Archive for June, 2015

Bittersweet Farewell

Artist Michaël Borremans at the opening of Michaël Borremans: As sweet as it gets, March 2015

Artist Michaël Borremans at the opening of Michaël Borremans: As sweet as it gets, March 2015

It is hard to believe it was almost four months ago that Michaël Borremans was at the Museum to open his internationally traveling exhibition co-organized by the DMA. The DMA is the last venue for the tour and the exhibition is now in its final six days. Don’t miss your chance to see Michaël Borremans: As sweet as it gets, on view at the DMA through Sunday, July 5.

 

Kimberly Daniell is the Manager of Communications and Public Affairs at the DMA

Take a Summer Safari at the DMA

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This year’s class of teen docents.

This summer, bring your summer school students and summer campers to the Dallas Museum of Art for a tour led by one of our teen docents! Our docent-guided tours allow students to form meaningful connections with works of art through close looking and interactive gallery experiences, including sketching, writing, group discussion, and more. Teen docents conduct summer tours for young visitors (ages 5-12) all summer long, during which they encourage critical and creative thinking while addressing all learning styles. If you are interested in scheduling a guided tour with one of our teen docents, the process is easy!

Step 1: Visit www.dma.org/tours. This page includes information about fees–FREE if you are an educational organization and scheduled 2-3 weeks in advance!

Step 2: Click on Docent-Guided Tour Request Form, making sure you already have a few dates approved for a visit.

Step 3: Choose whether you would like the “Animal Safari” tour or the “Summer Vacation” tour.

  • On the “Animal Safari” tour, students will set off on a safari to search for animals in works of art. They will think about how animals look and what they might mean and symbolize in works of art from all over the world.
  • On the “Summer Vacation” tour, students will travel the world without ever leaving the Museum! They will think about how they spend their summer vacation and make connections between their favorite summer activities and those they see in works of art.

Step 4: Choose a date and time. Docent-guided tours are only available in the summer on Wednesday and Friday between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. We can only tour 30 students every hour, but feel free to split them between a few hours! For example, half the students can tour at 11:00 a.m. while the other half explore our collection in small groups or eat lunch in our Sculpture Garden.

Step 5: Once the form is submitted, you will be added to our schedule in the first available time and day.

We have lots of room left in our schedule, and our teens are ready to show your students their favorite pieces! We hope you join us for a Safari or a Vacation soon!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

#LoveWins

In commemoration of today’s decision we wanted to share Félix González-Torres’s work in the DMA collection Untitled (Perfect Lovers).

The date of this work corresponds to the time during which Félix González-Torres’s partner, Ross Laycock, was ill, and it embodies the tension that comes from two people living side-by-side as life moves forward to its ultimate destination. González-Torres comments: “Time is something that scares me . . . or used to. This piece I made with the two clocks was the scariest thing I have ever done. I wanted to face it. I wanted those two clocks right in front of me, ticking.”

Félix González-Torres, Untitled (Perfect Lovers), 1987-1990, wall clocks, Dallas Museum of Art, fractional gift of The Rachofsky Collection © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Félix González-Torres, Untitled (Perfect Lovers), 1987-1990, wall clocks, Dallas Museum of Art, fractional gift of The Rachofsky Collection © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Kimberly Daniell is the Manager of Communications and Public Affairs at the DMA

Weaving in the Andes

For thousands of years, artists in the Andean region of South America have been weaving beautiful and complex textiles—an extremely labor intensive process as well as an important form of artistic expression. Beyond serving as protection from the arduous cold of the highlands and the intense sun of the Andean coast, textiles played important roles in ritual, political, and social life and functioned as a marker of social identity for both the living and the dead. Because it took so much time and effort to produce a textile, wearing a highly decorative tunic, for example, conveyed the wearer’s social prestige. Today, we are surrounded by textiles—from the upholstery of our living room sofas to our clothes and bed sheets. But most of today’s textiles were created in mass and for the masses.

