Archive for December, 2013

A Year of Launches, Anniversaries, and Free at the DMA

The year 2013 has been an exciting one at the DMA. We’ve welcomed more than 540,000 visitors, launched new programs, and hosted 11 exhibitions. Below are a few of the Uncrated team’s favorite highlights from the past year.

      • Going free!
        We returned to free general admission on January 21 and have loved every minute of opening our doors for free to the North Texas community.
      • Getting more than 41,000 new friends
        In January we launched DMA Friends, the first free museum membership program, and our new friends have been earning points on their visits and redeeming them for unique rewards for almost 12 months!
      • DMA sleepover
        Speaking of unique rewards, we hosted our first DMA Overnight in November. Ten DMA Friends redeemed 100,000 points to spend the night at the Museum with a guest while exploring the galleries after hours, participating in new DMA games and sleeping under the watchful eyes of Tlaloc.
        Overnight Guests
      • C3 got a facelift
        Come by and see new works of art and activities for all ages in the front gallery of the Center for Creative Connections on Level 1.
      • A sky of denim
        The DMA co-organized exhibition Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take (on view through January 12!) is full of beautiful and interesting works of art, but we had the privilege of being the first venue to ever show his denim work Untitled (one day it all comes true). It was amazing getting to witness Jim Hodges viewing his completed work on display for the first time.
        hodges
      • Happy Anniversary!
        This was the year of anniversaries here at the DMA, including the 110th birthday of the DMA, the 80th anniversary of the Dallas Free Public Art Gallery becoming the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the 50th anniversary of the merger of the DMFA and DMCA, the 30th anniversary of the DMA Sculpture Garden opening, the 20th anniversary of the Hamon Building opening (which includes Level 4 and the Atrium), Arturo’s 10th birthday, and the 5th anniversary of C3.
      • From Greece to Dallas
        We had a year of amazing exhibitions, from a celebration of President Kennedy in Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy to the colorful world of Chagall’s sculptures, drawings and costumes in Chagall:Beyond Color, from the famous Discus Thrower from the British Museum in The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece to welcoming the local art community in DallasSITES: Available Space.
      • Art/Arte
        This fall we launched our first-ever bilingual (Spanish and English) guide for visitors, written by members of the Dallas community through a partnership program with AVANCE-Dallas and Make Art With Purpose. Pick one up at the Visitor Services Desk on your next visit.
      • Texas hops and barley
        This summer we had a Texas beer social for Museum staff and sampled brews that come from the Lone Star State. Uncrated team member Melissa Nelson Gonzales out- sipped the competition and won the beer tasting contest!
        beer
      • Eyes of the  Ancestors
        In June we celebrated the publication of our catalogue Eyes of the Ancestors: The Arts of Island Southeast Asia at the Dallas Museum of Art and welcomed special guest Dhalang Purbo Asmoro, who hosted a public gamelan and wayang performance with musicians from Java, Bali and New York. This month, the book was named the winner of the 2013 International Tribal Art Book Prize.
        Indonesian_Celebration_Wayang_Performance_2013_047
      • Creative rest stop
        We launched a new program this year, the Pop-Up Art Spot, taking C3 into the galleries and inviting visitors to enjoy a creative break while exploring the Museum. Over 12,000 visitors of all ages have participated in drawing, writing and other creative activities!
      • New digs
        In 2013 a portion of the south end of the building was under renovation for the new DMA Paintings Conservation Studio (watch the transition here). Visitors can see into the DMA’s Conservation Studio and explore the conservation process in the adjacent gallery for free during Museum hours. A recent conservation project, Daniel Buren’s Sanction of the Museum, hangs in the Concourse and leads the way to the studio.
        conservationburen
      • A Texas-size howdy!
        Our Visitor Services Team, which greets every guest of the DMA when they walk through our doors or visit the galleries, also got a makeover. You may have noticed their friendly smiles and new outfits during your visits this year.
        GA

Thank you for helping us make 2013 a great year. We wish you a very happy new year!

Kimberly Daniell is the manager of communications and public affairs at the DMA.

Organizing Your New Year

Organizing a museum art studio that is used by an entire education department can be truly difficult. It’s important to create a system for everyone to follow in order to avoid a chaotic mess of clutter and confusion! I’ve recently been dubbed the “Studio Fairy” and have been making it my New Year’s goal to implement a workable organization system that everyone in our Department can use.

Turn over a New Leaf in the New Year:

There is no possible way that everyone will understand your method without some gentle reminders. Make labels for everything! Every box, container, or project. Typed is more legible.

