Archive for the 'Community Connection' Category



All in the Family: A Community Partnership with the South Dallas Cultural Center

Families from the South Dallas Cultural Center are regulars here at the DMA. For six months out of the year, a small group come to the Museum every second Sunday of the month to explore and make artworks together. Below are images of our Museum adventures from this past group:

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In July, we capped off another wonderful year of our Second Sunday partnership with an exhibition of our creations at the South Dallas Cultural Center.

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Also on display at the Center was a street art project created in collaboration with a group of teens at the Center’s summer program.

Thank you, South Dallas families, for another wonderful partnership! We look forward to the creativity our next group will bring!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

June Late Night: Teens Take Over

teencouncil4

Members of the Teen Advisory Council participating in McDermott Intern Eliel Jones’ Alternative Signage event as part of his project, Experiments on Public Space.

Grab your capes and get ready for an action-packed, superhero-themed Late Night! For the first time ever, the DMA has foolishly generously agreed to turn the planning of the evening’s events over to the Dallas Museum of Art/Perot Museum of Nature and Science Teen Advisory Council (TAC). Come and experience the Museum through their eyes and participate in some unique, teen-concocted fun! Some highlights include:

  • A March Madness-style, superhero haiku slam
  • Street artist demo with the Frontiers of Flight Museum
  • Talks including The Physics of Superheroes with Dr. James Kakalios
  • Under 21 dance lounge
  • A special Heroes vs. Villains version of the DMAzing Race
  • Create and destroy a collaborative cardboard metropolis
  • Cool prizes and much more!

Now in its second year, the TAC is made up of sixteen, highly motivated high schoolers who have been helping to shape the direction of how our institution engages youth audiences. In particular, they have been dedicated to exploring the way art and science can connect and what creative avenues can result from their crossover.

A TAC meeting takes a dramatic turn.

A TAC meeting takes a dramatic turn.

While the TAC has participated in some amazing projects during the past couple of years–including creating a gigantic mural for the Perot and designing a collaborative art project for the City of Learning Initiative–I’m ecstatic that they have this chance to impact the DMA in a new and exciting way, giving them and their peers a sense of ownership and belonging. It’s really been a privilege for me to learn with them, and their insight has really transformed the way I approach my work.

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Maddi and Emma leading an activity during this year’s City of Learning Kickoff.

A huge thanks to Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services, and her team for providing the TAC with this fantastic opportunity, and also to Andrea Severin Goins, Interpretation Manager, for all her work with the Council. See you on the 19th–costumes are definitely encouraged!

JC Bigornia
C3 Program Manager

Experiments on Public Space

The word public is defined as an adjective: it is used to attribute a quality to someone or something, usually modifying and describing a noun. But what happens when public becomes a verb–an action, a state, the main part of a sentence? Public suddenly stops being passive and becomes active–an occurrence, a happening, an event…

But what makes a museum public? What are its responsibilities? How do we build democratic space/vision? Is it possible or necessary? And if it’s true that we’re losing publicness, how do we reclaim it back?

These are some of the questions I hope to explore with my new work, Experiments on Public Space (EPS). EPS came about thanks to the opportunity to carry out an independent project as part of my McDermott Internship at the Dallas Museum of Art. My background in both research and artistic practice is focused in an interest to understand, explore and expand the ways audiences interact/participate with contemporary art. This project is an extension of that line of inquiry specifically looking at institutional contexts.

Experiments on Public Space / Dallas Museum of Art, February - May 2015

Experiments on Public Space / Dallas Museum of Art, February – May 2015

I’m fascinated by the language used in museums when referring to issues around publicness, because what do we actually mean when we refer ourselves as a “public museum”? What does it entail? How does a public museum feel or look? What do our visitors understand by “public”? Are they not the public themselves? And why probe publicness? Why now? Why here?

Coming from England, I was very curious about the differences between public cultural institutions here in America and those back in Europe. I think the dialogue is particularly of relevance to the DMA because of its historical founding as a public museum and it’s recently reestablished free general admission, something that is rare in this country. I’m also intrigued by the context of the Museum in a city as diverse as Dallas. Considering the city’s large latino population, I want to explore the standings of the institution in serving a wide range of communities.

