Archive for November, 2014

A Holly Jolly District

With the colder temps, and Thanksgiving right around the corner, we are starting to get into the holiday spirit with some fun holiday-themed programs and shopping to make your December merrier.

Every Thursday in December, enjoy a mix of seasonal and traditional jazz tunes at Jazz in the Atrium. The Thursday night concert series will feature some of the best musicians in town, led by Rob Holbert (December 4), Tom Braxton (December 11), and Freddie Jones (December 18).

Jazz in the Atrium at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Jazz in the Atrium at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Undermain Theatre continues its popular and free reading series at the DMA with an encore reading of Dylan Thomas’s classic poem A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Accompanied by traditional music and carols, A Child’s Christmas in Wales will be a charming afternoon of festive storytelling for the whole family on Saturday, December 13, at 2:00 p.m.

Undermain Reads 'A Child's Christmas in Wales' by Dylan Thomas

Undermain Reads A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

When you are at the DMA for Jazz in the Atrium and A Child’s Christmas in Wales, or at any other time, don’t forget to stop by the Museum Store and make it your one-stop shop for holiday gifts. One-of-a-kind items from around the world are available, from handmade felt animals to hand-painted, whimsical book ends, and products celebrating the DMA’s collection and the Bouquets exhibition. (I have already purchased the beautiful Bouquets 2015 calendar for a family member!)

Items available for purchase in the DMA Museum Store.

Items available for purchase in the DMA Museum Store.

'Bouquets' 2015 Wall Calendar

“Bouquets” 2015 Wall Calendar

And we’re not the only ones in the Dallas Arts District getting into the holiday spirit. On Saturday, December 6, experience Holidays in the District with a day of music, dancing, theater, art-making activities, photos with Santa, and more.

From 1:00–6:00 p.m. you can Celebrate the Holidays at Klyde Warren Park. Activities will include free photos with Santa, holiday music, face painting, and live reindeer.

Be sure to stay for the 5:30 p.m. lighting of the AT&T Performing Arts Center campus—they will be using 550,000 LED lights to celebrate the holiday season.

Holidays in Klyde Warren Park

Holidays in Klyde Warren Park

There’s also plenty of seasonal fun at the Wyly Theater, Winspear Opera House, Meyerson Symphony Center, and Dallas City Performance Hall. Details can be found on the Dallas Arts District website.

We hope your merry-making brings you here.

Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services at the DMA.

Thankful for the DMA

Any other year at this time, I would be heading home to enjoy Thanksgiving with my family in Maine. This year, however, marks my first Thanksgiving away from home – the journey from Texas to New England is a bit too far to make for the holiday! I recently moved to Dallas to take part in the DMA’s McDermott Internship Program, which runs from September to May. Being away from my family is difficult this year, but I am grateful for all of the experiences that have been offered to me as the McDermott Graduate Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching.

While my intern duties cover a wide variety of roles here at the Museum, one of my main focuses is Go van Gogh, our community outreach program that brings a piece of the DMA to local elementary and middle schools. This past week, I spent time at Martha Turner Reilly Elementary School with a class of 4th graders. Our program was called Art of the Lone Star State, and it offered the students (and myself) the chance to learn more about the history of this state through art. We looked at works of art that depict Texas landscapes and cityscapes before making our own landscapes with watercolor pencils.

The opportunity to work with children is one of the reasons I applied for this internship, so I am extremely happy that I get to work with our Go van Gogh program.

All of the amazing Go van Gogh programs would not be possible without our volunteers! Go van Gogh has over 30 volunteers, both in Dallas and the surrounding Metroplex. These individuals volunteer their time with the programs in schools, but also spend time here at the DMA for volunteer training. During training, the volunteers become the students as we simulate the programs that they teach. We also spend time in the galleries, looking at the works of art that the students will see. Being a Go van Gogh volunteer shows a commitment to the DMA and to education, and we are extremely grateful to have such wonderful volunteers!

Go van Gogh is just one of the many programs I have been involved with during my time at the Museum. Three months into my nine month internship, I have worked closely with the docents, given school tours, and been involved in programs with Booker T. Washington High School, just to name a few! While I miss my family, I am thankful that I have this position and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the internship brings! And of course, I’m thankful for the opportunity to drive our amazing van around town!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Liz Bola
McDermott Graduate Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

An Inside Job

Every two years, the DMA staff shows off their artistic skills with a special installation on Level M2. Explore the FREE exhibition Inside Job: Staff Art Show ’14  through February 22, 2015, and hear more about the art in the video below.

