within our department about what it means to be an educator at the DMA. While we’ve come up with an array of responses, what continues to emerge as a priority to us is service and responsiveness to our audiences. It’s very important to us that the educational programs and material we create are meaningful to you, our visitors.

We are so serious about making sure that what we do meets the needs of our audiences that earlier this year we welcomed a new evaluator, Stefanie, to our staff. She conducts visitor research and evaluations focused on visitor engagement here and at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

We understand that sometimes we try something (a program or an activity) and it needs tweaking. That’s where you come in! We truly appreciate your feedback about things happening here at the DMA. Here are a few examples of how you impacted our work:

  • In 2009, a suggestion from one museum visitor prompted us to start the Autism Awareness Family Celebrations.
  • Two years ago summer campers requested a fashion camp. So, last year, we added a fashion camp to our list of summer offerings. Our campers obviously like fashion because last year, fashion camp participants and their parents asked for another camp about fashion for younger campers. This past summer we hosted two fashion camps, one for 6-8 year olds and another for 9-12 year olds.
  • From 2009-2011, we had the great opportunity to work with twenty classroom teachers (grades 4-12) on the creation of new online teaching materials.  Messages that they communicated to us through focus-group sessions and classroom observations revealed that our previous teaching material online “packets” were outdated and poorly organized.  Through evaluation and collaborative work, we re-envisioned the DMA’s online resources in an a la carte presentation, flexibly interconnected to one another by themes and comparisons.  Each work of art was realized with more information, great images, activity ideas, and resources.
  • Get excited for our upcoming Art To Go Bags! We tested prototypes for a year with families – both families who visit frequently and families visiting for the first time. We tested various bags, making changes—such as the number and types of activities and the clarity of instructions—based on evaluations from both adults and children.
  • We used surveymonkey.com to poll C3 Adult visitors about their experience in the workshops. In addition to these surveys, we had a meeting with a group of regular adult attendees to solicit honest feedback about the education they are receiving through the workshops, the educators, and the artists. We concluded that visitors value the experience of art making and conceptualizing more than the final product, and they desired that all the programs be connected in some way so that they can have a greater understanding of an idea. This has led to thematic programming month to month. They also asked for times in the month where they can experiment with materials or finish projects, which led to the design of the Open Studio class for adults.

  • In a gallery near the end of The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece exhibition, we offered visitors a variety of activities that encouraged them to think about beauty as a complex concept. We timed and tracked some visitors to see what they liked the most: very few visitors sat down to read books, but many read or contributed to the response wall.  So, for an upcoming exhibition on the artist Edward Hopper, we will offer a drawing activity in the gallery, as opposed to reading spaces.
Stefanie's evaluation notes of the Body Beautiful space

Stefanie’s evaluation notes of visitors moving through The Body Beautiful interactive space

So, we want to hear from you! What do you want to read more of on our blog? We invite you to click on your favorite blog topics in the poll on the right sidebar, and we will do our very best to respond accordingly. If you have an idea for a topic we don’t currently write about, type it in the poll box before you submit. And if you have any other brilliant ideas or commentary, send them our way!

Andrea V. Severin
Interpretation Specialist

Autumn in the Arts District

This October is going to be one of the most exciting I can recall – from the 15th anniversary of the Crow Collection of Asian Art and 10th anniversary of the Nasher Sculpture Center to the U.S. premiere of Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take at the DMA, and even (dare I say it?) the unveiling of a new Big Tex at the State Fair. Having spent most of my life in the Dallas Arts District thanks to my mom, Susan (a DMA docent since 1976), I am thrilled to serve my first year as executive director of the Dallas Arts District during the inaugural year of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Klyde Warren Park, and the Dallas City Performance Hall, and in the first year of DMA Friends (the DMA’s free membership program) and free general admission.

Image source: dbdt.com

Image source: dbdt.com

With the end of summer, the Dallas Arts District is in full swing again, beginning with a day of activities on Saturday, October 5. The Dallas Black Dance Theatre will kick off its 8th annual DanceAfrica marketplace and festival at Strauss Square with a pedestrian parade of dancing in the streets from the DMA to the AT&T Performing Arts Center. CBS Radio’s Fall for the Arts will have free family activities and three stages of performances from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can also catch a sneak peek of Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take at the DMA that day, before the exhibition officially opens. Additionally, the Crow Collection of Asian Art will celebrate its 15th anniversary with the grand reopening of its sculpture garden, which will include kids events and food truck lunch service.