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The project itself is built on a series of practice-based evaluation methods that take place in the Museum. The public will provide the data with their participation in performances, interventions, seminars and workshops, aiming to collaboratively measure the publicness of the environment in which the institution acts. With this approach I hope to implement active research into the life of the Museum, collecting both inside and outside voices as a way of opening up dialogue. In this sense, the project uses unconventional evaluation methodologies to promote opportunities for reflection, thought, participation and active discussion. The goal is that through these programs, we might collectively exemplify and animate publicness and what it means in the context of museums in the 21st century.

Alternative Signage

Members of the DMA/Perot Teen Council during a production session for “Alternative Signage”, one of the EPS programs happening during March Late Night.

Confused? Challenged? Excited? – This is a very brief introduction to a project that has almost taken a life of its own. Publicness is a complex issue that touches upon many different fields and it is easy for it to be overlooked or even forgotten. With EPS I hope to bring it back to the fore in an attempt to reclaim its importance. I believe there is a big difference between possessing a quality and being one, and it is crucial that we understand the difference. To claim ‘publicness’ requires more than a certain kind of perception or view; it demands responsibility and action.

Program scheduling will be published on the DMA website, under Center for Creative Connections –  Community Projects. I hope you’ll join me in this experiment!

Eliel Jones
McDermott Intern for Visitor Engagement

We’re Go van Gogh-ing to Whole Foods

And so should you!

We’re excited to announce that the DMA’s Go van Gogh outreach program is going to be the recipient of one of Whole Foods 1% Community Giving Days!  In an effort to reach out and partner with the surrounding community, Whole Foods Market provides Community Giving Days, during which they donate a percentage of sales to a local non-profit organization.

Tomorrow Wednesday, February 18th, 1% of the sales at Whole Foods Market Park Lane will go to the Go van Gogh program!

Go van Gogh is the DMA’s free elementary outreach program.  We bring the excitement of Museum experience into North Texas classrooms, providing an introduction to the DMA for many of the students we visit, as well as opportunities for students to create artworks inspired by our collection.

Our McDermott Intern Liz Bola, Teaching Specialist Danielle Schulz, myself, and our new Volunteer Coordinator Jennie Russell will spend the day from 10:00AM-7:00PM tomorrow at the Park Lane Whole Foods Market store, talking to customers about what we do and why we do it, making art projects, and showing off our van.

So, if tomorrow, you need an excuse to:

  • grab a morning coffee on your way to work;
  • pick up a lunchtime snack;
  • pop by after 5:00 for a quick dinner-to-go;
  • or cross some items off your grocery list;

I hope you’ll come out to Whole Foods Park Lane.  While you’re there, stop by and say hello to the Go van Gogh ladies (pictured above) and wonderful volunteers, so we can thank you for helping our program grow.

Spread the word to your Whole Food-ie friends, and we hope to see you tomorrow!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

Translating Culture II Collaboration

In mid-October, Center for Creative Connections staff embarked on an exciting collaboration with Janeil Engelstad from Make Art with Purpose and a group of students from the Skyline High School Architecture cluster led by teacher Peter Goldstein.

Skyline students have been visiting the DMA on a weekly basis to become acquainted with our collection. During the visits, the students explore the ways in which art can have cultural and personal significance by responding both critically and creatively through activities, dialogue, and reflection.

Starting on Level 4 with American Art and moving all the way to Level 1 with our Contemporary collection, the students have been talking, writing, and drawing works of art that they want to include on their own tour, which will be used to create a new smARTphone tour of the Museum. We also make weekly visits to their high school to further explore the collection and discuss the types of responses that will become content for stops on their tour.

The project is part of Translating Culture, an initiative that launched last year that aims to create links with the community by inviting groups to collaborate with staff through a series of workshops to inspire dialogue for mutual understanding and varied perspectives on the collection. While intending to inspire the use of art as a means of further understanding oneself and the world we live in, Translating Culture II also hopes to give the students a sense of ownership of the Museum and a platform from which to speak out their thoughts and concerns in order to engage their peers and the wider community.