Label your cabinets!

Label your cabinets!

Pictures of where items belong inside cabinets are a great way for everyone to keep the studio organized.

Everyone knows where everything goes!

Everyone knows where everything goes!

Kind reminders never hurt. Tack up a few clever sayings around the studio to help.

Doesn't hurt to have reminders?

Doesn’t hurt to have reminders

Commit to sticking with it! Like exercise, to get the desired organized results you have to stick with it! And as we all know it is easier to do when everyone is on the same page. Be committed to staying clean and organized this new year! Build time in your schedule each day to place materials back in their nice, cozy home.

Sharing Solutions:

Countless individuals use the C3 Art Studio throughout the week, hosting over thirty programs a month in our space. It was imperative to find a solution for when we need to prepare materials for a workshop. In the past, materials would wander off, be put away randomly or even be thrown out because no one knew what belonged to a particular program and what didn’t. JC Bigornia and I decided we would put an end to the confusion, so we spray-painted our rolling carts with chalkboard paint. Now, staff can write the program and date on the cart and stash their materials safely. If the program has passed, our staff puts all the materials back in their proper place and erases what is written on the cart.

That Darn Emotional Attachment:

Most people attach deep meaning to projects that they’ve spent hours creating and developing. A lot of us are also hoarders to some degree and don’t want to let go of something we may “need” along the way. We can easily be consumed with stuff and become trapped under the weight of sentimentality. I’m not saying be less sensitive—but now with the rise in technology we can easily archive our prized activities, samples, and creations with the click of a camera, or wave of a portable scanner wand (this is on my wish list)! Keep digital folders (backed up), create a Flikr account and say goodbye!

Look at our active studio

Look at our active studio

Evaluate Need:

There are times when you just have to purge. When tackling a cleaning project or when you are faced with lack of space, you must evaluate what you have. Is it really important to hold on to that never-ending supply of half used scraps of ______ (insert item here)?  When the C3 staff did a major clean-out of our basement and art studio we had to make sure we only kept things that served a purpose. Frankly, we had to remove what did not because we were running out of space for the things we did in fact need. We had to ask ourselves the following questions, which are good rules to live by:

  • Have I saved this past its life expectancy—or does it smell?
  • Does it work? Will it ever?
  • Will we really use this?
  • Can it be recycled or upcycled?
  • Can it be documented and disposed of?
  • Will it benefit someone in need? Can this be donated to a local school, community group or a thrift store to be used and loved again?

Stop making excuses for keeping things that you will no longer use!

Hang up your aprons so that they are easy to grab when inspiration strikes!

Hang up your aprons so that they are easy to grab when inspiration strikes!

Your Work-Space:

It is very important for those using your space to have a clean work-space and a comfortable, welcoming environment in which to work. The art studio is a place that is supposed to provide people with a feeling of security, as if it was their own studio. Art is very much a product of it’s environment and if the environment is able to inspire, people are more likely to conceive creative thoughts and create rich works of art. We have to maintain a great environment for everyone who enters the space!

Say goodbye to your ways of old! Wishing you luck staying organized in 2014! Remember, it’s about progress, not about perfection!

Politeness goes a long way.

Products That Never Fail and Guiding Resources:

  • Clear storage boxes that are the size of a shoe box from The Container Store (or Dollar Store) are perfect for seeing beads and baubles!
  • We store program supplies under a canvas-lined table in High-Density Polythylene Mail bins. But I do warn you: don’t take these from the post office!  These bins are great to store program supplies, easy to stack, and very durable!
  • I also really enjoy Packaways Storage Bins, which are plastic bins that collapse, have a wipe-off label and come in fantastic bright colors!
  • Laminating machines and label makers help when creating signs for supplies! It always helps to type up the names of the items so there is no confusion—and it’s pleasing to the eye!
  • Buy a few extension cord holders. It will save you hours of untangling time!
  • We also use craft caddies to keep supplies organized for a variety of programming. These handy, stackable storage options keep things like glue, crayons, scissors and sequins nice and neat!
  • Watch this great video from the founder of  the Art of Education website.
  • Peruse these top twenty-five organizing blogs in your down time.
  • Reach this article: Broome, J. L. (2013). A case study in classroom managment and school involvement: Designing an artroom for effective learning. ArtEducation66(3), 39-46.
Craft Caddies at work!

Craft Caddies at work!

We would love to hear your ideas! Send me pictures of your work-space and give us your fantastic tips. Happy New Year and stay tuned for more organization in 2014!

