Archive for December, 2013



Holiday Wishlist

Due to Icemegeddon 2013 I am delaying the blog that I originally wanted to compose and instead providing you a glimpse into our lives! I asked my fellow DMA staff members what is on their holiday wishlist. See if this matches your list too!

JC Bigornia, Program Coordinator for the Center for Creative Connections, would love Joni Wilson-Bigornia to gift him a new Lilypad POV Wristband

Leah Hanson, Manager of Early Learning Programs, is looking for new ideas for making art with kids, and this book by Susan Schwake looks like it could give her all kinds of projects for future classes and summer camp!

Melissa Gonzalez, C3 Gallery Manager, believes that she has “already eaten WAY too much this holiday season, so this cookbook is on my wishlist.  I’m eager to learn how to cook healthy seasonal comfort foods.  Who knew this was possible?”The Seasonal Comfort Food Cookbook

Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services, would love to test out some fragrances before committing to one of them so this Sephora gift set makes a nice present for Stacey.

 Sephora Favorites - Fragrance Sampler For Her

As for me, I love to read and my eyes are not as strong as they used to be so I would like a new pair of glasses from Warby ParkerHolcomb Marbled Sandstone Eyeglasses

Wishing you a wonderful season!

Amanda Batson
C3 Program Coordinator

Digging Deep

The DMA recently welcomed Dr. Kimberly L. Jones as the new Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Assistant Curator of the Americas. Uncrated caught up with Dr. Jones to find out more about her job and what’s caught her eye as she explored our galleries.

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Describe your job as a curator:
For me, being a curator provides the best of all worlds. At the most basic, it entails being in the presence of amazing human achievements on a daily basis. It generally involves engrossing research on such objects, their artisans, and the cultural context in which the materials were created. It means staying informed about ongoing fieldwork and investigations that ever amplify our knowledge of these cultures. As a curator, I have the opportunity to share such fascinating insights with a broad range of people who visit a museum specifically to appreciate and learn about such hallmarks of human ingenuity. Above all else, I see my role as foremost to honor the amazing cultures of our past and present and to instill in others (hopefully) a bit of my passion and enthusiasm for their diverse conceptions and visual manifestations of the world around us.

What might an average day involve?
An average day so far usually includes juggling a few projects, from more immediate to longer-term. It entails basic catalog revisions, research on the collection, e-mails with colleagues and staff, planning for publications and exhibitions, etc.

How would you describe the best part of your job and its biggest challenges?
The best part of my job is sharing the collections and their cultural contexts with others, in any format, from tours to research inquiries to publications. That people become aware of the rich diversity of populations, practices, beliefs, and artworks throughout the Americas is the most inspiring aspect of my role. The biggest challenges (yet perhaps most fruitful exchanges) may come through the developing nature of collections and exhibitions in ancient American art, as museums engage actively in the modern global community and seek growing collaboration among individuals, institutions, and nations.

Growing up, what type of career did you envision yourself in? Did you think you’d work in an art museum?
Prior to the teenage years, I was pretty well geared toward work in archaeology, as my childhood digging in the backyard clay would attest. For graduate studies, I returned to this natural inclination, doing fieldwork for the past ten years in northern Peru. When my graduate advisor predicted a museum curatorial role for me, I dismissed him at the time, unwilling to relinquish my joy of being in the dirt. But I must admit that it is because of my work in archaeology that I feel so dedicated now to work in a museum, to have the opportunity to do best by the material achievements of these past peoples. The objects themselves remain (especially in societies without recognized writing) a crucial primary testament to ancient cultural beliefs, rituals, practices, concepts, materials, and techniques. The global community—individuals and institutions alike—would only benefit from ever-growing collaboration and commitment to ensure the long-standing preservation and public appreciation of such diverse and treasured heritage.

Do you have a favorite work in the DMA’s collection yet?
As any person who works at this institution would likely say, I cannot name one favorite but rather many that provoke that full-body smile. Emma-O in the Asian Galleries is captivating; I am struck always by the Jazz vase in the Decorative Arts Galleries; Shiva Nataraja in the South Asian Galleries harmonizes meaning and form; the cabinet in the Colonial Americas Gallery is an impressive testament to colonial trade; and the sword (telogu) with sheath from Indonesia is just plain fabulous.

