Archive for June, 2017



A Truly Touching Tour

Let’s face itwhen brainstorming ideal field trip locations for a group of blind or visually impaired visitors, a visual arts museum probably wouldn’t be at the top of your list. One might assume that art museums don’t have much to offer visitors with impaired vision. However, when vision teachers from the Dallas Independent School District reached out to the DMA to request a tour in 2014, we were eager to create an unforgettable experience for their students. Each summer, the DMA has welcomed this group of students, whom we work hard to impress—challenging ourselves to bring the collection to life through multi-sensory experiences.

In past vision impairment tours, we have explored artworks in the Sculpture Garden through touch. But as any Texan knows, these surfaces can get pretty hot under the scorching Texas sun, making them uncomfortable to touch. This year, we were thrilled when our conservation team helped us identify several figurative sculptures inside the Museum that were suitable for touch. To help protect the sculptures, students and instructors wore thin gloves as we guided the students’ hands. We also explored the works of art through visual description, discussion, raised line drawings, scents, additional tactile objects, and by acting out poses.

Take a peek at some of our favorite moments of this year’s tour! We are already looking forward to next summer!

Click here for information about Art Beyond Sight programs or to request a tour for visitors who are blind or partially sighted.

Emily Wiskera
Manager of Access Programs

Artist Interview: Christopher Blay

This spring in the Center for Creative Connections, we invited C3 Visiting Artist Christopher Blay to work with us on a new design for our in-gallery activities. We hope you agree that our time was very well spent. Meet Christopher here and learn more about these imaginative and reflective activities designed for visitors of all ages.

Tell us about yourself in 50 words or less.
I am an artist, and I curate exhibitions at Tarrant County College. I also review art locally. I enjoy the process of making, and create installations that reflect a sense of place. I see value in art that meets both the artist and their audience where they live.

What motivated you to apply to the C3 Visiting Artist Project?
I thought it would be an interesting way to share my ideas with audiences, outside of a curated exhibition. This was about creating a space for reflection, and saying the things left unsaid, in that moment of reflection.

Tell us about the activities you’ve created in C3.
I created three rounds of participatory activities under the project name Machines for Intangible Communications for the Visiting Artist Project (sketches above). They all revolved around the idea that some of the things we want to say can no longer be heard by the people we hope are listening. Part A presented visitors with a desk, a typewriter, some writing materials, and a mailbox. Part B had walkie-talkies and satellites to relay what was spoken. Part C is a phone booth and a Morse code machine for dialing and relaying messages into the void. In each iteration of this project, visitors could reach out and say the things they wish they’d said to themselves, or others. It was a way of expressing the thoughts and words we’ve always wanted to express.

Do you have any favorite visitor responses you’d like to share?
I do. There was a man from Turkey who lost his grandfather when he was about a year old. He told me that it was difficult to speak into the walkie-talkie because he was suddenly at a loss for words; however, when he did speak, he thanked his grandfather for the gift of life, and wished that he was present to see his current life. It was a beautiful moment that I was happy to share with a stranger.

What did you enjoy most about this experience?
I enjoyed being able to make a gesture in a space for art that reflected real experiences. I was inspired to build these machines out of a sense of longing and personal loss, and from stories about loss. This is a human experience and one that I hope connects with visitors. I wanted to build an impossible bridge that maybe a whisper could cross.

Visitor responses from Machines for Intangible Communications Part A.

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Join C3 Visiting Artist Christopher Blay for the Teen Workshop Revolutionary Prints on Saturday, June 24, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The workshop is for ages 13-19; all materials are provided, and no prior experience is necessary. The cost is $8 for the public and $5 for DMA Members.

Jessica Fuentes is the Manager of Gallery Interpretation and the Center for Creative Connections at the DMA.

Friday Photos: C3 Art Spot

The Center for Creative Connections is undergoing some changes! Next week new works of art and new activities will be unveiled. One of those changes will be at the C3 Art Spot. For years, visitors have come to C3 and made small sculptures out of everyday materials like cardboard, plastic spoons, and twist ties.

Starting next week, visitors to the C3 Art Spot can get inspired by these works of art from the permanent collection and use magnetic wooden blocks to imagine and build devices for communication. Check out these devices created by visitors and staff:

What will you make the next time you stop by the C3 Art Spot? We can’t wait to see!

