Archive for January, 2014

Makers Made

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Now in its fifth month, Maker Club is a free drop-in program for ages 13-19 that asks, “What happens when art, science, and technology mix?” Capitalizing on the popularity of the Maker movement and incorporating elements from STEAM education, Maker Club is a combination between open studio and led workshop that explores a different theme each month.

Image courtesy of makeymakey.com

Image courtesy of makeymakey.com

Experimentation and open-endedness rule the day as traditional art materials and tech-based supplies are thrown into the ring together. Past projects have included creating a Makey Makey mini-arcade, making found-object sculptures from discarded electronics, and using electro-luminescent (EL) wire and glow-in-the-dark screen-printing ink to make light-up clothing and accessories.
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Since no experience is required to take part, Maker Club also provides an opportunity for teens to learn and “level up” a variety of skills–from new artistic processes and creative problem solving, to circuit building, soldering and more. Group learning and collaboration is also a happy by-product of this process; oftentimes, the adult facilitators are learning just as much from the students as vice versa.
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So why have a maker-type program in an art museum? To me, the ideas aren’t mutually exclusive, but rather complementary. In the latest issue of Make magazine, Don Undeen, manager of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s MediaLab, writes that all artists are, in fact, makers, and that museums have the potential to be a living forum where the two groups can talk to and inform one another.

There are even makers in the DMA’s collection, and those artists inspire the Makers Club members. Martin Delabano’s Family Portrait gave one teen the idea for this found-object sculture (pictured below). See how many makers you can spot in the DMA’s collection on your next visit.
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Martin Delabano, Family Portrait 1963, 2001, mixed media, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bryant M. Hanley, Jr., Lorine and David H. Gibson, and Sonny Burt and Bob Butler

JC Bigornia is the C3 program coordinator at the DMA.

Happy Chinese New Year

Today is the start of Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year. Traditionally, this day marks the beginning of the plowing and sowing season, but this festive holiday also celebrates new life. All over the world, people are celebrating the Incoming Year of the Horse. So we rounded up some of our own horse artworks to kick off the Lunar New Year. Come visit our fabulous fillies tomorrow and then join in the celebration at the Crow Collection’s annual Chinese New Year Festival!

Artworks shown:

    • Antoine–Louis Barye, Turkish Horse, c. 1838, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund
    • Polo horse tomb figure, China, 618-907 A.D., Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Rothwell
    • Harrison Begay, Indian Woman on Horse, 1952, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase
    • Horse-and-rider figure (elesin Shango), Yoruba peoples, Africa, Nigeria, Owo, 17th to 18th century, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.
    • Bank Langmore, Horse Silhouette, Bell Ranch, New Mexico, 1974, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Paul Brauchle
    • Horse and rider, Boeotia, Greek, 6th century B.C., Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark
    • Cynthia Brants, Horse and Rider, n.d., Dallas Museum of Art, Creative Arts Guild fund, Seventh Southwestern Exhibition of Prints and Drawings, 1957
    • Deborah Butterfield, Horse #6-82, 1982, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Edward S. Marcus Fund
    • Anthony Gross, Horse Bath, 1954, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg

Andrea Severin Goins
Interpretation Specialist

Happy 30th Anniversary 1717 N. Harwood

January 29, 1984, was a warm, clear day. At 12:15 p.m. a ribbon was cut . . .

Ribbon cutting ceremony on January 29, 1984 marking the grand public opening of the Dallas Museum of Art's new downtown location.

Ribbon cutting ceremony on January 29, 1984, marking the grand public opening of the Dallas Museum of Art’s new downtown location.

Visitors poured into the new galleries . . .

First visitors in the new museum, January 29, 1984

First visitors in the new Museum building, January 29, 1984

And the great city of Dallas finally got the great art museum it deserved.

Brochure with slogan "A great city deserves a great art museum" encouraging Dallas residents to vote "yes" in the 1979 bond election providing funds to build the new Dallas Museum of Art.

Brochure with the slogan “A great city deserves a great art museum,” encouraging Dallas residents to vote “yes” in the 1979 bond election to provide funds to build the new Dallas Museum of Art

Hillary Bober is the digital archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Get Immersed in Contemporary Art

Have you ever wondered how it would feel to create a painting over eight feet tall and almost seven feet wide? If so, stop by our newest Pop-up Art Spot in the Contemporary gallery and get immersed in Richard Diebenkorn‘s Ocean Park No. 29. Visitors of all ages are invited to assemble a life-size puzzle of this painting with large pieces of felt. Just be ready to get physical as you bend over, stretch, and reach as far as you can to put it together!

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This Pop-up Art Spot engages other senses, too: use your sense of touch (unusual in an art museum!) as you explore the texture of oil paint on small canvas samples or pair different scents with the colorful paintings around you.

Below is our upcoming schedule for the Pop-up Art Spot. We change locations from week to week, so be sure to visit us between February 11-16 to engage your senses!

    January 28-February 2: fourth floor landing, Modern American gallery
    February 4-9: third floor, Indonesian gallery
    February 11-16: first floor, Contemporary gallery

P.S. – This Pop-up Art Spot was created by our wonderful intern Tyler Rutledge, who was featured in a blog post last month.

