Archive for November, 2013



Docents in Motion

The DMA has over 100 docents who lead tours for visitors of all ages. Our docents are here every Monday for training from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Their training sessions are led by the DMA’s curators as well as outside speakers, and topics include both our permanent collection and special exhibitions. Some of our docents have been part of the docent family for 43 years, while others have been with us for only three months.

I have the pleasure of spending every Monday afternoon with our fifteen funny, smart, and dedicated new docents. Since September, the new docents have been learning how to teach with works of art. Each week, we immerse ourselves in the DMA collection with experiences ranging from how to look at a painting to imagining a text message exchange between two portraits.

This week, the new docents had their first introduction to our American galleries. I divided the docents into 3 groups and each group was assigned to a landscape painting. Their task was to recreate the painting using only their bodies. My ambitious group went one better–they created sound and movements, too!  I couldn’t resist sharing the videos I filmed of their performances.

Annette, Charlie, Debi, Evan, and Lauren did an interpretive dance for Georgia O’Keeffe’s Gray Blue & Black-Pink Circle.


 
Barbara, David, Devika, and Felix animated Marsden Hartley’s Mountains, no. 19.


 
Ali, Art, Flo, and Stephanie re-interpreted Frederic Church’s The Icebergs.


 
The next time you’re in the DMA galleries, try to create your own tableau vivant for one of our masterpieces.

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

State of the Arts: Rising Talent—Three Artists/Three Questions

This Thursday, November 21, at 7:30 p.m., the Dallas Museum of Art will feature three local artists in conversation about the art scene in the Metroplex. We asked them each a question about their work before they take the stage on Thursday!

Photo by Michael A. Muller

Photo by Michael A. Muller

Sarah Jaffe, musician
What is your favorite venue to play at in the Metroplex and which performance there stands out in your mind?
I have a few that I’m quite partial to. I love Sons of Hermann Hall. I haven’t played there in quite some time but played a lot of memorable shows there. I’m partial to Club Dada as well because I played my very first shows in that club. But my favorite venue is The Granada. I remember the very first time I played that theater almost eight years ago. Then I remember six years later selling it out for my first time. It was an incredible night for me and my band members. The crowd was full of energy. It was a celebratory night.

walters
Steven Walters, actor, Dallas Theater Center, and founder, Second Thought Theatre
You’ve been working in the Dallas theater scene for a while now, including founding Second Thought Theatre. How has Dallas and the local community influenced your work?
I truly love this city. I cut my teeth here. Dallas is a city of “Doers.” From my point of view, it’s a fundamental part of the culture of the Big D—we get stuff done. Sometimes though, in the process of getting things done and driving toward our goals, we Dallasites don’t take the time to stop and take stock. Second Thought Theatre was founded, in part, in response to this characteristic. STT’s mission essentially says, Stop what you’re doing for an hour or two, and let us tell you a story. We’ll make you think about your life and your community. Sometimes we’ll make you laugh, and other times we’ll make you question your ideas. But it’ll always be a changing experience. And after the show’s done, you can take it with you into your day to day life, or you can leave it at the theater until the next time you come see us. I’ve always been in a dialogue with this city through my work at Second Thought Theatre.

Brucestraightonb&w
Bruce Wood, founder, Bruce Wood Dance Project
You draw inspiration from many avenues, and Texas has influenced you in many ways and is seen through many of your pieces, including “Dust” and “Texas.” Can you tell us a bit about how Texas has influenced your artistic vision?
I grew up in a part of Texas where you could see twenty miles in any direction. I think of it as beautiful. I consider that my land. I know it has shaped my aesthetic, because it shaped me. My work is spare and free from artifice. I love empty space in a dance. I don’t feel compelled to fill all of the space with dance. It’s okay to leave some room for the dance to breathe. I am also okay with stillness, which is ironic considering the form is about movement, but stillness gives movement importance. If you want to make a movement important, you surround it by stillness. I’m from Texas. I have found that I grow better in empty spaces with big skies; bright, dazzling, relentless sun; and winds that just rip across the land. I wouldn’t be the same and the work would not be the same. It’s really that simple.

Join us on Thursday evening to learn more about our guests and perhaps draw a little inspiration.

Note: Some answers have been edited for space.

Liz Menz is the manager of adult programming at the DMA.

Museum Mustaches for Movember

It’s that time of year—the leaves are starting to change colors, the weather is getting cooler, and men everywhere are starting to grow mustaches.

We are getting close to the halfway point of the monthlong event of Movember, in which men give their razors a break to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer.