Jessica Fuentes
Manager of Gallery Interpretation and the Center for Creative Connections

A Curator’s Best Days

In celebration of Paul Gauguin’s birthday today, we thought we would revisit one of Uncrated’s first blogs from August 2010 exploring the conservation work on the DMA’s “Under the Pandanus” painting by Gauguin.

That’s a Wrap: 2016-2017 School Tours

As the school year ends and our outstanding DMA docents take a well-deserved summer break, we want to celebrate another successful year of K-12 visits! The year’s been jam-packed with exciting exhibitions, new learning experiences (did you know we now offer a STEAM tour?), and, of course, a multitude of tours and programs geared to help visitors of all ages feel at home in the Museum and discover art. Let’s take a look at our stats for the year:

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How many groups visited the Museum?

  • 1,284 Visits Scheduled
  • 720 Schools or Community Groups
  • 103 Independent School Districts from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Iowa, and Florida

How many students received docent-guided tours?

  • 36,495 K-12 students
  • Approximately 2,700 hours discussing works of art with students!

What were the most popular tours?

  • A Looking Journey: 17,343 4th graders; 1,166 hours in the gallery
  • Mesquite Week: 2,740 students: 118 hours
  • STEAM: 497 students; 33 hours
  • Stories in Art: 1,596 2-3rd graders; 110 hours
  • Collection Highlights: 2,550 students; 213 hours
  • Arts of the Americas: 4,361 5th graders; 293 hours

How many visitors toured special exhibitions?

What do our visitors say about their experience at the DMA?

“Our 5th graders really enjoyed their visit to the DMA. Our docents were great, and I even learned something new! The tour went well, we had enough time to explore on our own, and we ended up having lunch in the courtyard. It was a wonderful, new experience for them. Thank you!” – Founders Classical Academy, Oct. 28

“We had a wonderful time. All museum staff were friendly. Our docent was outstanding. She spoke directly to the kids, she was animated, energetic, enthusiastic and passionate. She made the tour very interesting. She has amazing storytelling skills. She pulled us all in with her soft spoken mannerism and entertained and educated us all with her knowledge.” – Bennett Elementary,  Jan. 11

“I wanted to take a moment and thank you and your staff for being so professional and hospitable during our Museum visit and tour on February 28th. All of the teachers had glowing reports of how well things went this year and how much our students enjoyed their time. These museum visits are the things our students will remember decades from now and are very impactful to them culturally and artistically. Our teachers and students also enjoyed having the time to walk through and enjoy the museum after the tour. Please pass my thanks and appreciation on to the docents and staff at your museum. PS We are already looking forward to next year!” – Maple Lawn Elementary, Feb. 28

Thank you to all our volunteers, staff, and visitors for an amazing school year!

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

It was a Dark and Stormy Night

Last Friday, with storms lending the appropriate atmosphere, over 650 super sleuths helped us solve the unfortunate murder of Marcus Aurelius during our annual Museum Murder Mystery Game.

With their great detective work, we found out that it was Mademoiselle d’Orleans with the candelabrum of nine lights in the Ancient Art of the Americas galleries.

We documented the night’s events to make sure there was no cry of foul play:

Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services

Friday Photos: Arturo’s Fixer Upper

Did you know that Arturo’s Nest (the Museum’s play space just for children 0-4 years old) is nine years old?! The first kids to step foot in this beloved space have long since outgrown it!

When the space opened in 2008, it was a new experiment for the Dallas Museum of Art, and a visible symbol that we love little kids here at the Museum. Since that time, this small room has had a BIG impact. It is one of the most visited spots in the Museum for children and families, and you can almost always hear squeals of laughter trickling out from the room.

A few weeks ago, we closed Arturo’s Nest to give it a much-deserved redesign. Chip & Joanna Gaines didn’t visit, but our crack team of designers, educators, and carpenters worked their own “fixer upper” magic and gave the Nest a whole new look.

Ready to see what we’ve done? How about we first take a look at where we’ve been.

Arturo’s Nest in 2008

Arturo’s Nest in 2010

And…drum roll please…Arturo’s Nest in 2017!

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What do you think? One of my favorite parts of the design is that we see both a daytime and a nighttime view of Arturo’s home. And that fun polka dot carpet will make it so much more comfy for kids to sit down and play.

We’ll be adding even more features in the months to come, so be sure to come visit throughout the summer.

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Arturo can’t wait to see you!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Family and Early Learning Programs


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