Friday Photos: Mercurial Mother Nature

In case any of us had forgotten, last week’s surprising plunge in temperature certainly served as a reminder of Texas weather’s tendency to change at whim. The days may be warming back up (however briefly), but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate what the Museum’s collection has to offer on Mother Nature’s more mercurial moods!

Whatever the weather may bring, you can always come see A Mountain Landscape with Approaching Storm on Level 2 in our European gallery, and explore the rest of the works shown here through the DMA’s Online Collection. Have a happy Friday!

Jennifer Sheppard
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching

Sharing Practices: 2014 TAEA Conference

San Antonio

Jessica and Danielle’s feet at Artpace San Antonio

 

Each year the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) holds an annual conference where art educators from elementary to higher ed to museums gather to learn about new trends in curriculum, research, technology and more. This year, the TAEA conference was held in San Antonio and my colleague Danielle Schulz and I attended and presented. Here are some highlights from the sessions we enjoyed during our 2014 TAEA experience.

Supported Interpretation at the Heart of San Antonio
Working in the Center for Creative Connections, the DMA’s interactive educational space, it can sometimes be difficult to find relevant professional development opportunities. Out of all the sessions at TAEA, I was most excited about this one, led by Alicia Viera, Director of Cultural Programs at Texas A&M University at San Antonio. Ms. Viera runs the Educational & Cultural Arts Center associated with TAMU San Antonio, which is an exhibition space located in the heart of the downtown San Antonio arts district. Her sessioncontemporary-latino-art-san-antonio-angel-rodriguez-diaz recounted a recent exhibition she developed with a team of artists and professors using the Supported Interpretation model. This model is intriguing because it is similar to the way we develop content for the Center for Creative Connections, including: moving away from didactic resources and more towards an active learning style; approaching labels and text with a diverse audience in mind; displaying visitor contributions/feedback in an exhibition; and using evaluation to inform the way we grow and change. An interesting aspect of the Supported Interpretation model which has not been fully realized in the Center for Creative Connections is the production of an exhibition with a team made up of Curatorial, Education, and Installation staff, along with representatives of the Museum audience. As much as possible, this is something we strive for, but it can be difficult to fully involve all parties. Ms. Viera’s presentation sparked my interest and I will continue to keep a watchful eye out for the work she is doing at the Educational & Cultural Arts Center.

For Teens, by Teens: Expanding Museum Communities
Connecting with teen audiences through programs and activities is a rapidly growing focus of many museums. In this session, educators from Artpace San Antonio and The Contemporary Austin shared their practice and insight into working with Teen Councils at their respective institutions. A shared goal of these museums was to make teens feel welcome and comfortable visiting their art institutions and attending events. Taylor Browning, Assistant Curator of Education, Teen & University Programs at Artpace, asserted that enlisting teens into designing teen-focused programs and events at their locations was a key aspect of achieving this goal. An interesting conversation covered during this presentation was the importance of flexibility in communication, in both low and high tech ways. WIGGIO, a free online communication tool for groups, was utilized by both institutions because it allows teens to choose their method of contact–via email or text message–which removes a hurdle often encountered by staff working with this group. A more grassroots method of communication was also highlighted: the paper flyer. Both Artpace and The Contemporary Austin promote teen-focused activities and events through event flyers posted in high school hallways and community centers, and they celebrated the cost-effective nature and success of this low-tech promotion.

This presentation supported the current work the DMA is doing with teen audiences, and more importantly, it sparked some fruitful ideas for how we can grow and develop our current teen-focused programs. We are currently working with our own Teen Council to design a teen-focused Late Night event, and have students from our Skyline and Booker T. Washington partnerships using the Museum and it’s collection as an extended classroom. It’s exciting to think of ways that we can extend these collaborations into making the Museum a more welcoming place for teens!

Out of Sight
Currently at the DMA we offer a handful of Access programs for visitors with special needs, and we are always looking to expand the breadth of our events and activities and increase their impact on visitors of all ages and abilities. In celebration of the national Art Beyond Sight Awareness month, the Museum has annually hosted a variety of hands-on activities, gallery discussions, art-making experiences and artist demonstrations that focus on ways to explore and experience art using senses other than vision.

tactile graphicThe Out of Sight session at TAEA was very beneficial because it described resources and tools used by the Meadows Museum and the Ann Richards Middle School in their art programs for visitors with low or no vision. One of the most interesting resources covered were tactile graphics–representations of images that are adapted, using braille and texture palettes, for the sense of touch. It was easy to visualize how tactile graphics could seamlessly be put into practice in the Center for Creative Connections and other educational programs at the DMA. More and more as a department we are exploring the concepts of Universal Design for Learning, and investigating how to create activities and interactives that are accessible to diverse visitors with a range of abilities and learning styles. Carmen Smith, Director of Education at the Meadows Museum and co-presenter of this session, often reiterated that resources like tactile graphics and verbal descriptions of works of art are not just helpful for visitors with low or no vision, but that sighted visitors find these resources to be beneficial as well. Many of the tactile graphics used by the Meadows Museum were created by Visual Aid Volunteers, or more simply by using glue or puff paint to outline details of a printed image. Another intriguing resource mentioned was a machine called a PIAF (Pictures In A Flash) which is a great, albeit expensive, tool to create detailed tactile graphics. Watch this video to see how it works.