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One of the goals of Inca: Conquests of the Andes—on view until November 15, 2015—is to emphasize that each of the textiles in the exhibition was laboriously and thoughtfully created by hand. So, we designed a space within its galleries to illustrate the step-by-step process of making a textile, from the shearing of a camelid for natural hair or the picking of raw cotton, to the many specific ways that fibers can be woven together to produce a textile.

We were thrilled to collaborate on this project with University of North Texas professor Lesli Robertson and the awesome students in her class Topics in Fiber: Community, Culture, and Art. To kick it off, the class visited the DMA’s textile storage and examined fragments representing a variety of weaving techniques for inspiration. Then, they returned to campus and got busy creating enlarged samples of the weaving techniques, using extra strong and thick cording and string so that visitors can touch and feel the nuanced differences between the various techniques. The students experimented with natural dyes like indigo and cochineal (a parasitic insect) to produce bright colors, mirroring the Andean artists in the exhibition. They also produced a backstrap loom—a small, portable loom popular in the Andes that is attached around the weaver’s back and anchored to a tree or other high post. Be sure to check out the students’ photodocumentation of their project on Instagram. They tagged all of their photos and video with #IncaConquestUNT.

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Better yet, visit the Inca exhibition and explore the sample wall to learn about the intricate weaving processes used by the artists represented in the exhibition. When you enter, grab a Weaving Techniques guide from the holder. The colorful round icons on labels indicate the predominant weaving technique used for that artwork. Look for differences in the techniques in the artwork galleries, but try to feel the difference in the Weaving in the Andes space.

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Andrea Severin Goins is the Interpretation Manager at the DMA.

 

 

 

 

Inti Raymi – Festival of the Sun

June 24 marks one of the most notable festivals of the Inca Empire, Inti Raymi or Sun Celebration. In Quechua, the native language of the Inca, Inti means sun and Raymi means celebration, and this annual observance celebrates the Sun god, the most honored deity in the Inca religion. The largest Inti Raymi festival takes place in Cusco, Peru, but luckily you don’t have to hop on a plane to take part in the celebration–look no further than the DMAinca2From June 24th-28th, we will be hosting sun-inspired activities and programs throughout the Museum. We invite you to participate in docent-led tours of our newest exhibition, Inca:Conquests of the Andes, investigate Inca weaving techniques through an artist-led gallery talk, or even harness the power of the sun to create your own nature print! You can craft your own sun celebration by checking out our full list of activities, here.

Happy Inti Raymi!

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Dad’s Day at the DMA

Henry Ossawa Tanner, Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures, c. 1909, oil on canvasm Dallas Museum of Art, Deaccession Funds 1986.9

Henry Ossawa Tanner, Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures, c. 1909, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Deaccession Funds, 1986.9

In honor of Fathers’ Day, we are showcasing artist Henry Ossawa Tanner’s tender rendering of his wife and son, whom he used as models for Christ and His Mother Studying the Scriptures. In addition to this painting in the DMA’s collection, another, later version is in the Des Moines Art Center. The two were based on inscribed photographs taken by Tanner of his Swedish-born wife, Jessie, and their son, Jesse; the photographs are now housed in the Tanner Papers collection at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art.

(Image: Jessie Olssen Tanner and Jesse Ossawa Tanner posing for Henry Ossawa Tanner’s painting of Christ and his mother studying the scriptures, not after 1910. aaa.si.edu/)

Tanner painted a portrait of his own father, African Methodist Episcopal bishop Benjamin Tucker Tanner (1897), now in the Baltimore Museum of Art. The Tanner family lived primarily in France, where the artist had settled in the 19th century to escape racial discrimination in America. The artist’s last years were devoted to the care and recovery of his only son, who had a nervous breakdown following his graduation from Cambridge. Jesse Tanner went on to become a successful petroleum engineer, and in the 1950s he wrote a manuscript, The Life and Works of Henry O. Tanner, dedicated to his father.

Visit Tanner’s painting, on view in the DMA’s Level 4 galleries and included in free general admission, this weekend to celebrate the dad in your life.

Reagan Duplisea is the Associate Registrar at the DMA.