Amanda Batson
C3 Program Coordinator

Festive Artworks

From twinkle lights and tinsel to plastic mistletoe and inflatable snowmen, decorations abound during the holiday season. But at the DMA, our walls are “decorated” the entire year, so we poked through the Museum’s collection for particularly festive artworks that would make unique holiday deco. Here’s what we found:

Instead of felted reindeer and fake snow atop your dining room table, how about incorporating Erik Swenson’s tableau of fantastical cold-weather creatures? The one in the sweater would make for interesting dinner conversation.

Erick Swenson, Untitled, 1998, styrofoam, resin, wool, foam, epoxy, clay, and paint, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mark Babcock

Erick Swenson, Untitled, 1998, styrofoam, resin, wool, foam, epoxy, clay, and paint, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mark Babcock

I would happily exchange the star atop my tree for this Indonesian standing guardian figure (tepaung). Unlike my star, this figure is capable of warding off evil spirits.

Standing figure, c. 1300-1800, Indonesia, East Kalimantan, Mahakam River Region, Belayan River, Kenyah-Kayan Complex, possibly Bahau or Bahau-related people, ironwood, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Standing guardian figure, c. 1300-1800, Indonesia, East Kalimantan, Mahakam River Region, Belayan River, Kenyah-Kayan Complex, possibly Bahau or Bahau-related people, ironwood, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Trade in your tangled ball of twinkle lights for Bruce Nauman’s neon letters.

Bruce Nauman, Perfect Door/Perfect Odor/Perfect Rodo, 1972, white glass tubing, clear glass tubing, and suspension frames, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, The 500, Inc., Dorace M. Fichtenbaum, Deedie and Rusty Rose, an anonymous donor, the Friends of Contemporary Art and a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in honor of Sue Graze

Bruce Nauman, Perfect Door/Perfect Odor/Perfect Rodo, 1972, white glass tubing, clear glass tubing, and suspension frames, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, The 500, Inc., Dorace M. Fichtenbaum, Deedie and Rusty Rose, an anonymous donor, the Friends of Contemporary Art and a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in honor of Sue Graze

These ancient Peruvian beakers, which may have been used to serve a corn beer called chichi, would be a lovely table setting for any holiday dinner party. Please pass the chicha!

Group of beakers, AD 900-1100, Peru, North Coast, La Leche Valley, Batan Grande Region, Sican culture, Gold, Dallas Museum of Art, The Nora and John Wise Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jake L. Hamon, the Eugene McDermott Family, Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, and Mr. and Mrs. John D. Murchison

Group of beakers, A.D. 900-1100, Peru, North Coast, La Leche Valley, Batan Grande Region, Sican culture, gold, Dallas Museum of Art, The Nora and John Wise Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jake L. Hamon, the Eugene McDermott Family, Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, and Mr. and Mrs. John D. Murchison

To create this sculpture, Annette Lawrence tore junk mail into strips of equal width. Who needs handmade chains of paper strips when you could decorate your hearth with this?

Annette Lawrence, Free Paper 12 / 05, 2006-2008, mixed media, Dallas Museum of Art, Charron and Peter Denker Contemporary Texas Art Fund

Annette Lawrence, Free Paper 12 / 05, 2006-08, mixed media, Dallas Museum of Art, Charron and Peter Denker Contemporary Texas Art Fund

Andrea Severin Goins is the interpretation specialist at the DMA.

Culinary Canvas: Apple Pie Cupcakes

This month’s recipe is inspired by our wonderful Pointillist painting by Pissarro, Apple Harvest. I imagine this painting, like most apple picking, takes place in the fall. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still bountiful varieties of apples to be had at this time of year–just check your local grocery store! And one of our very own McDermott Interns–whose favorite dessert is apple pie–just happened to have a birthday last week. But much like the Neo-Impressionists, I wanted to do my own thing. So I decided on an apple pie inspired cupcake, which combines apples and spice into a scrumptious handheld bite. Try these out for your next holiday get together and impress your friends with your artistic hand. Happy Holidays!

Camille Pissarro, Apple Harvest, 1888, Dallas Museum of Art, Munger Fund

Camille Pissarro, Apple Harvest, 1888, Dallas Museum of Art, Munger Fund

Apple Pie Cupcakes

Yields 24 cupcakes
Level: Moderate

Topping:

2 Jonagold (or similar) apples, diced small
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons caramel sauce (left over from last month’s recipe)

In medium saucepan, melt butter and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add diced apples and sauté for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until apples are soft and lightly caramelized. Remove from heat and stir in caramel sauce. Set aside to cool. Note: 2 tablespoons sugar can be substituted for caramel sauce.

