Archive for May, 2014

How Many Words Are There for “Light”

How many words can you think of that describe light? Your list can include characteristics, opposite words, and metaphors for the concept of light.

A Panel Depicting the Tuba Tree, with the 99 Names of God on its Leaves, c. 1900, watercolor on paper, The James and Ana Melikian Collection

A Panel Depicting the Tuba Tree, with the 99 Names of God on its Leaves, c. 1900, watercolor on paper, The James and Ana Melikian Collection

The exhibition Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World explores the concept of light and the many ways it is captured, studied, and featured in works of art and scientific objects from Islamic culture (nur is the Arabic word for “light”). A work of art from the exhibition titled A Panel Depicting the Tuba Tree, with the 99 Names of God on Its Leaves is currently on view in the Center for Creative Connections (C3). This painting illustrates the concept that there can be many meanings associated with a single idea. Similarly, visitors are invited to add their ideas to a growing collection of light-related words in the accompanying community installation.

Leave your ideas on what light is through the run of the exhibition, which closes on June 29.

Melissa Nelson Gonzales is the C3 Gallery Manager at the DMA.

Friday Photos: DMA Fotogs

At the beginning of 2014, a small group of DMA Educators formed an informal photo club. Some of us have been photographers for over a decade and others are newer to the field, but we all share a passion for capturing moments with an artistic eye.

Being part of the group helps to keep us each motivated, whether perfecting techniques or experimenting with new subject matter. Check out some of our photographs exploring specific themes below.

Objects in Motion

Close-Ups

Capturing Light

Did you know that May is National Photography Month? Don’t worry, there’s still time to get out and participate. Grab your camera (or camera phone) and get clicking!

Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Coordinator

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Amanda Blake
Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning

Melissa Nelson Gonzales
C3 Gallery Manager

Smartphone Learning Lab

As part of our partnership with our neighbor Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, DMA educators co-teach Learning Lab, a class for seniors in the visual arts cluster. This group of bright and talented young artists walks down Flora Street to the Museum about fifty times during the academic year. Besides spending quality time with, discussing, and responding to works of art in the DMA’s collection and special exhibitions, this year the students also had the opportunity to meet artists Jim Hodges and Stephen Lapthisophon and ask them questions about their DMA exhibitions.

For their final project, pairs of students capped off a great year of projects and discussions by creating smartphone stops for a work of art of their choosing in the exhibition Never Enough: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art. They were given the option of producing a three-minute audio recording or video for their chosen work. They were asked to design their audio or video clip to either facilitate a visitor’s understanding through contextual information about the artist and his/her work, or to provide visitors with an alternative perspective or interpretation through which to view the work. They were also encouraged to exercise their creativity.

All of the pairs’ submissions were fantastic. Below are two smartphone stops created by the students:

This smartphone stop is a video inspired by Will Benedict’s 1 800 Bad Drug.

Will Benedict, 1 800 Bad Drug, 2013, gouache on board and canvas, aluminum frame with glass, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

Will Benedict, 1 800 Bad Drug, 2013, gouache on board and canvas, aluminum frame with glass, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, (c) Will Benedict

This smartphone stop is an audio clip related to Sara Cwynar’s Corinthian Temple (Plastic Cups).

Sara Cwynar, Corinthian Temple (Plastic Cups), 2012, chromogenic print, mounted on Dibond, framed, Dallas Museum of Art, Susan Mead Contemporary Art Fund

Sara Cwynar, Corinthian Temple (Plastic Cups), 2012, chromogenic print, mounted on Dibond, Dallas Museum of Art, Susan Mead Contemporary Art Fund, (c) Sara Cwnar

Thanks to the BTWHSPVA Learning Lab students for a wonderful year and congratulations on graduation!

Andrea Severin Goins is the Interpretation Manager at the DMA.

Culinary Canvas: Almond Cookies (Nan-e Badami)

This month’s recipe is inspired by our current exhibition Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World, which explores Islamic art and science throughout the centuries and around the world. Several beautifully decorated pieces of pottery can be found in the exhibition, including this striking bowl from Kashan, located in modern Iran. The Persian Empire spanned this area during ancient times and its cultural thread has continued, influencing food in the region today. In fact, Persians were one of the first to produce sugar and create recipes for cookies–some dating back to the 12th century–and sweets remain an important part of Persian celebrations today. Try this simple Persian recipe to add an interesting new flavor to your cookie repertoire and then be sure to stop by the Museum before Nur closes next month!

Blue and White Bowl with Radial Design, 13th Century , Iran, Kashan, fritware, painted in cobalt blue under transparent glaze, Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Brush, Brooklyn, USA

Blue and White Bowl with Radial Design, 13th Century , Iran, Kashan, fritware, painted in cobalt blue under transparent glaze, Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Brush, Brooklyn, USA

Almond Cookies

Yields about 60 cookies
Level: Very Easy

5 egg yolks
1 ½ cups sugar
3 tablespoons rosewater (optional, can be purchased at Middle Eastern markets)
2 cups finely ground almonds or almond flour
2 teaspoons cardamom
½ teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 250° F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat yolks and sugar at medium speed until light. Add rosewater if desired.