Friday Photos: Touch But Don’t Look

Blind-folded touch-tour attendees experience Jurgen Bey's "Tree-Trunk Bench" (1999) in our Sculpture Garden.

Blind-folded touch-tour attendees experience Jurgen Bey’s “Tree-Trunk Bench” (1999) in our Sculpture Garden.

WARNING: Do not attempt a touch tour on your own–our trusty Gallery Attendants will stop you! However, on rare occasions (with a staff member present and the Conservation Department’s approval), you may be given permission to touch the art!

One such opportunity occurred this past Monday, June 15, when Amanda led a touch tour in our Sculpture Garden with painter John Bramblitt, who became blind in his late twenties. This tour was in tandem with the Arts & Letters Live program featuring Rebecca Alexander, author of Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found. Rebecca was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome Type III when she was 19 years old. This rare genetic disorder is causing her to slowly lose her vision and hearing.

Hearing both John and Rebecca’s inspiring stories, we thought it would be a great experience for a few of our visitors to learn what it is like to experience art with more than just their eyes. Amanda led a conversation focused on two different works of art and suggested techniques for exploring them with touch. We got to explore with our fingers Jurgen Bey’s Tree-Trunk Bench and Mark Handforth’s Dallas Snake.

Unfortunately, this is not something we can do all of the time. So don’t get any ideas!

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Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

DMAxTAC = Super Late Night

The Teen Advisory Council.

The Teen Advisory Council

If your tour guide looks a tad younger than expected during this month’s Late Night on Friday, June 19, chances are you’re meeting one of the amazing members of the Teen Advisory Council (TAC). You’ll see others as well—decked out in black and festooned with capes—leading art activities and scavenger hunts, helping with haiku slams and performances, and having a great time with visitors throughout the night.

The masterminds behind the evening’s activities, the TAC has spent the past three months working on the first-ever teen-planned Late Night in DMA history. Their vision for the event not only reflects their ideas for what the Museum can offer but is a collaboration that I hope will only continue to grow.

I caught up with some of the council members to ask them about what this opportunity has meant to them and what they hope visitors will experience on Friday:

Q: What activity has been the most fun or the most challenging to plan?

“The most difficult activity to plan was probably the scavenger hunt because if one detail is off then it can throw off the entire scavenger hunt. At the same time, planning this was a lot of fun because we got to choose the different works of art ourselves and make up the clues. We really got to take charge of this activity, and I think it’s cool that a group of teens was able to pull off such a task.” —Maddi

Teen Council members collaborate with Eliel Jones on his Alternative Signage event during the March Late Night.

Teen Council members collaborate with Eliel Jones on his Alternative Signage event during the March Late Night.

Q: What do you hope visitors take away from this evening?

“I hope that visitors will gain a greater appreciation of the Museum as a whole, in particular through the DMAzing Race, as it offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the Museum. I also hope people meet others with the same interests as them and gain new friends in the process, especially teens who will have a separate lounge area for themselves.” —Cristina

“I hope the new visitors to the Museum see how the Museum is actually very different from the normal museum experience and how they can interact and be a part of the Museum just as any artist can.” —Maddi

“I want the visitors to leave saying ‘I’m glad I came to this’ and learning something. They could learn about anything at the Museum, even about themselves. So, I want the visitors to learn, about anything they want.” —Nadir

The Teen Council experiments with a Creativity Challenge idea.

The Teen Council experiments with a Creativity Challenge idea.

For me, it’s been a blast to watch the TAC execute their ideas and see how much fun they’ve had in the process. I’m amazed at how undaunted they’ve been throughout the process given the magnitude of this project (maybe it just hasn’t sunk in yet?) and how many moving pieces there are. You can check out the full schedule of events for Friday’s Late Night here.

I couldn’t be more proud of all the hard work they’ve put in, and I can’t wait to see how visitors respond. Super!

JC Bigornia is the C3 Program Manager at the DMA.