In honor of this great month, and because I am a woman and cannot grow a ‘stache, I’ve included images of my favorite mustachioed men currently on view at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Rafael Ximeno y Planes, The Silversmith Jose Maria Rodallega, c. 1795, oil on canvas, Lent by Felipe Siegel, Anna and Andres Siegel

Rafael Ximeno y Planes, The Silversmith Jose Maria Rodallega, c. 1795, oil on canvas, Lent by Felipe Siegel, Anna and Andres Siegel

Jose Maria Rodallega, one of Mexico’s most famous silversmiths, is sporting first-week-of-Movember stubble in the Spanish Colonial Gallery on Level 4.

Jerry Bywaters, Share Cropper, 1937, oil on Masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, Allied Arts Civic Prize, Eighth Annual Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition, 1937

Jerry Bywaters, Share Cropper, 1937, oil on Masonite, Dallas Museum of Art, Allied Arts Civic Prize, Eighth Annual Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition, 1937

Also on Level 4 is Jerry Bywaters’ Share Cropper, who is sporting a patchy week 2 mustache, but don’t tell him I said that.

Pablo Picasso, The Guitarist, 1965, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Art Museum League Fund

Pablo Picasso, The Guitarist, 1965, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Art Museum League Fund

Is there a mustache in Pablo Picasso’s The Guitarist? Check out this crazy cubist painting on Level 2 and decide for yourself.

Virabhadra, Karnataka or Kerala, India, 16th–17th century, stone, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Alvin and David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation in memory of Colonel Alvin M. Owsley, with the assistance of the Wendover Fund

Virabhadra, Karnataka or Kerala, India, 16th–17th century, stone, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Alvin and David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation in memory of Colonel Alvin M. Owsley, with the assistance of the Wendover Fund

The Hindu god Shiva is seen on Level 3 in a warlike form as Virabhadra. He has a perfectly groomed mustache fit for a god, and he gets bonus points for the super cool hat.

Charles Webster Hawthorne, The Fish and the Man, 1925, oil on canvas affixed to composition board, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase

Charles Webster Hawthorne, The Fish and the Man, 1925, oil on canvas affixed to composition board, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase

Check out this epic mustache found on Level 4! Maybe by the end of Movember, many men will have a mustache as amazing as this Cape Cod fisherman’s.

Frida Kahlo, Itzicuintli Dog with Me, c. 1938, oil on canvas, Lent by Private Collection

Frida Kahlo, Itzicuintli Dog with Me, c. 1938, oil on canvas, Lent by Private Collection

Oh, Frida. You are the only woman I know who can rock a mustache! You go girl!

You can learn more about Movember and how to donate to men’s health programs by visiting the Movember Foundation’s website.

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

Come to the DMA and Play!

The C3 adults are at it again and this time they didn’t spare one ounce of fun! C3 offers a variety of programming for adults on Thursdays, when our visitors have the opportunity to have hands-on experiences with art and artists, be social, and experiment with materials. Think Creatively, one of our popular programs, allows visitors to dig deeper into certain aspects of creative thinking.

Think Creatively on November 7 was designed around the theme of play and how it helps adults enhance their thinking and learning. Dr. Magdalena Grohman and I decided to ask our participants to step out of their comfort zone and participate in a TASK party. TASK parties, originally designed by artist Oliver Herring, are improvised events with loose structure and minimal rules.
 


 
We set up the C3 Studio in a way that would promote playful experimentation, fun, and artful self expression. Varieties of materials were placed on worktables around the studio: paper, boxes, tape, sticks, and even toilet paper! The rules were simple: take a TASK from the TASK pool in the center of the room and do what it says. Then when a TASK is completed, write a new TASK and put it into the pool and get another one. Simple as that!

There were a set amount of tasks already created with an intent to promote play and participation from the same perspective as Mildred Parten. Parten studied social play in children and suggested that there are six types of play:

  • Unoccupied play: the child is relatively stationary and appears to be performing random movements with no apparent purpose. A relatively infrequent style of play.
  • Solitary play: the child is completely engrossed in playing and does not seem to notice other children. Most often seen in children between 2 and 3 years-old.
  • Onlooker play: the child takes an interest in other children’s play but does not join in. May ask questions or just talk to other children, but the main activity is simply to watch.
  • Parallel play: the child mimics other children’s play but doesn’t actively engage with them. For example, they may use the same toy.
  • Associative play: children are now more interested in each other rather than the toys they are using. This is the first category that involves strong social interaction between children while they play.
  • Cooperative play: some organization enters children’s play, for example the playing has some goal and children often adopt roles and act as a group.

