Archive for August, 2015



Summer Interns: How Time Flies!

I cannot believe that this summer is already coming to a close. It is true that time flies when you are having fun! I have had a great experience interning here with the DMA’s summer art camps and am extremely grateful for the opportunity.

As the summer has progressed I have come to know so many different children, each with a distinct personality and story. Realizing that I have been given the opportunity to be a part of their lives–even if only for a week or so–is such a special privilege. I can only hope that I have helped the children develop their artistic and social skills, and that when they are world famous artists they will remember Miss Anna from summer art camp.

As an artist myself, the campers have taught me a lot about accepting the fact that we are not all Michelangelo or Monet and that, even though our artwork may not be “perfect,” creating something from only our imaginations is awesome. I know that this experience will forever be in my heart, and I really have had an excellent summer working with children.

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Anna Galluzzi
Summer Art Camp Intern

Chasing Waterfalls

This month, the Dallas Museum of Art debuts a new acquisition in the American galleries that highlights the work of Henrietta Shore (1880–1963), an artist who made a significant contribution in the development of American modernism. While she and her work were held in high regard, by the 1940s both had fallen into obscurity. Fortunately, the artist is now undergoing rediscovery, as well as a long-overdue reassessment of her impact on American art of the 20th century.

Henrietta Mary Shore, Waterfall, c. 1922, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Boeckman Mayer Family Fund 2015.24.FA

Henrietta Mary Shore, Waterfall, c. 1922, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Boeckman Mayer Family Fund, 2015.24.FA

Waterfall is a remarkable product from one of the most innovative periods of Shore’s long career, when she visually interpreted the natural world into its most essential and abbreviated forms. These “semi-abstractions,” as she called them, were an attempt to convey in a symbolic way the underlying spiritual forces she sensed in nature rather than a literal transcription of the visual phenomena she observed. In Waterfall, pure line and the juxtaposition of positive and negative shapes laid down with the sheer application of pigment are the means the artist employed to render visible the dynamic power of the eternal. Color is the emotional key she wielded to unlock the visual impact of the whole.

Although she was born in Toronto, the key portion of Shore’s artistic training was acquired in the United States, most significantly under Robert Henri in New York. After several years in California, she returned to New York City in 1920 and, forsaking narrative subject matter and the loaded-brush paint application she had learned from Henri, developed the stripped-down modernist approach demonstrated in Waterfall. The inspiration for this bold composition came, most likely, from her explorations of Maine and Canada during the summer of either 1921 or 1922. When her semi-abstractions debuted in a New York gallery in January of 1923, they were widely discussed by critics, who immediately and positively compared them with works by Georgia O’Keeffe then on view at another gallery across town.

On Wednesday, August 19, learn more about the newest addition to the DMA’s American Art Galleries during our lunchtime gallery talk.

Sue Canterbury is The Pauline Gill Sullivan Associate Curator of American Art at the DMA.

Leadership, Laughter, and Legacy

Today is Nicole Stutzman Forbes’ last day at the DMA.  Nicole began her career in 1999 as an education McDermott Intern, and in 2012, became the Chair of Learning Initiatives and Dallas Museum of Art League Director of Education.  This blog post barely begins to illustrate her hard work, passion, and humor (but I’ll give it a shot anyway).

Nicole

Nicole is smart.  During her time at the DMA, Nicole worked closely with the DMA’s collections – conducting docent trainings, leading workshops for teachers, designing educational and experiential resources for exhibitions, and leading tours for visitors of all ages (among other things).  I would argue that she knows the collection better than most people on our staff.  She is also very skilled at anticipating and attending to the little details while understanding the big concept, whether she is writing a grant proposal or developing a new project.

Late Night

Leading a Late Night tour titled Tips and Toes, inspired by nail polish!

Nicole is fun.  She knows when to be serious and when to laugh.  A regular fixture at Late Nights, she could be spied animatedly chatting with visitors or chaperoning a teen dance party in the Sculpture Garden.  She knows that good work does not necessarily mean serious work.  Case in point: one of our annual education retreats was held at Bowlounge, a vintage bowling alley.  What else is there to say?