Art to Go Family Totes at Home: DIY Story Dice

Whether you’re seeking sunburn-free, sweat-free fun this summer or new experiences to share with your family, the DMA has what you’re looking for! As usual, the Art Spot in the Center for Creative Connections is open every day for art-making and exploration, and our Family Guides are always available at the front entrance for exploring the galleries. Weekdays and Saturdays through June and July will also offer different (air-conditioned!) activities as part of the DMA’s Summer Family Fun. These activities include the Pop-Up Art Spot, story time and family tours, and our wonderful Art to Go Family Totes.

A family using the Color Art to Go Family Tote and story dice in Between Action and the Unknown: Shiraga/Motonaga.

A family using the Color Art to Go Family Tote and story dice in Between Action and the Unknown: Shiraga/Motonaga.

An important thing to note is that the Art to Go Family Totes are only available this summer on Tuesdays between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.! In June, we’ll have them out for use in Between Action and the Unknown: The Art of Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga, and in July you can find them up on Level 4 in Formed/Unformed: Design from 1960 to the Present.

If you can’t wait to make it to the Museum to try out our Totes, or have already enjoyed them and wished you could have the Art to Go experience at home, here’s a quick and easy DIY to help you recreate one of the activities from our Color Tote.

DIY Story Dice

Art to Go Family Tote - Color, Writing Activity

Color Art to Go Family Tote – Writing Activity: Once Upon a Time

The Art to Go Family Totes include activities to MAKE, PLAY, TALK, and WRITE. This “Once Upon a Time” writing activity is one of our favorites and includes two ‘story dice’ to inspire a story written with a piece of artwork as its setting. Our dice are pretty simple–images of possible main characters and colors are pasted on the sides of two cube-shaped cardboard boxes (small ones that fold down for easy storing).

Color Art to Go Family Tote - Writing Activity Story Dice

Color Art to Go Family Tote – Writing Activity Story Dice

To make your own story dice at home, you could use boxes like we have here (big or small – play with proportions!). Other options include small wooden craft blocks or making your own paper cubes. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even put together this twelve-sided paper dodecahedron to use instead of the traditional six-sided dice shape!

Once you have the base for your die, all that’s left is to decide which theme you’re going to assign to it, pick out images or words to convey different ideas for each side, and attach your images. The possibilities are absolutely endless. To get you started, here are a few ideas for combinations of themes:

  • Attach images of family members on one die and parts of an adventure on others: settings for the adventure, modes of transportation, treasures to hunt, etc.
  • Fill one die with superhero images and another with giant monsters to face off in an epic battle!
  • Make murder mystery themed dice (for older storytellers) with possible murder weapons, locations of the murder, and prime suspects.
  • Have entirely artwork-based dice: cover one with your favorite portraits, one with landscapes, and one with still lifes or ancient artifacts–or anything else you might think of.

With a little imagination and teamwork, any kind of story dice you create can lead to a GREAT story and a serious brain workout! You can even re-purpose your story dice. Maybe on a day when you’re feeling more like an illustrator and less like an author, just give your dice a roll and voilà! Your story ideas work just as well for creating a new piece of artwork. Have a go at it and let us know in the comments how your efforts turn out. And don’t forget to stop by the Museum to check out the rest of our Art to Go Family Tote activities and other Summer Family Fun experiences!

Jennifer Sheppard
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching

A Soft Touch

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This evening, in advance of our special DMA Arts & Letters Live event with Rebecca Alexander, who will discuss her memoir about losing her vision and hearing due to a rare genetic disease, we will host our first Touch Tour for adults in the Museum’s Sculpture Garden. Last summer, the DMA hosted a similar tour for a group of children with visual impairment; you can explore photos from the event below and learn more about the history here.

Tonight, artist John Bramblitt will lead participants to three works of art and then discuss his process as an artist who happens to be blind. The all-inclusive tour for those attending the Arts & Letters Live event (those with full vision will be given blindfolds for the tour) begins at 6:15 p.m. Visit DMA.org for additional information about tonight’s program and to purchase tickets.

Amanda Blake is the Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences at the DMA. 


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