Archive for October, 2013

A Rainy DMA Day

As a native Texan, it is ingrained in me to celebrate the rain whenever it decides to appear. As a child, I thought rainy days should be treated like snow days – with a day off from school!If you are like me and struggle with being productive on those rare rainy days in Dallas, I encourage you to play hooky and view the DMA’s collection in a new (darker and stormier) light. Below are my two favorite places at the DMA to celebrate Mother Nature’s greatest performance in Texas – a fall shower!
The Level 4 landing outside the Ancient American Art Galleries is the #1 spot in my opinion. You can observe a storm rolling in through the large window framed by our Dale Chihuly glass sculpture, Hart Window, or sit down in the corner windows with a friend and watch the raindrops fall on the trees.
corner window
This location is perfect because it is next to the head of the rain god Tlaloc. Among the cultures of Central Mexico during the 14th to 16th century, Tlaloc controlled rain, lightning, and thunder. According to DMA legend, every time Tlaloc is disturbed, rain will follow. It’s only fitting that the best seat in the house to watch a rainstorm would be right next to him! Find out more about Tlaloc and his rain powers on the DMA’s smartphone tour.

Another great spot to watch the rain is by the DMA’s Sculpture Garden. If you are prepared for the weather, walking around the garden during a light drizzle is quite lovely. But if you’d like to stay dry, I suggest sitting underneath Daniel Buren’s Sanction of the Museum, outside the Hoffman Galleries in the Concourse.
Perching here gives you a beautiful view of Ellsworth Kelly’s stainless steel piece Untitled as the water runs down its sides. Plus, with all the raindrops on the window you can pretend you’re outside instead of warm and cozy and surrounded by contemporary art!
sculpture garden
If you’ve been lucky enough to catch a rainstorm here at the DMA, leave a comment and tell us your favorite rainy day art spots.

Madeleine Fitzgerald is the McDermott Education Intern for Adult Programming and Arts & Letters Live at the DMA.

Teacher Resource: Beyond the Meme


January 2011

What’s a meme? The word meme comes from the Ancient Greek words mīmēma, meaning “imitated thing,” and mimeisthai, meaning “to imitate.” Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins introduced the term as a way to describe the spread of ideas and culture. Dawkins considered memes to be things such as melodies, catch-phrases, fashion, and the technology of building arches. Internet memes are similar in that they are a form of culture that spreads, however, they are purposefully altered over time and may exist in a variety of formats (image, text, hashtag, video, or gif). One of the most familiar internet memes may be Condescending Wonka. Take a look at how this meme has been altered over time:

While internet memes are creative and fun, we can push our students to use technology and social media in a more artistic way. Many of them are already using these technologies, so it’s just about giving them a little direction and guidance to go beyond their clever memes and explore their artistry in a 21st century style. Here are a couple of lessons that use Instagram as a way to explore this idea of creating and sharing digital art.

Insta Appropriation

Memes can be a fun, relevant tie in to the idea of appropriation in art history. Start a lesson discussing Andy Warhol, Sherrie Levine, or Richard Prince, then compare their processes to current memes. Let students discuss how these are the same or different. Using Instagram, take and share a photo. Let the students take turns appropriating your image, almost like a game of visual telephone. Each student will appropriate the previous student’s image, modifying it slightly. You can use a hashtag to keep track of the images submitted. A few of the DMA education staff members tried this out using the hashtag #DMAofficeAPPROPRIATION. Take a look at how our images transformed over time.

Day in the Life

This is a great way to talk about the history of photography, and specifically documentary photography. You can discuss how cameras and access to cameras have changed over time and what that means for the visual record of a culture. In the late 1800’s, few people had cameras, taking a photograph was a time-consuming endeavor, and the amount of photos taken was small in comparison to today. Now, almost everyone has a camera (on their phone) or access to one, and little time and skill are required to capture a moment. Challenge your students to become documentary photographers and really consider how the photos they take of themselves are a representation of them. Each student should take one photo a day that gives a peak into the lives they lead. This project could last anywhere from a week to a semester! Encourage students to use the hashtag #DITL followed by their last name. For example, Danielle used the tag #DITLschulz and I used the tag #DITLfuentes to document each of our lives. Take a look at some of our images:

Find us at TAEA

Want to learn more about this topic and get more lesson plan ideas? Danielle Schulz and I are presenting at this year’s Texas Art Education Association’s annual conference. The conference will be held in Dallas next month, so make sure you register soon!  Our presentation is Saturday November 23rd at 1:00 pm–we hope to see you there!

Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Coordinator

Hocus Pocus

Halloween is just around the corner and it has us seeing haunting references in works at the DMA and treats throughout the Museum’s galleries. Tell us which works cause you to have a hair-raising Museum visit.

Honoring Luc Tuymans and TWO x TWO

This year marks the 15th anniversary of TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art, the annual contemporary art auction held at The Rachofsky House benefitting the Dallas Museum of Art and amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. As a part of TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art 2013, the renowned Belgian artist, Luc Tuymans, will receive the amfAR Award of Excellence for Artistic Contributions to the Fight Against AIDS this weekend, in recognition of his generosity and support of amfAR’s programs. In 2009, the Dallas Museum of Art presented Tuymans’ first retrospective of paintings in the United States, and he has since become one of the most significant artists of his generation with work represented in the world’s most important public and private collections.