Melissa Gonzales
C3 Gallery Manager

Your Inner Edward Hopper

Hopper Drawing: A Painter’s Process show us in exciting detail the creative process of painter Edward Hopper. We see him working out the shapes and angles of spaces and subjects that interested him—subjects and spaces that would become the focal points of his famous paintings. When you visit the exhibition, look for little differences in his drawings and paintings, as Hopper often tweaked the composition’s point-of-view, added or eliminated figures, and used creative license to make visual departures from reality.

As you meander through his preparatory sketches and drawings, consider testing out your own creative process. Pick up a pencil and a clipboard at the exhibition’s entrance and sketch what you see: it could be an interesting corner, a Museum visitor in a fabulous hat, or a tree in Klyde Warren Park. Then, on the back of the page, channel your inner Edward Hopper and combine your observations into a composition that incorporates some of your imagination. As Edward Hopper once said, “no amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination.”

Check out the artistic process of other DMA visitors!

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Andrea Severin Goins is the interpretation specialist at the DMA

Friday Photos: Contemporary Kids

Throughout the month of January, our Early Learning program participants have enjoyed spending time with contemporary art here at the DMA.

January’s Toddler Art class focused on the colors found in Sam Francis’ breathtaking Emblem. The toddlers had a blast pretending to mix and splatter paint onto the giant canvas!

We also celebrated a successful launch of the DMA’s newest class, Art Babies, designed for children 0-24 months and their caregivers.

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Amelia Wood
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching

Artworks shown:

  • Mark Rothko, Orange, Red, and Red, 1962, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated
  • Sam Francis, Emblem, 1959, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated
  • Sam Francis, Untitled (Black Clouds), 1952, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, by exchange
  • Adolph Gottlieb, Orb, 1964, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase
  • Ashville Gorky, Untitled, 1943- 1948, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, Contemporary Arts Council Fund
  • Clyfford Still, Untitled, 1964,  Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated
  • Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park No. 29, 1970, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated

Counting Down to the Caldecott

For children’s book lovers, January is the month when we wait in anticipation to hear who will win the Caldecott Award. We’ve spent the year oohing and ahhing over gorgeous illustrations, delighting in quirky characters and being filled with wonder as yet another story reaches The End. Several of this year’s contenders are books that I think would feel right at home here at the DMA, both because of the quality of their illustrations and the power of their stories.

In Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown, Mr. Tiger is quite the respectable, gentlemanly tiger. His top hat and bow tie are endearingly dapper, and his manners are every mother’s dream. But that is all about to change when Mr. Tiger has a wild idea. Brown’s watercolor and gouache illustrations perfectly capture Mr. Tiger’s journey from the orderly, precise city to his walk on the wild side in the jungle. When I read the book, I immediately thought of Henri Rousseau’s vivid jungle scenes and the sneaky tiger on a Japanese scroll here at the DMA. Can you imagine this tiger in a suit and tie?

The Tiny King has a huge army, a massive castle, and all the things a person could wish for. But he is very, very lonely. When he meets a big princess, and asks her to be his Queen, his life gets noisier, more crowded, and definitely more happy—bigger in every way! Taro Miura creates bold, colorful illustrations that remind you how simple shapes and a lot of imagination add up to memorable visual images. Pair this book with a close look at some of the Abstract Expressionist paintings on view at the DMA, and you can have your own shape-filled adventure. To see more of Miura’s amazing illustrations, visit Carter Higgins’ blog Design of the Picture Book (one of my favorites).

What can you do with a piece of chalk? Create an entire world! Reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon, Journey’s heroine uses red chalk to draw a door to another world. She creates a hot air balloon, a magic carpet, and a bicycle to help her get around, and the illustrations beg you to look closer and closer as she explores this new place. When she loses her chalk, it seems like all is lost, until she gets some help from a surprising place. Aaron Becker’s watercolors make you feel like you’ve jumped into a painting, and reminded me of Claude-Joseph Vernet’s A Mountain Landscape with Approaching Storm. With an interrupted picnic in the foreground and a shiny castle in the background, you wish you could just walk around this mountain landscape and experience the frantic activity as the storm draws closer. Journey would work well as a classroom warm-up to practice close-looking, storytelling, and searching for contextual clues before a visit to see the Vernet at the museum. (To see a video demonstrating how the illustrations for Journey were created, visit the author’s website).

Duncan’s crayons have gone on strike and instead of an afternoon spent coloring, he faces a pile of complaint letters. Yellow and orange are arguing over what color the sun really is, blue is worn out from coloring water, white is feeling neglected, and the beige crayon worries that he is only ever a stand-in for the brown crayon. Duncan’s colorful solution for soothing everyone’s frazzled nerves shows some stellar out-of-the-(crayon)-box thinking. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt is just as entertaining for kids as it is for adults, and makes you wonder what your crayons would say if they could talk. Oliver Jeffers’ whimsical illustrations bring the crayons to life and offer the perfect way to start a conversation about the surprising ways artists use color in their work. You can meet artist Oliver Jeffers here at the DMA on February 9th as part of the Arts & Letters Live BooksmART series. Learn more about the program and reserve your free tickets here.

Do you have a favorite picture book that you hope will walk away with the Caldecott next week?

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs


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