In a separate bowl, stir together almond flour, cardamom, and baking powder. Slowly add almond mixture to mixer, stirring on low speed and scraping down sides of bowl until fully incorporated. Resulting dough should be slightly sticky.

To form cookies, scoop off about a teaspoon of dough then roll between hands to shape into a ball. Flatten ball between palms and place on baking sheet. Bake about 25 minutes, watching closely to ensure cookies do not brown.

When removed from oven, cookies will look very soft and should remain so at room temperature. Allow to cool on baking sheet then transfer to metal rack to cool completely.


 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Recipe adapted from Food of Life: A Book of Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Memorial Day Picnic

Happy Memorial Day from the DMA! We hope your day is full of barbequed chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad, green salad, macaroni salad, and watermelon like this Bill Owen photograph in the DMA’s collection.

Bill Owens, This is our second annual Fourth of July block party. This year thirty-three families came for beer, barbequed chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad, green salad, macaroni salad, and watermelon. After eating and drinking we staged our parade and fireworks., 1971, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Lay Family Acquisition Fund

Bill Owens, This is our second annual Fourth of July block party. This year thirty-three families came for beer, barbequed chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad, green salad, macaroni salad, and watermelon. After eating and drinking we staged our parade and fireworks., 1971, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Lay Family Acquisition Fund, (c) Bill Owens

Friday Photos: Fond Farewells

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As another school year comes to a close, not only do we say goodbye to all the school buses filled with children, but we also say farewell to the amazing McDermott Interns who have been working with us in the Education department for the past nine months.

Amy Elms, McDermott Intern for Visitor Engagement, and Hayley Prihoda, McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching, are leaving us today and we want to wish them the very best in their future careers. They both have brought friendly smiles, grace under pressure, a love of teaching, enthusiasm and energy, and new ideas to the DMA. It’s bittersweet to know that we won’t be seeing them in the office every day, but exciting to imagine all the good they are going to do in the museum world. Fondest farewells!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

Hitting the Highlight Reel: 2013-2014 School Year in Review

As our tours wind down and we make our final school trip in the Go van Gogh van, it’s time to look back at all we’ve done this school year (and be pretty proud of ourselves). If we could have looked into the future last September, we would have seen a year of change waiting for us. 2013-2014 has been action-packed, full of happy surprises and new initiatives and programs. Instead of looking at this school year by the numbers, we’re going to hit the highlight reel and showcase just a few of many great moments.

2013-14 New Docent Class

From left to right: Felix Landau, Flo Lockett-Miles, Debi Waltz, Annette Culwell, Charlie Kuzmic, Stephanie Avery, Sandi Edgar, Art Weinberg, Evan Simmons, and David Caldwell.

New Docent Class of 2013-2014

We are excited to introduce our New Docent Class of 2013-2014! In order to “graduate” from the program, our new docents attend over thirty weeks of training, give ten (or more) tours, and read almost all of Marilyn Stokstad’s Art History. These new docents have put in countless hours prepping for tours and learning different touring strategies and activity ideas. We are excited to welcome such an enthusiastic, creative, and dedicated group to our DMA Docent Program. Look for them on your DMA tours this fall!

Booker T. Washington Learning Lab Partnership

This was another fantastic year for the Learning Lab partnership with the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Students met artists Jim Hodges and Stephen Lapthisophon, learning first-hand about their respective special exhibitions and their process as artists. Students then put their own creative talent on display, re-imagining a DMA artwork using Instagram as their artistic medium. They went on behind-the-scenes tours of the Museum’s art storage areas and object conservation space, and got some career advice from a variety of Museum staff during a DMA career panel.  Most exciting of all, we will soon see the first class from the Learning Lab partnership graduate—congratulations class of 2014!

Go van Gogh Color My World Program for Special Education Classrooms

We were excited to unveil a new Go van Gogh experience this year. Designed to fill a growing need for Special Education outreach, the Color My World program incorporates multi-sensory activities in a color-filled classroom adventure inspired by paintings in the Museum’s collection. With the support of our enthusiastic Go van Gogh volunteers, we’ve been able to lead many Color My World programs this spring. And with the help of two very smart colleagues (thank you, Danielle and Hayley!), we’ve spent those sessions learning how the program works best, experimenting and modifying our way to what is now an inclusive experience for children with a range of abilities.

South Dallas Cultural Center Second Sundays

Sometimes the best learning experiences happen when the school day ends and we’re with our friends and family.  This year also brought the beginning of what we hope is a long-term partnership with families from the South Dallas Cultural Center. One Sunday a month, we have South Dallas “Second Sundays,” where a group of families spends two hours together at the Museum exploring and making art. Families have sketched and painted like Edward Hopper, designed chairs like Frank Gehry, and have spent many a Sunday using the Museum as both a resource and a source of artistic inspiration. While we haven’t wrapped up this program just yet (families, if you’re reading this, our June Sunday is not-to-miss!), this out-of-school, school year partnership is one that has defined 2013-14 for me, in a wonderful way.

To all the docents, Go van Gogh volunteers, hard-working Education colleagues (past and present), and our amazing McDermott Intern who have all helped make this school year so successful and fun-filled–thank you!  We hope you have a great summer, and we can’t wait to see you right back here in the fall!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs


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