Tuymans’ work draws on the historical traditions of Northern European art, as well as photography, television, and cinema, to capture the human condition of the late 20th and 21st centuries. Tuymans is best-known for examining the memory traces of trauma, specifically focusing on politically-charged topics like, the Holocaust, the American response to 9/11, and Belgium’s controversial role in post-colonial Congo.

Luc Tuymans, The Man From Wiels II, 2008, oil on canvas, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

Luc Tuymans, The Man From Wiels II, 2008, oil on canvas, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

In The Man From Wiels II, Tuymans explores issues of history and memory, as well as the relationship between photography and painting. This painting was purchased in 2009 with funds from the DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction and is currently on view, along with Tuymans’ Mirror, at the DMA.

Meg Smith is the contemporary art curatorial administrative assistant at the DMA

Friday Photos: The Art of Sahrawi Hospitality

Last month, I wrote a blog post about a project the DMA co-led with MAPMake Art With Purpose, an organization that seeks to transform the world in positive ways. I can personally attest that my world was positively impacted by our community partnership program with AVANCE – Dallas, and through collaborating with MAP’s founder Janeil Engelstad and speaking with her about the impressive and inspiring work that MAP is supporting throughout DFW and around the world.

MAP 2013 – a festival and exhibition of social practice projects – launched October 1 and extends through November 24, 2013. Some of the C3 staff took a walk through downtown to visit one of the MAP projects called The Art of Sahrawi Hospitality. This project was inspired by artist Robin Kahn’s month-long visit with Sahrawi families living in the Tindouf Refugee Camps and within the “Liberated Territory” of Western Sahara.

From October 16-20, any and all passersby could enter a large traditional Sahrawi tent and experience Sahrawi hospitality firsthand with Kahn and six Sahrawi women. Inside the tent, the women women were talking, dancing to traditional music, serving tea, and applying henna tattoos.  Susan, Amanda, and I each got tattoos on our hands.

right entrance

entrance to tent

entrance to tent

entrance to tent

Najat prepares the stencil and henna ink for tattoos.

Najat prepares the stencil and henna ink for tattoos.

Susan and Najat chat as Susan gets her henna tattoo.

Susan and Najat chat as Susan gets her henna tattoo.

The tent was constructed with beautiful traditional fabric.

The tent was constructed with beautiful traditional fabric.

Najat prepares the tea.

Najat prepares the tea.


A friendly camel greets you inside the tent.

This wonderful project has already ended, but please check out the other MAP events and programs scheduled through November 24 on MAP’s online calendar.

Melissa Gonzales
C3 Gallery Manager

Culinary Canvas: Bacon Streusel Muffins

This month’s recipe is inspired by Francis Bacon, whose birthday is on October 28. Walking Figure, the DMA’s only work by Bacon, evokes a sense of ominous, eerie isolation, which is characteristic of his work and rather appropriate for this month of Halloween. But perhaps you might be wondering–how does this relate back to bacon bacon? Well, it may be hard to believe, but some people are still horrified to think of this breakfast meat as a salty sweet treat. So don’t be scared! Embrace Bacon in all its forms and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Francis Bacon, Walking Figure, 1959-1960, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Lambert, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. David Garrison

Francis Bacon, Walking Figure, 1959-1960, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Lambert, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. David Garrison

Bacon Streusel Muffins

Yields 48 mini muffins
Level: Easy


¼ cup flour
¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
¼ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


6 pieces of bacon
2 cups flour
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons bacon fat, room temperature
1 egg, beaten
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whiskey (optional)

Preheat oven to 400° F. Line small, rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Bacon: Spread bacon slices onto small metal rack and, if desired, sprinkle each side with a pinch of brown sugar. Bake 18-20 minutes, flipping slices half way through. Remove bacon from oven and transfer to paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons of fat. Once bacon has cooled, coarsely chop and set aside.

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

Streusel: Stir together flour, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Pour in melted butter and continue stirring with fork until mixture forms into small crumbs. Set aside.

Muffins: In medium bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together maple syrup, melted butter, bacon fat, and beaten egg. Add milk, vanilla, and whiskey to maple mixture and stir until combined.

Add maple mixture to flour mixture, stirring with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold bacon pieces into batter until evenly distributed.

Divide batter into muffin cups, using a tablespoon scoop to fill each cup ¾ full. Sprinkle streusel on top of batter.

Bake 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Note: Batter can be baked in regular muffin pans for approximately 15 minutes. If making larger muffins, add layer of streusel to middle of each muffin as described here.


bacon muffins

Recipe adapted from On Sugar Mountain.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

coffee, seasonal fruit, root vegetables, and “Selected Poems”

How do you install coffee, seasonal fruit, root vegetables, and “Selected Poems”? Below, get a sneak peek, including a look at works from the DMA’s contemporary collection, before the opening of Concentrations 56: Stephen Lapthisophon—coffee, seasonal fruit, root vegetables, and “Selected Poems” on Sunday.






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