As for my area of the Americas, I could not begin to share how many I cherish as masterworks of their respective cultures, exemplifying at times the technical skill and, at others, the creativity of the artisan. As a museum aims to provide for everyone, the more you know of an object—any artwork—often the more fascinating and engaging it becomes. I hope that through tours, gallery talks, invited lectures, and exhibitions, I will get to share my various “favorites” from the Arts of the Americas collection with an avid, interested community.

What are you looking forward to in your future here at the DMA?
Everything!

DMA Education Staff Braves ‘Icemageddon’

This past weekend brought freezing temperatures and several inches of ice to North Texas. As the outside world turned into a scene similar to Church’s The Icebergs, the DMA shut down, leaving us with an unexpected four day weekend. When we returned to work on Tuesday, I had fun polling members of the DMA Education team on how they spent their ‘Icemageddon.’

Frederic Edwin Church, The Icebergs, 1861, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Norma and Lamar Hunt

Frederic Edwin Church, The Icebergs, 1861, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Norma and Lamar Hunt

Home Time:

After getting over a bad case of the canceled Dallas Marathon blues, I hunkered down for a lazy weekend with my roommates complete with pajamas, a roaring fire, several baking experiments, cat snuggling, and season 1 of Doctor Who.

Leah Icemageddon

Leah Hanson also enjoyed nesting at home and spent her time off “warming up next to the fireplace, eating cookies and watching the movie Elf with friends.”

The crafty Danielle Shulz also spent her Icemageddon watching movies (making it through all five Harry Potter flicks!), and sewing some fabulous curtains. She was quite content to come back to work and find that her loving work pal, Stacy Lizotte, had made her delicious cookies during her time off.

Quality Kid Time:

The long weekend gave parents a chance to spend some quality time with their little ones. Melissa Gonzales spent her Icemageddon watching movies, making soup, and playing with her son, Eli.  She also completed a few craft projects during Eli’s naptime. Kudos to you, Melissa!

eli snow 2013

Jessica Fuentes also kept busy with her daughter, Julia. “Being stuck inside with a 7 year old ball of energy for 4 days was fun and problematic.  We had to get outside, so my daughter opted to go sledding… she thought I should try it out, but I preferred to watch her. Julia also built a shelter to camp out in while we watched old Disney movies and I Love Lucy.”

Amanda Batson was able to get out of the Big D to spend an epic weekend in Austin caring for three little girls. “We had an incredible time staying safe and warm away from all the ice! We watched the new Disney movie Frozen, drank pink hot cocoa, played board games and had tasty s ’mores. On my way back to Dallas I stopped by the University of Texas at Austin campus where I completed my MA in Museum Studies to soak in some memories and then decided to get a new tattoo! But this trip would not have been complete without a visit to the nationally acclaimed Round Rock Donuts! At least I had delicious glazed bites to keep me calm through the scary, icy drive home.”

Outdoor Adventures:

Amy Elms, an Austin native, enjoyed exploring and taking photos of the the snow outside of her apartment. “I’ve mostly lived in cities that very rarely get snow or ice, so it’s always exciting when the area I live in is transformed into a winter wonderland! As soon as I woke up on Friday, I went and explored the park near my apartment complex. It was fun to crunch around in the ice and see all the icicles hanging from the trees. It was a little tricky to walk around without slipping and falling though!”

Amy Elms Icemageddon

Amy’s neighbor, Hayley Prihoda, also took photos of Dallas’ unexpected winter wonderland. She also spent time at Half Price Books where she kept warm and entertained.

A bit further up north, Madeleine Fitzgerald and a fellow Dentonian ventured out for chips and salsa to survive to Icemageddon. They soon discovered that they weren’t the only ones who had that idea…

Madeleine Fitzgerald Icemageddon

Although it was a bit foggy coming back to work after Icemageddon finally defrosted, it was fun to hear about how the DMA Education staff braved the storm. How did you spend your time off?

Amelia Wood
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching

Artist Astrology: Sagittarius

This month, we turn our attention to the adventurous, free-spirited Sagittarius! Sagittarius individuals, born November 23 – December 21, are known for their “larger than life” personalities. They view life as a challenge and embrace opportunities for personal growth and development. The ultimate goal for a Sagittarius is to discover the meaning of life, which results in a desire to make the most of every situation. At times, their ambition is equated with recklessness or inconsistency but, in reality, their pursuits are often thoughtful and purposeful. Sagittariuses have a contagious enthusiasm and passion for life and believe nothing is out of reach!

The DMA’s collection features a handful of splendid Sagittarius artists, including Winston Churchill (November 30), Georges Seurat (December 2), Gilbert Stuart (December 3), Stuart Davis (December 7), Helen Frankenthaler (December 12), Wassily Kandinsky (December 16), and Paul Klee (December 18).