Cupcakes:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 325° F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and both sugars, beating at medium speed until light. Add vanilla and continue beating at medium speed. Incorporate eggs one at a time, mixing until fully combined.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Beginning and ending with dry ingredients, slowly add flour mixture to mixer, alternating with milk. After each addition, mix on low speed until just incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Divide batter into muffin cups, filling each cup slightly more than ½ full. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with sparse crumbs. Allow to cool slightly in pan, then transfer to metal rack to cool completely.

Frosting:

½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
½ cup shortening
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Splash of milk as needed

Beat butter and shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium-high speed until creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, mixing on low until combined. Add splash of milk and additional sugar as needed to achieve thickened, slightly firm consistency.

Assembly: Fill quart size Ziploc bag with frosting. Squeeze frosting to one corner and snip to create opening. Outline the rim of each cupcake with a line of frosting. Place a spoonful of apple filling in the middle of each cupcake. Cross filling with lines of additional frosting in a basket weave pattern, mimicking pie crust.

Store finished cupcakes in refrigerator until ready to serve.

 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Recipe adapted from Alpineberry.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Our Living Christmas Tree

Last week, we introduced you to Russell Sublette, mountmaker extraordinaire, who is usually happy to be the invisible hand behind the displays at the Museum. But once a year, during the holiday season, he comes out from behind the scenes to become the “Living Christmas Tree.” He adorns himself with garlands, lights, and decorations, and then recruits helper elves (oftentimes unsuspecting McDermott Interns) to carol and spread holiday cheer throughout the DMA.

The tradition started in 1989, when one of the DMA registrars was upset that she had forgotten a Christmas tree to decorate the office. Sublette wanted to cheer her up, so he said, “How about I become a tree?” Since then, the annual event sees co-workers pushing him on a flat cart, toting armloads of cords for the lights and music, around the office hallways, spreading holiday cheer.

“Whenever I do it, I picture myself as Charlie Brown,” Sublette says.

Below is a video of 2013’s “Living Christmas Tree” roaming the DMA halls.


Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Reagan Duplisea is associate registrar of exhibitions at the DMA.

Friday Photos: A Very Pinteresting Holiday

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DMA Education staff have been as busy as Santa’s elves this holiday season, crafting, baking, painting, and getting ready for this most wonderful time of the year. We get a lot of inspiration from the art that surrounds us each day, but we also find inspiration on a little site called Pinterest.

Check out what we’ve been doing when we’re not at the DMA. If you see a project or recipe you like, use the links below to find instructions, ingredients, materials, and recipes.

We wish you and yours a very Pinteresting Holiday!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

Holiday Lights, Camera, Action!

Every December, I get in a merry holiday spirit and devote the month to putting up decorations in my apartment and listening to festive music both at home and in my car. But my favorite part is watching an endless amount of holiday movies. And with holiday classics on the brain, I can’t go long without being reminded of one of my many favorite films while going about my day- even while working here at the Museum!

Take a look at the following works of art found here at the DMA and read the clues below each image. Put your holiday movie knowledge to the test and see if you can figure out which movie each work of art is most reminiscent of. Click the link paired with each image to see if your guess is correct!

vacation

Nic Nicosia, Vacation, 1986, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Meisel Photochrome Corporation

It’s time for a holiday vacation spent with kids and the spouse. Just be careful stringing thousands of lights on the house!

house

Lucille Jeffries, Woman Reading Beside Square Top House, n.d., Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. C.P. Wright.

Having the house to yourself for the holidays may seem ideal, but beware of bumbling burglars who are on a mission to steal.

lovebirds

Ruth L. Guinzburg, Love Birds, n.d., Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Robert A. Beyers

Do you feel it in your fingers? Do you feel it in your toes? For these holiday love birds, their love just grows and grows!

lamp

Boston and Sandwich Glass Company, Lamp, c. 1860-1875, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Dallas Glass Club

It’s an event-filled holiday for a boy wanting a B.B. gun, complete with a leg lamp, a bunny suit, and decoder pen fun!

afternoon train

Doris Lee, Afternoon Train, 1944, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts, The Alfred and Juanita Bromberg Collection

All aboard a magical train to the north, where hot chocolate, Santa, and adventures come forth!

So how did you do? Are you a Roger Ebert in training or does your movie knowledge need a little brushing up? Tell us in the comments and be sure to let us know which holiday movie you find yourself re-watching every year!

Amy Elms
McDermott Education Intern for Visitor Engagement


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