Archive for the 'Community Connection' Category



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.

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Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Interviews with Young Masters

It isn’t every day that we’re able to peek into the minds behind the artworks on view at the DMA. Earlier this month, KERA announcer Shelley Kenneavy interviewed some of the teens whose work is currently on display in the concourse as part of the 2016 Young Masters exhibition. The students gave us a bit of insight into their sources of inspiration—ranging from the Star Wars musical score to insecurities about personal appearances—and shared their hopes as future artists, engineers, art historians, and musicians.

This year’s exhibition features sixty works selected from 858 submissions by AP Fine Arts students from ten local area high schools. Sponsored by the O’Donnell Foundation and on view through April 17, the exhibit includes forty-nine 2D and 3D works of art created by AP Studio Art students, five essays analyzing works of art in the DMA’s permanent collections by AP Art History students, and six original compositions by AP Music Theory students. The essays and compositions can be heard through the DMA’s mobile site here.

One of this year’s participating students is Allison Li, whose piece is titled Passing Tranquility. I first met Allison when she began volunteering at the Center for Creative Connections earlier this year, and was thrilled to see her digital photography installed as part of the Young Masters exhibition. To learn a bit more about the exhibition from the student’s perspective, I asked Allison a few questions about her influences, challenges, and takeaways as a 2016 Young Master.

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Allison Li, Passing Tranquility, Coppell High School

Who are some of the artists you admire? What draws you to their work?

I admire many artists, some include Monet, Nguan, Sachin Teng, and many more. Many of the artists I like, I found online through their various social media accounts. I’m mainly drawn to artist’s works because of the color they use in their pieces, especially Monet and Nguan; I really like the pastel and light colors they use for their pieces. Also, the subject matter of what artists portray in their pieces is a big factor.

How would you describe your creative process? What is most challenging about creating work? What is most rewarding? 

My creative process usually starts with a vague idea or concept in which I try to define it more in detail in my own head before I put anything on paper. Drawing ideas or sketches sometimes helps me better visualize what I want in a piece. After coming up with an idea, I will usually figure out what materials I need and how I want to create the artwork. I think the most challenging and most important part of creating art is coming up with the idea. It usually takes me a very long time to come up with ideas that I like and exactly how I want to execute the idea. I think the most rewarding part of this process is either having an idea you feel confident in or the final piece; both feel rewarding depending on the outcome.

What motivated you to submit your artwork for consideration in the Young Masters exhibition?

My art teacher at school informed us of this opportunity and gave us class time to create a piece to submit to the exhibition. My mom also really encouraged me to pursue my passion for art and thought it would be great and an honor if I was in the Young Masters exhibition.

Your work in the exhibition, Passing Tranquility, invites viewers to consider moments of peace in otherwise hectic environments. Where do you find tranquility in today’s fast-paced atmosphere?

I find the most peace when I am at home and don’t have homework to do. Those times are the most relaxing as I don’t have any lingering tasks that need to be done right away, and instead I get to enjoy my free time.

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How does participating in Young Masters change the way you approach other art exhibitions as a visitor?

After going to the DMA and seeing my artwork hung up on the Museum’s walls with other great pieces, I felt very humbled and amazed that my piece was up there. Now seeing other artworks in the Museum makes me have much more respect for all the artists that are in museums.

 

Do you see yourself continuing to make artwork like Passing Tranquility in the future?

I am actually making similar pieces to Passing Tranquility as it is part of my concentration that I am doing for my AP 2D Design class right now. This piece was actually the first piece in a series of twelve works that I am creating for my portfolio.

What advice do you have for other young artists?

I think that the best thing to do as a young artist is to keep practicing and try not to get too discouraged if things don’t always go as planned. I believe practicing will definitely pay off in the future and seeing the improvement you have made over the years will be very rewarding. I also think that seeing other artists and artwork besides your own is important; I look at many artworks online created by various artists that post their work on social media, such as Instagram or Twitter.

If you’re curious about what some of the other Young Masters have to say about their experience, don’t miss the second round of interviews with the teens at the upcoming Late Night on April 15. For a blast from the past, check out the video recordings of previous Young Masters interviews.

We can’t wait to see what Allison and the other Young Masters create next! Cast your ballot in the People’s Choice Award at the April Late Night to vote for your favorite studio art, art history, and music theory work in the Young Masters exhibition.

Paulina Lopez
McDermott Graduate Intern for Visitor Engagement

DART to Discovery!

The DMA is so happy to continue our partnership with DART for this year’s DART Student Art Contest. Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to submit an 11×17 poster with their most creative vision of this year’s theme, DART to Discovery. Visit DART’s website for complete rules and details.

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The contest deadline is Leap Day, February 29, and we’ll host the winners for a reception at the Museum in April. So encourage those little creative minds to get to work–we can’t wait to see their posters!

Sarah Coffey
Education Coordinator


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