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Winston Churchill – November 30

Sir Winston Churchill is not often known for his artistry but for his profound impact and contributions as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. His strength and pride guided the British public through the Battle of Britain in 1940 and his speech “We Shall Never Surrender” remains an emblem of British courage today. Yet, through his art, the softer, introspective side of this prominent figure is revealed. As referenced by his daughter Mary Soames in the book Sir Winston Churchill’s Life Through his Paintings, Churchill’s paintings demonstrate a profound sensitivity and keen interest in the therapeutic qualities of art. In fact, in his essay Painting as a Pastime, Churchill raises questions about the relationship between memory and the act of painting. Thus, in his art as in his political policies, Churchill reveals a Sagittarius’ interest in explaining and justifying the world around him.

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Wassily Kandinsky – December 16

Wassily Kandinsky traveled extensively between 1903 and 1908, visiting the Netherlands, Italy, Tunisia, France, and Germany. The painting above was created en plein air during his stay in Murnau, Germany, where he eventually settled from 1908 – 1914. His life in Murnau and nearby Munich marked a critical period in his artistic development, beginning his transition from realistic depictions to more abstract and representational forms. The artwork above is indicative of this slow shift as the street begins to dissolve into a field of thick brush-strokes and areas of blocked colors. Ultimately, Kandinsky sought to invest his paintings with spiritual imagery without using representational subjects. In this way, he was operating according to the Sagittarius desire to create a meaningful and purposeful life.

1997'89

Paul Klee – December 18

Paul Klee aspired to develop an artistic language that “synthesized the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ worlds into a pictorial whole,” viewing artistic production as a spiritual experience of equal importance to the final product. As such, he was extremely interested in the art produced by tribal cultures, children, and the insane. His art reflects this curiosity and is intended to appear naïve and untutored. Because of his dedication to exploring art production as a spiritual and natural process, Klee is often recognized as a theoretician. He famously stated, “Art does not reproduce the visible but makes visible.”

Thank you for catching up on a few of our favorite DMA Sagittarius artists! Don’t forget to read next month’s blog for information about our caring Capricorns.

Artworks shown:

  • Winston Churchill, View of Menton, 1957, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
  • Wassily Kandinsky, Murnau, Burggrabenstrasse 1, 1908, 1908, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase
  • Paul Klee, Around the Core (Um den Kern), 1935, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift in appreciation for Dr. Dorothy Kosinski, The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art

Hayley Prihoda
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

Friday Photos: C3 Riddle

For the past three weeks, C3 has been undergoing some creative construction.  Today our gallery reopens with a few new works of art.  See if you can piece together one of the new works on view by the details below:

Still need a hint? The origin of this riddle may give you a clue:

“I have billions of eyes yet I live in darkness. I have millions of ears yet only four lobes. I have no muscles, yet I move two hemispheres. What am I?”

Plan your next visit to C3 soon to see this artwork and the other new works that are currently on view!

Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Coordinator

So Long, Farewell…

For the past six-and-a-half years, the Dallas Museum of Art has been my home. I have often referred to my office as my “apartment,” and my co-workers have come to feel like my family. But sometimes, you need to move away from home and on to something new, and now is that time for me. I have accepted a position as the Assistant Director of Interpretive Programming at the Cincinnati Art Museum, and December 9th will be my last day at the DMA.

It’s very bittersweet to be leaving a place (and people) that I love. But my new job will present opportunities to plan programs for visitors of all ages–from toddlers to adults–and I’m looking forward to broadening my knowledge of Museum Education through this new position. And I’ll be a lot closer to my family in Michigan, which will be wonderful.

As I reflect back on my time in Dallas, it’s tough to narrow down my favorite DMA memories. I’m not sure what I’ll miss most!

Maybe my desk–but a lot of these things will be moving to Ohio with me.

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Or maybe the Scrabble game that has been occurring on my file cabinet for the past year.

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I’ll certainly miss our docents, whose passion and dedication to the DMA continues to amaze and inspire me.

spring 2013 469

And I will most definitely miss the clever and talented students of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. My time with them has been one of the highlights.

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I’ll miss the DMA’s amazing collection, including The Icebergs.  We all jumped for joy when it returned to the galleries earlier this year.

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And most of all, I will miss the DMA Education department. They have taught me everything I know about being a Museum Educator, and they’re not just my colleagues. They are my dearest friends. I’ll especially miss our retreats and off-site meetings–we know how to have fun while getting work done!