Bowlounge

Education staff revisited Bowlounge for a farewell celebration

Nicole isn’t afraid to try new things.  She welcomes opportunities to experiment with different ways of teaching with art and working with partners.  Nicole was the first to co-teach the Booker T. Washington Learning Lab at the DMA, during which visual arts students split their learning between their school and the Museum, which essentially becomes a second classroom.  She embraced technology; first through the digitization and then expansion of our resources for teachers, and later through technology-based programs in the Center for Creative Connections Tech Lab.  Rather than shy away from change, experimentation, and the unknown, Nicole eagerly explores new territory and encourages others to do so as well.

Nicole plays well with others.  Perhaps her greatest legacy is the dozens of partnerships she has initiated and developed with schools, educators, community organizations, artists, museums, and arts and cultural organizations.  Nicole strives to develop true partnerships, in which all stakeholders participate and benefit equally, building meaningful relationships that strengthen over time.  I could write an entire blog post on these partnerships alone; suffice it to say that if you named a school, museum, or community organization in the Dallas area, she has likely worked with them in one way or another.

Skyline Project

At the opening of Sculpting Space: 299 Chairs, a collaborative installation created with Skyline High School and three DISD elementary schools

Nicole is a leader.  For me, she is also a friend and mentor who championed my ideas and pushed me to think bigger. Nicole leads by her words and by her actions.  She leads with integrity.  She leads with energy and enthusiasm.  She is highly respected among her peers, both locally and nationally.

But, don’t just take my word for it.  When asked to share her thoughts about Nicole, Bonnie Pitman, former Eugene McDermott Director at the Dallas Museum of Art, quickly responded:

Nicole has always been a trailblazer, an innovator and a great educator dedicated to communicating art in new ways.  In 2002-03, she led the DMA into a new domain – educational technology.   Created in partnership with the UT Dallas’s Arts and Technology programDIG! The Maya Project was one of the first ever museum interactive video games. There was little that was easy about it— as the process for this type of creative online learning through games had never been done before.

Nicole also actively sought to bring together the works of students and educators and artists in new ways for the public to enjoy and embrace. Poets, dancers, musicians, visual, and other artists have all actively  interpreted the collections and the romps, stomps, and interactive displays have been enjoyed by all.

This past year Nicole and I co-taught a course for medical students at UT Southwestern Medical School that focused on observing, analyzing, and engaging with works of art in order to assist the future doctors with their medical diagnostic skills.  The reviews of the class were amazing in large measure because of Nicole’s passion for teaching.
Nicole and Bonnie

Nicole and Bonnie

Maria Teresa Garcia-Pedroche, Head of Community Engagement, adds:

I had the privilege of collaborating with Nicole on several exhibitions and programs. She organized col-LAB-oration (December 2003 – January 2004), an exhibition that took the form of an “idea lab” where visitors felt as if they have walked into the artist’s thought process.  She invited students from Travis Academy to collaborate with Jesús Moroles on ideas with regards to sculpture. Nicole understands that true partnerships allow for everyone to come to the table and have an equal voice. These collaborative experiences take time to create and one size does not fit all.  It is a privilege to work with a colleague who respects communities at large.

This blog post could be much, much longer.  But I think you’re starting to get the point (or you’ve already gotten it, if you’ve been fortunate enough to work with Nicole): She is awesome.  We’re so excited for her and her new adventure as the first Director of Extracurricular Programs at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth.  But man, are we going to miss her.

Melissa Gonzales
C3 Gallery Manager

30-Minute Dash: Reagan Duplisea

In our second installment of 30-Minute Dash” DMA Registrar Reagan Duplisea shares her solution to the tough task of only 30 minutes in the DMA.

