Friday Photos: Do Something New Practice with Bonnie Pitman

When was the last time you took a few moments out of an ordinary day to do something you have not done before? To visit a new place, savor a new flavor of ice cream, or simply to slow down and attend to the world around you?

Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, UT Dallas, and former Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, created her Do Something New Practice to explore just that: starting July 8, 2011, she set an intention to do at least one new thing, big or small, each day. We were fortunate enough to have Bonnie join us for a very special docent training to share her practice, the art of observation, and the magic of being fully present in the moment.

“You see, but you do not observe,” Bonnie reflected, quoting from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes before recommending Alexandra Horowitz’s On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes, a fascinating collection of essays exploring observation and perception. Now, I might be biased, but I think our docent team knows the DMA collection inside out. Could we really see in new ways and discover something new?

Bonnie challenged us to adopt the poses of two works of art in the Arts of the Pacific Islands Gallery. We started at the toes and worked our way up…and suddenly we made a discovery: one work speaks, raised hands emphasizing a round, open mouth, while the other work leans forward to listen! Deepening our understanding through playful attentiveness proved to be a delightful something new for the day. We can hardly wait for Bonnie’s next visit!

Try your own Do Something New Practice and explore chatty and attentive works of art here at the Museum!

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs


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