Jim Hodges, and still this, 2005-2008, 23.5K and 24K gold with Beva adhesive on gessoed linen, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMAamfAR Benefit Auction Fund , © Jim Hodges

Jim Hodges, and still this, 2005-2008, 23.5K and 24K gold with Beva adhesive on gessoed linen, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMAamfAR Benefit Auction Fund , © Jim Hodges

The Crow isn’t the only institution celebrating a milestone anniversary this fall. The Nasher Sculpture Center is celebrating its 10th anniversary with Nasher Xchange, a three-day weekend of free festivities culminating in a ten-hour celebration on Sunday, October 20. Friday, October 18, will also include a free afternoon concert and tour at the Meyerson Symphony Center, TEDxSMU at the Dallas City Performance Hall, and the Arts District Fall Block Party. The Nasher, DMA, and Crow Collection of Asian Art will stay open until midnight for our fall Arts District Block Party, and light-based, site-specific new media and immersive art installations can be explored district-wide as part of Aurora’s Light of Convergence, presented by the Dallas Morning News.

Image source: dallasaurora.com

Image source: dallasaurora.com

A new class of first year students has begun their academic semester at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and a new crop of leaders is starting a new chapter in the neighborhood as well. Dr. Scott Rudes is Booker T.’s new principal; Tara Green started this summer as president of Klyde Warren Park; Doug Curtis is the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s new president and CEO; and The Dallas Opera welcomes its new music director, Emmanuel Villaume. Maestro Villaume will begin his inaugural season with Carmen on Friday, October 25, at the Winspear. The performance will be simulcast free in Klyde Warren Park – complete with a costume contest and singalong. Park visitors can also enjoy food and drink from the Park’s new restaurant, Savor, and their grab-and-go kiosk, Relish – both opening soon.

Courtesy of Dallas Opera

Courtesy of Dallas Opera

There’s far more to share, including new seasons of the Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Shakespeare Dallas, as well as newcomer Oral Fixation’s true storytelling series. You can enjoy a Pearl Cup Coffee or free Patio Sessions concerts in Sammons Park. To stay up-to-date on all the goings-on in our neighborhood, “Like” Dallas Arts District on Facebook, follow @DalArtsDistrict on Twitter, and subscribe to our weekly  e-blast here.

Thanks for supporting our new collaborative and inclusive programming, and I hope to see you soon in the Dallas Arts District!

Catherine Cuellar is the executive director of the Dallas Arts District.

Teacher Resources: Resourceful Recycling

Many educators have the gift of recycling materials into wonderful creations. If they do not already possess this genius, they quickly learn how to be resourceful with what they have around them. In C3, we defy all resource limitations when creating workshops and programming. Check out how we up-cycle materials in some of our hottest programs. I hope it inspires you!

Late Night Creativity Challenge

Creativity Challenges occur once a month on Late Night at the DMA. In these challenges, teams compete against each other using random materials to create an original work of art inspired by the collection. I have never once purchased materials for this program—all the creations come from leftovers and odd materials I find around the C3 Art Studio and my own personal closet.

Visitors celebrate the summer by creating games inspired by the collection.

Visitors celebrate the summer by creating games inspired by the collection.

Materials used: cups, scraps of paper, and pom pom balls

The first Miss America pageant happened in the 1920's which was the focus of the DMA's special exhibition Youth and Beauty. Visitors had to walk the stage in their gowns and participate in a question and answer portion to become the next Miss DMA.

Visitors create gowns to become the next Miss DMA in conjunction with a special exhibition.

Materials used: toilet paper from the DMA Operations team, tape, cling wrap, and blue reflective paper

C3 Adult Workshops

The Open Studio, C3 Artistic Encounters, and Think Creatively allow adults to experience art in new ways.  These workshops are led by staff or local contemporary artists, who share the creative process and lead visitors through an art making experience.

Alternate identities

Alternate identities workshop.

Materials used: rail board and staples

Self-Portraits!

Guest artist Martin Delabano showed what can be created with scraps of wood.

Materials used: wood, hot glue, beads and pipe cleaners

Collage workshop with guest artist Margaret Meehan.

Collage workshop with guest artist Margaret Meehan.

Materials used: Magazines, card stock, and yarn

Urban Armor

Our teens join us for monthly Urban Armor workshops where we take a closer look at the Museum’s collection and then create original works of art using advanced techniques in the Tech Lab.