Developing an Eye for Design
Though the work Danielle and I do at the DMA is quite different, our passion for photography and teaching often brings us together to collaborate on presentations and workshops for many different audiences. This year at TAEA we presented on several low and high tech photography related activities and projects that teachers could incorporate into their classrooms. These lessons were based on a photography summer camp we co-taught last summer at the Museum. During our session we covered the variety of themes and projects we taught to our summer camp kids, explaining their significance to the field of photography and to design instruction. Additionally, we incorporated two art-making components into our presentation so participants had some hands-on learning opportunities. For our low tech project, attendees learned how to build their own camera obscura using simple found materials. For the high tech portion, participants experimented with the photography app VSCOcam, to enhance their digital photographs. View our full presentation here.

The annual TAEA conference is a great way to hear about the work being accomplished by art educators across Texas, as well as share with the field the DMA’s great education programs. We’re taking in all the program ideas and resources we gathered, seeing how they can best be utilized, and already looking forward to next year’s conference.

Jessica Fuentes
C3 Gallery Coordinator

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

InstaBouquets

The DMA is positively blooming with floral still-life paintings this winter, thanks to the amazing works on view in Bouquets: French Still-Life Painting from Chardin to Matisse. Visitors can enjoy these paintings and even find a bit of creative inspiration in a sketching gallery, outfitted with a fresh floral arrangement, drawing supplies, and a place to display their drawings.
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Inspired by the exhibition, DMA staff took a turn curating their own still-life creations. From traditional to offbeat, we hope you enjoy these interpretations of this classic genre that has inspired artists for centuries. If you’re feeling inspired, create your own still life and post it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #BouquetsDMA—you may just see yourself retweeted!

Anthea Halsey is the Senior Marketing & Social Media Manager at the DMA.

Friday Photos: Dreaming of Hill Country

I just returned from five blissful days of creativity and companionship at Lucky Star Art Camp. This was my second year to attend camp. Last year’s experience was pretty amazing, and this year did not disappoint! Last year’s post provided more of an overview of my time at camp, so this time I’ll share photos of the different workshops I took.

I spent my first morning with Lisa Seger of Blue Heron Farm in Food from Your Backyard. Lisa taught us the basics of raising a garden, composting, and raising goats and chickens. Though I probably won’t add any goats or chickens to our family in the near future (I can barely take care of my dog!), I was happy to learn more about gardening and composting. During class, we visited some chickens that Lucky Star camp founder Lisa Field brought for us to meet.

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During Light Hunters that afternoon, photographer Vivienne McMaster led us on a journey throughout the beautiful grounds at Camp Waldemar. We took advantage of the gray weather and learned how to use different camera settings to capture as much light as possible. It was difficult to choose just a dozen images from the many I took that afternoon!

The next day, I learned about the many beneficial properties of different plants and herbs from Stacy Wooster during Plants & Practice. Our workshop ended with a very relaxing yoga session, and we walked away with an herbal antiseptic to spray on scratches and scrapes, a fire remedy for when we’re feeling under the weather, and an herbal tea that boosts the immune system.

Because I loved her workshop so much last year, I revisited my friend Corrine Gilman in Mixed Media Alchemy. Corrine describes herself as “a creativity cheerleader, a big rock obstacle mover, a doer and a maker of all things mixed media.” I can personally attest that these are all absolutely true. Being a tentative art-maker myself, I appreciate Corrine’s enthusiastic and gentle encouragement, and enjoyed three hours of playing with different materials.

I relearned how to crochet during Hook It Up! with Cal Patch. I crocheted as a young girl with my mother, but haven’t practiced in many years. I started making a cowl scarf, but three hours fly by when you’re a beginner (or second-time beginner), so I don’t have any finished products, or pictures, to share from this workshop.

And just like that, camp was over. I feel incredibly fortunate to have spent five days at Camp Waldemar, learning new things and exercising my creativity while relaxing with so many lovely ladies in beautiful Hill Country, Texas. If you are intrigued, join the Lucky Star gang from November 4-8 in 2015!

Melissa Gonzales
C3 Gallery Manager

 


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