A DMA highlights tour for me would begin by taking the elevator to the second floor galleries and turn left to be met with a wall of compelling and dramatic emotion and color, which begins with the despair of Ramon Casas’ Tired, the treacherous sea-swept cemetery of Adolf Hiremy-Hirschl, and ends on the idyllic pastoral note of Hans Thoma’s Olive Grove at Lake Garda.

Take the small staircase up to the third floor and take a quick turn through the Northern Decorative Arts gallery. Bask in the glow of the Tiffany windows and Front doors from the Robert R. Blacker House and admire the sturdy yet stunning craftsmanship of the Stickley workshop. Then take a few more steps into the light-infused foyer of the Reves period rooms. Don’t miss the Winston Churchill room, especially his oversized brandy glass and self-portrait in the guise of a portly pig.

As you exit the decorative arts galleries, make a right to marvel at the delicate Japanese ceramics, pause for a contemplative moment in the calming ambiance of the gallery of Japanese screens and take a quick wander amidst the sly smiles of the Oceanic figures. Take the stairs to the fourth floor and veer left on a path that will lead you past the harmonious and fine lines of Charles Biederman’s Work no. 3, 1939, the Viktor Schreckengost Jazz Bowl and Charles Sheeler’s Suspended Power.

This reverse route through the American galleries will ensure that you pass by the majestic Gothic bed before you exit and make a quick beeline for the Ancient Arts of the Americas. The first gallery features objects of jade, in amazing shade variations, and the second will dazzle you with an array of gold. As you leave the final gallery, throw a glance over your right shoulder to catch a glimpse of the charming Yup’ik Mask with seal or sea otter spirit. The Mixtec Crouching frogs outside the galleries will stick their tongues at you, playfully suggesting that you didn’t allot nearly enough time for your visit and goad you into planning another, longer visit soon.

Reagan Duplisea is the Associate Registrar, Exhibitions at the DMA

The Art of Being an Intern

Finalizing designs with the SDCC teens.

Finalizing designs with the SDCC teens.

Hello everyone! My name is Mariana Gonzalez and for the past eight weeks, I have interned with the Museum’s Education Department as part of the Mayors Intern Fellows Program. The program is highly competitive because it offers 350 students (over 1,000 students applied!) the opportunity to gain real world experience at an eight-week long internship. I am about to begin my senior year at Richland Collegiate High School. It is a charter school in Dallas where I am set to earn my Associates Degree in Science and my high school diploma this coming spring. I aspire to be a well-recognized artist someday and plan to continue my studies with a Bachelors in Studio Art.

Much of my job here as an intern for the Education Department involved getting dirty with many diverse groups of kids. I worked in the C3 Studio on some days and other days I was on the move with the Go van Gogh program! We created works of art and hosted all kinds of camps for the kiddos from fashion camp to a cosplay camp. Every day was completely different. I also had the opportunity to help guide a teacher forum. I essentially taught teachers about teaching art. From doing craft projects to visiting a few exhibitions, these teachers were offered the finest of opportunities to learn all about how we do things here at the DMA.

One of my favorite partnerships happened with the South Dallas Cultural Center. The Go van Gogh program and teens from the SDCC banded together to create temporary street art with duct tape. We began with marshmallow ice breakers, finding inspiration from artists like Banksy, and sketching out various designs. We outlined our ideas in chalk and finally worked the duct tape into the concrete to create street art. The entire experience was mind blowing –who would’ve thought we could make art on concrete out of non-expensive tape? These brilliant teens innovated my manner of thinking and that lesson will always stick with me.

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When I was little, my mother taught me about many things, but no amount of preaching on her behalf could have taught me what I learned from the kids at the DMA. Working with such a vast amount of children allowed me to realize how much I enjoy their company. They are all young, vibrant, and honest. Something I looked forward to every single day of my internship. Overall, my internship transformed my summer into a memorable experience. I am forever in debt to my supervisor and all of the wonderful people who helped guide me on this fantastic journey of learning and teaching at the DMA. I even had the opportunity to be featured on The Dallas Morning News!

Mariana Gonzalez
Mayor’s Intern Fellow


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