Conceptual Weaving project where materials were chosen to represent a certain thought. Our teen's word  was playful.

Conceptual Weaving project where materials were chosen to represent a certain thought. This teen’s word was playful.

Materials used: cardboard, assorted collage materials, twine

Studio Creations

Visitors can discover a different activity each month by exploring how artists see the world through the our collection. After time looking at works of art in the gallery, visitors create their own art project in our studio every Saturday and Sunday.

What happens when you leave your artwork behind?

What happens when you leave your artwork behind?

You guessed it--Found Object Sculptures!

You guessed it–Found Object Sculptures!

Materials used: Old and abandoned art work, cardboard, and assorted collage materials

Life size recreation of our city!

Life size recreation of our city!

Materials used: boxes, paper, and tape

The Art Spot

Even if we are not having a program, you can still make original works of art in C3 at the Art Spot! We provide materials and tools everyday for visitors to drop by and create!

Visitors created family portraits inspired by a work of art in C3.

Visitors created family portraits inspired by a work of art in C3.

Materials used: Paper and tape

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Office supplies to inspire the creative process!

Materials used: File folder tabs and clear tape

Jim Hodges, Changing Things, 1997, Dallas Museum of Art, Mary Margaret Munson Wilcox Fund and gift of Catherine and Will Rose, Howard Rachofsky, Christopher Drew and Alexandra May, and Martin Posner and Robyn Menter-Posner

Doesn’t this last creation look inspired by the new Jim Hodges work on view? Drop by and see more amazing creations when the exhibition opens on October 6!

How do you reuse your materials? Remember: Before you purchase supplies, see if you can transform the materials you already have. We would love to see the work that you create with the objects all around you.

Amanda Batson
C3 Program Coordinator

Getting Ready to Give More

We have just under two weeks until we open the U.S. premiere of a major traveling exhibition, Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take . The exhibition is an exciting one not only because it is the first comprehensive retrospective of Hodge’s career in the U.S. but also because it is co-organized by the Museum and the DMA’s senior curator of special projects & research, Jeffrey Grove.

The nearly eighty works on display in the exhibition consist of hundreds of items, from brass chains to denim, from napkins to head scarves, from silk flowers to light bulbs. If you passed by the DMA’s Barrel Vault during a recent visit, you may have seen some of the detailed installation, which began in early September. Get an up-close look at the installation below, and mark your calendars to meet Jim Hodges on October 3 during a special Artist Talk at the DMA!

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A Passion for Pachyderms

Little-known fact: September 22 is Elephant Appreciation Day. I’ll bet you haven’t celebrated it before! Well, here at the DMA, we love elephants. Dumbo, Babar, Horton–they’re all great examples of lovable elephants, but our favorite elephants live on the third floor of the Museum.

Shrine, late 18th-19th century, silver over wood, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation

Shrine, India, Gujarat, late 18th-19th century, silver over wood, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation

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This shrine was most likely used in a private home or chapel in India. Notice the intricate details on the elephants and their riders. This particular shrine is made of carved wood and covered with hammered sheet silver using a technique called repoussé. First, designs are created by hammering into the reverse side of a malleable metal. Then, the design is refined by chasing or embossing, to really get those little details to come to life.

I asked a few DMA staffers to take a good look at the shrine and then imagine what it would be like to be a part of the artwork. This is an activity that anyone can do at the DMA at our Pop-Up Art Spot around the Museum! If you haven’t already dropped by, make sure you do the next time you’re here. There are many different activities that can be done while you are in the galleries. Check out these talented drawings made at the shrine earlier this week!

Emma Vernon, Manager of the DMA Partners Program, drew herself traveling through Nepal on a very festive elephant!
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McDermott Intern Madeleine Fitzgerald drew herself into the picture.
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Sitting alongside a monkey is McDermott Intern Amy Elms.
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Our Exhibitions Graphic Designer, Kevin Parmer, chose to do his drawing in black and white.
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McDermott Intern Hayley Prihoda shows that anything is possible with her whimsical elephant.

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The next time you’re at the Museum, stop by a Pop-Up Art Spot and have some fun! It is open from noon to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the weekends. Also, be sure to come by and show the elephants in the shrine your appreciation!
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Hayley Dyer is the Audience Relations Coordinator for Programming at the DMA.


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