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!
chihuly
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.
tlaloc

kelly
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.
buren
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

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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.

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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

Streusel:

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

Muffins:

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

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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15

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What is Accessibility?

The DMA, as well as other museums and cultural institutions across the country, have been tackling this question in the hopes of creating environments that are safe, open, and comfortable for a wide variety of people. Primarily, accessibility is thought of as a physical construct: a museum is deemed accessible if it holds no physical barriers to entry. Ramps, elevators and similar architectural structures are essential components for accessibility, providing individuals with and without mobility issues easy entry into any type of building. Removing physical boundaries is a key first step towards addressing the accessibility question.

A family participating in an Autism Awareness Family Celebration at the DMA

A family participating in an Autism Awareness Family Celebration at the DMA

But then what? How does accessibility extend inside museum walls? Museums strive to ensure that their collections, programs, and services are accessible to all audiences, often by providing diverse educational programs that cater to visitors of varying abilities. When we think about teaching at the DMA, we think about inclusive experiences that are open to everyone, regardless of a person’s ability. While making learning experiences at the DMA open and accessible to all is important, we also believe that designing individualized experiences for a range of needs is important too. And we hope these special programs raise the awareness that art is for everyone, though some visitors may need to work in different ways to see and enjoy it.

Meaningful Moments participants in the gallery

Meaningful Moments participants in the gallery

Our Access Programs provide these individualized experiences for visitors with special needs. Interactive gallery experiences and hands-on art making opportunities are available for adults with developmental disabilities as part of our partnership with The Arc of Dallas, as well as for adults with dementia and their care partners during our Meaningful Moments monthly program. For families and visitors with autism spectrum disorders, we organize a specialized summer art camp for children as well as Autism Awareness Family Celebrations throughout the year. These multi-sensory programs and events involve tactile opportunities and art-making activities that enable visitors of varying abilities to discover and appreciate artists and their works of art. During the month of October, we participate in Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month and focus on helping visitors enjoy art using senses beyond eyesight.

John Bramblitt talking about his works of art to summer campers

Artist John Bramblitt talking about his works of art to summer campers

The DMA is an Art Beyond Sight Partner and is proud to have participated in programming for Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month each October since 2007. Composed of leading institutions in 35 states and 25 countries, Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month is an outreach effort dedicated to promoting art education for people with vision impairment and building an inclusive society with improved access for all. This year, we were excited to expand our offerings to include programs for adults.

John leading a homeschool class for ABS month in the DMA's galleries

John leading a homeschool class in the galleries

Artist John Bramblitt joined several ABS programs this month to talk about his process as a blind painter. Our October First Tuesday was focused on the senses and the Museum’s youngest visitors had the chance to immerse themselves in a sensory experience in Arturo’s Nest, our space for children under the age of four. John led Studio Creations in early October to kick-off a month of ABS-themed weekend art-making. He also led this month’s Meaningful Moments for visitors with Alzheimer’s disease and he will close our month of experiences by teaching our homeschool class. In our Arturo’s Art and Me class for children aged 3-5, kids got to paint in the dark to experience sightless painting and our Arc participants had the chance to wear blindfolds to paint with their fingers!

Visitors experience John Bramblitt's Sightless Painting activity

Visitors experience John’s Sightless Painting activity

In addition to these experiences, John led a public gallery talk for adults, during which he shared images of his artwork, talked about his process, and provided insights into his subject matter. And during Late Night last Friday, John teamed up with Stephen Lapthisophon in an artist’s lecture. Both artists have visual impairment, and both approach painting in a completely different way.

John’s process is very detailed and planned out, with various techniques that he employs for raised lines. John uses raised lines to sketch the base of his drawing first – some of the lines are raised for only a short period of time while others remain raised to allow John to feel the contours of his drawing for a longer amount of time. After he drafts his lines, John adds many, many layers of paint. For Stephen on the other hand, art-making is a social art and isn’t highly technical.

Both artists have varied creative inputs as well. Much of John’s artwork is representational and a reflection of an internalization of his sensory world, while Stephen’s artwork is more about the experience of his senses as he is creating (often with food and text) which could be a reflection of society and the associations of his materials. Each artist spoke a bit about his process and then each had the chance to sit down for a conversation together before taking questions from the audience. The artists had the chance to ask questions of one another and it was interesting to hear them contrast their processes and to get their takes on how other senses play a strong role in their own art. This program was an opportunity for visitors with visual impairment to meet and talk with John and Stephen. The lecture ended with a woman who has been blind for five years asking advice from the artists about her own art. Each artist gave her some ideas and encouragement before meeting with her after the lecture to continue the conversation.

Visitors with vision impairment talking with John Bramblitt and Stephen Lapthisophon after their Late Night artist lecture

Visitors with vision impairment talking with John and Stephen after their Late Night artist lecture

The Access Programs offered by the DMA are essential components in creating welcoming, accessible environments, but there is still more to be done. What other types of resources can and should be made available to visitors?  Let us know what you think and be sure to check back in the future as we delve deeper into this matter.

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Amanda Blake
Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences

Permanent Waves and Lipstick Craves

When my husband, Bryan, unexpectedly told me that he had redeemed the Art Beauty Shoppe reward from the DMA Friends program, I could hardly contain my “blow-your-wig” (check out other 1930s lingo) excitement. Bryan and I are in love with the DMA. We are both researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and its close proximity to the Museum allows us to easily enjoy lunch breaks and late night events in one of our favorite places. I was particularly surprised that he had used his points because we were trying to redeem a voucher for the coveted Overnight at the DMA, which takes 100,000 points. (I was actually able to redeem it for us—see you there on November 1!).

