Archive for the 'Community Connection' Category

Friday Photos: Sending a Message

For the past several years, the DMA has collaborated with the South Dallas Cultural Center during Summer at the Center, a multi-week summer camp where students learn about African history through the arts. The teens at the center visited the DMA twice this summer. Together, we traced the Middle Passage and the Atlantic Slave Trade through art in Visions of America: Three Centuries of Prints from the National Gallery of Art, unpacking responses to this period of cruelty and injustice with artists like Kara Walker, Charles White, and Elizabeth Catlett. We also explored our Arts of Africa collection, where we investigated cultures that had a visible impact on American culture.

Because artists, and print-makers especially, use their work to spread ideas and messages through their art, we made prints about things that are important to us that we would like to share with the world. Here are a few highlights from the prints we made today, representing everything from music to community!

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Our summer partnership with the South Dallas Cultural Center is one of the highlights of our year. As an educator, it’s amazing to work with a group of students that are so knowledgeable about history – especially parts of the world that I’m still learning new things about. I think they end up teaching me a lot more than I teach them!

See all of you next summer!

Jessica Thompson
Manager of Teen Programs

Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

In celebration, the greater Dallas community came together this past Saturday to enjoy Asian Festival 2017 in Fair Park. We hosted our very own art-making booth, where kids could craft their own paper scroll inspired by Enomoto Kikaku’s “Mushrooms,” a haiku poem. Check out the video below to see what we were up to!

This free, family-friendly festival showcased cultural performances, arts and crafts, cuisine, and more from the many, many cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Thank you to the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce for allowing the DMA to participate!

Angela Medrano
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

The Adventure Starts Here

Happy New Year! 2017 marks the fifth consecutive year that we’ll be partnering with DART on their annual DART Student Art Contest. This year’s theme is “The adventure starts here,” and what better place for students to be inspired on their own artful adventure than at the DMA!

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Teachers, be sure to share the news with your budding student artists–finalists will have their artwork shown at the DMA this spring! And be on the look out for our upcoming guest posts on the DART Daily blog for some around the world art inspiration!

Sarah Coffey
Education Coordinator

Friday Photos: A Better World Is…

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Claire Nilson’s vision for a better world.

What does a better world look like to you? Yesterday I joined my friends from The Stewpot Art Program for an afternoon of music, art, and fun at The Stewpot’s annual talent show in beautiful Encore Park Dallas. And to top it all, my mom is visiting from Charleston and had the opportunity to meet some of the amazing artists who participate in our Stewpot partnership here at the DMA.

The theme of this year’s talent show was “A Better World Is…” Members of the Stewpot community used their outstanding talents to explore their vision for a better world – categories encompassed fine art, spoken word, essays and poetry, voice, and instrumentals. We certainly did not envy the judges! The afternoon included original compositions, powerful meditations on the role each of us plays in creating a better world, and a rocking version of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.”

Suffice to say, we have some amazingly talented members of our North Texas community at The Stewpot! Please be sure to mark your calendar for The Stewpot Art Program’s upcoming show at the Dallas Public Library and check out other opportunities to support this wonderful community outreach program. As one participant observed, “A better world starts when we realize we’re here to learn to be better and make the world a better place.”

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Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Friday Photos: The Stewpot Art Program

One of the many perks of being a museum educator here at the DMA is having the opportunity to connect with amazing people in our North Texas community and beyond. Thanks to Tanya Krueger, one of our superstar volunteer docents, I’ve learned about the important work being done by The Stewpot, a community outreach program dedicated to serving homeless and at-risk populations here in Dallas.

Tanya volunteers for the Stewpot Art Program, a special program that provides class time and art supplies for individuals looking to express themselves creatively, grow as artists, and support themselves through the sale of their work (be sure to check out opportunities to support the program by donating supplies or purchasing artwork – the artist receives 90% of the sale and the remainder goes back into the program for art supplies and field trips for the artists.) The Stewpot artists themselves are a remarkable group of people. Plan a visit to the studio and you’ll be struck by each artist’s individual style, creative drive, and kind spirit.

Together with Cynthia Brannum, Stewpot Art Program Director, we’ve launched a monthly program for the Stewpot artists here at the DMA that includes a gallery discussion and lots of art-making activities. Speaking for myself, working with the Stewpot artists has been one of the highlights of my summer. Take a look at our first two visits!

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

A Golden Summertime

Last night, we wrapped up our annual summer partnership with the South Dallas Cultural Center’s six-week Summer Arts at the Center program, where students learn about African history through writing, photography, art-making, and performance. This summer, students learned about post-colonial West Africa, with a focus on Ghana.

Some of our favorite works of art at the DMA come from Ghana – like the Sword ornament in the shape of a lion! After a field trip to the Museum to learn more about Asante gold, teens illustrated and gilded proverbs from their lives with gold leaf, then brought them into three dimensions with clay.

After their projects were finished, we invited families from the Center to visit us for a family night! Roslyn Walker, the DMA’s Senior Curator of the Arts of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific, lead tours for families in the galleries. Students and their loved ones also made thumb pianos in the studio and explored the Center for Creative Connections during their visit.

Big thanks to the South Dallas Cultural Center for another summer of awesome art making and fun. We look forward to seeing you at the museum again soon!

Jessica Thompson
Manager of Teen and Gallery Programs

Playful Learning with SPARK!

Why teach the creative process? Last week, my amazing colleague Amy Copeland and I drove the Go van Gogh van (say that three times fast!) to the historic South Side on Lamar building to take part in the 2016 Creativity Confab hosted by SPARK!. We arrived excited to hear some of the city’s most creative minds participate in a panel discussion on the importance of creativity in a child’s education, and were greeted with an inviting maze of slides, “slinky” tubes, catwalks, and creative play stations, including a giant Lite-Brite and a recording studio. Needless to say, not even our inappropriate choice of shoes could keep us from joining in on the fun and exploring!

Inspired by the City Museum in St. Louis, SPARK! was founded in 2010 to teach the creative process and empower children through playful learning. Student visitors are invited to first fully immerse themselves in the space and loosen up by playing. Fred Peña of Booziotis and Company Architects, the space’s designer, says that his favorite part of the project is watching a cautious student finally work up the nerve to tackle the floor to ceiling slide, and then repeat the adventure again and again. After playing, the students move on to an art activity geared to teach the creative process and encourage collaborative problem solving.

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While the facility has only been open since June 2015, preliminary research reflects that students are more likely to describe themselves as creative and more likely to believe they’re capable of coming up with a valuable new idea after a visit to SPARK!. Significantly, about 57 percent of the children served by SPARK! come from low-income communities, reflecting the organization’s commitment to offering creative learning programs to underserved groups.

The panel’s consensus? Access to creative learning programs help children develop self-reliance, confidence, and resilience. They’re more like to perform better academically and in their future careers. As with sports, the arts teach children teamwork and help them develop confidence in their own abilities. Moreover, children learn not to fear failure and discover that problems often have more than one solution.

As a museum educator, my visit to SPARK! served as an inspiring reminder of how playful learning can help students make meaningful connections to the arts and tap into their own creativity. I look forward to my next visit, sans the wedge sandals.

tengo

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs


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