We knew that anything could happen—and it sure did!

Task Pool

Task Pool

Task: Build a fort for a cat

Task: Build a fort for a cat

Task: Tell someone in the museum a secret

Task: Tell someone in the museum a secret

Working away!

Working away!

Visitors at play

Visitors at play

Task: Draw a portrait

Task: Draw a portrait

Task: Create a Mask

Task: Create a Mask

Don’t miss our next Think Creatively workshop on December 5, 2013. If you are reading this post and are interested in attending for 50% off–click here and enter the special code: CANVAS.

Amanda Batson
C3 Program Coordinator

Creating the DMA Conservation Studio

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In the summer of 2012, the Dallas Museum of Art began making plans to renovate the former Seventeen Seventeen Restaurant space and transform it into a new Paintings Conservation Studio as part of the Museum’s initiative to establish a more comprehensive in-house conservation program. Construction began in the fall of 2012, and the studio is now complete, as is the adjacent Conservation Gallery. This time-lapse film captures the building process, as seen from the vantage point of what is now a public gallery space.

The Paintings Conservation Studio features state-of-the-art technology—including a digital X-ray system—and will serve as a center for the study and treatment of works of art, as well as research into cutting-edge conservation methodologies. Brightened with natural light from new skylights and enclosed by glass walls, the studio’s design will allow visitors to observe daily activity, providing audiences with a singular behind-the-scenes experience. Activities in the studio also will be visible from both the Conservation Gallery and the adjacent outdoor Rose Family Sculpture Terrace.

The first exhibition in the gallery, Behind the Scenes, highlights the artists’ original materials and techniques, as well as the conservation histories of the works on display, exploring the various treatments they have undergone. This adjoining gallery will regularly rotate works, providing a space to explore the conservation process in greater detail through visual representations.

photo

Mark Leonard is the chief conservator at the DMA.

Rooms Within Rooms – Stephen Lapthisophon

Stephen Lapthisophon shared with “Uncrated” what he hoped visitors would see and take from his exhibition Concentrations 56: Stephen Lapthisophon—coffee, seasonal fruit, root vegetables, and “Selected Poems,” currently on view at the DMA.
Stephen_Lapthisophon_Studio_2013_066 - Copy

This is an exhibition that can be approached in many ways. It is an exhibition about how we approach the art. How our bodies move through space, and the things, materials, and stuff we carry around with us. It is a show about closeness and distance. The exhibition is divided into two distinct but related rooms. And rooms and walls within rooms. And boxes and drawers and suitcases within the rooms and underneath the drawers. The layers of accumulated dirt, marks, stains, scrapes, and scratches are an invitation to stay. I hope the works ask you to ask questions.

Pencils, ink, cardboard, olive oil, and rust. Bacon fat, spray paint, sheetrock, nails, bricks, rosemary, and books. String, coffee, eggshells, dirt, wax, saffron, and more dirt. A desk, a ladder, and books. This exhibition exists in tribute. Reading, thinking, and acting through and with things. “Denken ist Danken.”

Before the opening, Lapthisophon sat down with us to discuss his art and process. Find out more in the video below:

What did you feel and think after visiting “Concentrations 56: Stephen Lapthisophon”?

Stephen Lapthisophon is an artist and educator.

Friday Photos: Art of the Smoothie

Working at the DMA, we are constantly surrounded by amazing artists and beautiful works of art. Passing through the galleries on a regular basis, it is no wonder that some of us have become very taken by the art objects we see, slowly integrating them into our daily lives.

These days, many DMA educators have jumped on the green smoothie bandwagon! Walking by so many tasty-looking paintings filled with fruits and veggies (especially around lunchtime) has been a quirky inspiration to many of us in our quest for health and the perfect green smoothie. There is a kale-idoscope of smoothie-worthy produce to see in the DMA galleries!

Our collection has many still life paintings that were originally very popular with collectors in Europe and the United States because they nicely complemented the grand interiors of luxurious homes newly built on the east coast. These paintings showcase the same delicious fruits and veggies that many of us use in our breakfast or lunchtime smoothies. Check out some of the inspirations for our blended green concoctions and then visit the collection to see how many fresh garden goods you can find to add to your green smoothie grocery list!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Make your own sweet pear smoothie inspired by Allport’s Still Life with Fruit:

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 cups spinach, fresh
2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
4 pears
1 banana
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend spinach and almond milk until smooth. Next add the remaining fruits and blend again. Top with cinnamon.

Check out Simple Green Smoothies for more artful smoothies!

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist


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