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Lacey (second from right); her husband, Bryan; her friends; and Pouf stylists

With the Art Beauty Shoppe reward, three of my friends and I were able to have our hair and makeup done in 1930s style and then have photos taken in front of the DMA’s 1934 painting Art Beauty Shoppe by Isaac Soyer. Pouf Blow Dry Salon accommodated the four of us just as if we were the four customers in the painting.

I was elated to get to share my love of the DMA with some of my friends in such a “swell” way. So I gave my friends, Amanda, Stephanie, and Katrina, a “dil-ya-ble” and we hit the Internet and antique malls to find the perfect vintage-style dresses to wear for the occasion.

Friends_Reward_Beauty_Shoppe_09_2013_052

Bryan had the idea of adding props to make us look as if we were actually sitting in the salon, waiting for our appointment. He found a spring 1934 edition of Women’s Home Companion for us to peruse. I could “bump gums” for hours on that magazine alone, but I digress.

Lacey with her vintage copy of Women's Home Companion

Lacey with her vintage copy of Women’s Home Companion

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Amanda was able to find a 1930s cigarette holder, Stephanie brought tons of “snazzy” 1930s-era costume jewelry, and, with the addition of my red hat and mirror, we knew we were going to look like a group of “hot tomatoes.”

Lacey with her red hat

Lacey with her red hat

Amanda with her cigarette holder (don't worry, there were no cigarettes!)

Amanda with her cigarette holder (don’t worry, there were no cigarettes!)

The day of the photo shoot went off with a “bang”! We had quite the “hop.” The ladies from Pouf did an amazing job. They even saved the day when Katrina’s hair hadn’t quite dried enough—she ended up with quite a cool up-do. With our “keen” makeup and “nobby” hair, we posed our hearts out in front of the compelling painting. It was so much fun!

Katrina with her updo

Katrina with her up-do

Stephanie with the vintage mirror

Stephanie with the vintage mirror

Then, to top it off, Sarah Coffey—DMA assistant to the chair of learning initiatives, and organizer of the event—wasn’t going to take back stage or “goldbrick” around. She gave us a history of the painting and style of the time period. What I found most interesting was that not only did Soyer have his friends pose for the painting, but the granddaughter of the woman with the red hat actually spoke to the Museum about the piece. She informed them that her grandmother had just been engaged to her grandfather prior to sitting for the painting, and you can actually see her engagement ring while her nails are being painted a bright red. It’s so fascinating that each piece in the DMA’s collection has its own unique and interesting human history. Thank you so much Dallas Museum of Art for bringing this piece to life for me during such a wonderful experience!

Lacey Smith is a DMA Friend and researcher at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Friday Photos: Work Pals on the Job!

In an effort to build relationships, mutual understanding and internal support, the Education Division decided to institute work pals. Check out some of the new confidants and buddies that have been formed by just drawing names from a hat! Think about ways that you can boost morale, have fun, and establish these types of working relationships in your workplace.workpal

Work pals Rhiannon and Amanda love sending notes of encouragement and fun gifts throughout the week. Rhiannon is our Volunteer Coordinator and Amanda is the C3 Program Coordinator.

amandaandandi

Amanda, Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences, and Andrea, Interpretation Specialist, bond by grabbing a cup of joe. They make the perfect work pals! Amanda said, “something I found out about Andrea is that she loves color, interior design, and I am super impressed by her crafting abilities. She is making all of the bouquets and centerpieces for her upcoming wedding! We of course both love dogs and talked about a future work pal dog date!”

leahmelissa

These two share a love for family and togetherness! Melissa, C3 Gallery Manager, and Leah, Manager of Early Learning Programs, really enjoy their time together exploring the collection!

Amy and Amelia

McDermott Interns Amy and Amelia have been spending a lot of quality time with Wendell, our Jazz in the Atrium Program Coordinator. Amy and Amelia are planning to shadow Wendell during Jazz in the Atrium and learn all about what he does in the Adult Programming department. These two admire Wendell and say that he is a very funny and humble man.

staceydani

Our Head of Adult Programming and our Teaching Specialist decided to get to know each other better while they attended the State Fair of Texas during our annual Education Fair Day. Stacey and Danielle give a big thumbs up as they said howdy to our very own Big Tex!

Sarah and Hayley

And here’s Sarah, Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives, and McDermott Intern Hayley, also enjoying the State Fair of Texas! They tried the 2013 Big Tex Choice Award Winner for Most Creative: Fried Thanksgiving Dinner. They also discovered that they are both Anglophiles who love the Royal Family. But while Sarah dreamed of marrying Prince William, Haley had her eyes on Prince Harry!

Here are a few suggestions to do with your work pal:

  • Meet for coffee/tea to learn more about your duties or role.
  • Brainstorm together on future projects–It’s a great opportunity to gain a fresh perspective.
  • Send each other encouraging emails or handwritten notes!
  • Shadow each other for a few hours to gain more knowledge of your respective positions.
  • Take some tips from my co-workers by getting to know one another and having a little fun on the job!

Amanda Batson
C3 Program Coordinator


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