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Thank you to everyone who has made my time at the DMA so memorable–from students to teachers and from the docents to my colleagues. I will miss everyone very much, but hope to see y’all again soon!

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Dynamic Duo

Tomorrow, artist Stephen Lapthisophon, featured in the current Concentrations 56 exhibition at the DMA, will join his lifelong friend actor John Judd for a conversation about the creative process. Get to know these best friends before Thursday’s event:

John Judd and Stephen Lapthisophon, 1978

John Judd and Stephen Lapthisophon, 1978

Do you involve each other in your creative processes?
SL: John and I speak frequently now about our influences, the creative process and the various ways that we feel our work reflects the time in which we live. There is no direct integration of his work in mine—rather, it is an implied dialogue—constant, permanent and generous.
JJ: It’s impossible to estimate the degree to which Stephen influences my work. My relationship with Stephen is almost like one of family in that even though we’ve ended up pursuing different avenues in the arts, and are no longer collaborators, we shared formative creative experiences, and we were almost constant companions for many years. Stephen is always in there somewhere.

What is one piece/work of art of the other’s that you most enjoy or inspires you?
SL: I have seen him perform many times but perhaps my favorite piece I have seen him in is Austin Pendleton’s Orson’s Shadow, where he played Laurence Olivier.
JJ: I can see his hand in this simple small piece [below] as indelibly as I do in his current work. It represents something essentially Stephen—a quality that remains and has always been present in his best work.

Stephen Lapthisophon, House, 1977, paint on wood,

Stephen Lapthisophon, House, 1977, paint on wood, courtesy of the artist, photo: John Judd

How has your friendship evolved over 40 years?
SL: I met John Judd walking into my first art class as an undergraduate at UT Austin in 1974. We have known each other and trusted each other’s work since then.
JJ: From our first conversation there has existed an unspoken agreement—that we will confront this world as allies. We are like-minded and determined to take what we were given and make more of it. To leave some marks behind. We have lived our lives in very close proximity and miles apart, we have at times collaborated and pursued separate endeavors, we’ve had individual triumphs and defeats, have even exceeded each other’s expectations, but we have always been able to pick up a phone or sit down together and resume the conversation.

For more insight, stories and discussion, join us tomorrow night, December 5, at 7.30 p.m.!
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Liz Menz is the manager of adult programming at the DMA

Draw like Edward Hopper!

Hopper Drawing: A Painter’s Process, currently on view at the DMA, is the first exhibition to explore the drawings of American artist Edward Hopper. Hopper is most well-known for his paintings. In fact, Hopper’s paintings inspired some Alfred Hitchcock films! It’s not as widely known that Hopper was great with a pencil or pen and paper, and he often sketched to work out themes that interested him. Many of these themes later became the subjects of his celebrated paintings.

Hopper did not draw strictly from reality. The artist explained that he worked both “from the fact” and by “improvising,” or working from his imagination. Though he worked from visual observation, he would tweak elements of his composition. Perhaps he would remove a lamppost, add a figure, or slightly change the angle of perspective.

In this exhibition, you can learn about Hopper’s process not only by observing his drawings, but also by trying it out yourself. After entering Hopper Drawing, pick up a pencil and a clipboard from the wall in the first gallery. Be inspired by Hopper’s sketches around you and draw your own surroundings. This could be people, things, or the interiors or exteriors of buildings. Then, combine your observational sketches into one composition that incorporates elements from reality and your imagination, in the same way Hopper worked out compositions for his paintings through sketching.

We look forward to seeing what you create!

clipboards

Andrea Severin Goins
Interpretation Specialist

 

World AIDS Day

Yesterday, we observed the 25th anniversary of World AIDS Day with a screening of Untitled, a film by Jim Hodges, Encke King, and Carlos Marques da Cruz.

Untitled

Untitled begins with a reflection on the early AIDS epidemic. Following a nonlinear narrative, the film brings together mainstream network news, activist footage, artists’ works, and popular entertainment, referencing regimes of power that precipitated a generation of AIDS and queer activism, and continues today with international struggles for freedom and expression. If you missed yesterday’s screening, don’t worry! We will show Untitled again on January 11 at 1:00 p.m. And don’t miss the DMA-organized exhibition Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take, on view at the DMA through January 12.
Jim Hodges installation_DMA_photo credit Courtesy of Dallas Museum of Art_04 - Copy

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


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