We will continue to meet with the students until the end of November, at which point all the student work will be collected and prototyped into their bilingual smARTphone tour in early 2015. Stay posted for more detailed information on the project and a behind-the-scenes peek at students’ work, such as those below which include a sketch by student Miguel Martinez based on The Icebergs by Frederic Edwin Church, a drawing by Edith Cruz inspired by Renoir’s Lise Sewing and a set of sketches by Guadalupe Murillo during her visit to The Silk Road exhibit on Level 3.

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Eliel Jones
McDermott Intern for Visitor Engagement

Friday Photos: FAST Fashion

On Wednesday, members of the Family, Access, Schools and Teachers (FAST) team were lucky enough to take an educational field trip to Denton to visit the Texas Fashion Collection (TFC), housed on the University of North Texas campus in the College of Visual Arts & Design. Curator and Director, Myra Walker, gave us a behind the scenes tour of the collection, which preserves and documents more than 15,000 items of historically significant fashion. The collection was first assembled in 1938 by Stanley and Edward Marcus, of Neiman Marcus fame, and exists today as an educational resource for students, researchers, and the general public who have a passion for great design and a love of fashion history.

During our visit, we walked through rack after rack of historical and designer clothing, dating from the 1840s up to contemporary times from designers like Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, and Betsy Johnson. Our visit concluded with a viewing of American Brides: Inspiration and Ingenuity, TFC’s current exhibition on view at the Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts. The exhibition included forty wedding gowns, dresses, and ensembles dating from 1840 to the present, which emphasized the various significant bridal traditions that were handed down through time and culture.

Our field trip was a wonderful experience and we were grateful to be able to play the role of student while visiting the amazing Texas Fashion Collection!

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Into the Wild with the DMA

With school out, Go van Gogh volunteers are spending their days in the community, visiting recreation centers, Boys & Girls Clubs, and libraries with art-making programs.  Summer programs are casual, always fun, and sometimes a little wild…in the best possible way!

We’re embracing summertime wildness in all its glory this year, with a new Go van Gogh outreach program called Into the Wild with the DMA.  The program was inspired by the children’s book Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, in which a very proper Mr. Tiger, bored with being so proper all the time, decides that he needs to have a little fun; so, he goes wild.  Really wild!  ROAAAR!!!  It’s a story that all of us—kids, especially—can relate to when the summer heat hits.

Into the Wild, which will be offered at Dallas Public libraries through the remainder of June and July, begins with story time and an animal game.  We then put on our safari hats and venture into the wild depths of the DMA’s collection, exploring big cats and fierce mythical animals in artworks from the African savanna to the Indonesian jungle.

Our art safari ends with time to reflect and create an artwork inspired by one of our discoveries, the DMA’s Japanese Tiger.

If you’d like to join us on an art safari this summer, upcoming program dates and locations are listed below.  Into the Wild is designed for children ages five to nine, but art and animal-lovers of all ages are welcome!   Be sure to call the library ahead of time to confirm space availability, as programs are limited to thirty participants.

JULY

Tuesday, July 1, 10:30 a.m.
Hampton-Illinois, 2951 South Hampton Road, 75224
214-670-7646

Tuesday, July 8, 2:00 p.m.
Dallas West, 2332 Singleton Boulevard, 75212
214-670-6445

Tuesday, July 15, 2:00 p.m.
Audelia, 10045 Audelia Road, 75238
214-670-1350

Thursday, July 17, 2:30 p.m.
Skillman Southwestern, 5707 Skillman Street, 75206
214-670-6078

Tuesday, July 22, 2:00 p.m.
Polk-Wisdom, 7151 Library Lane, 75218
214-670-1947

Friday, July 25, 2:00 p.m.
Lochwood, 11221 Lochwood Boulevard, 75218
214-670-8403

Tuesday, July 29, 2:00 p.m.
Skyline, 6006 Everglade Road, 75227
214-670-0938

Thursday, July 31, 2:00 p.m.
White Rock Hills, 9150 Ferguson Road, 75228
214-670-8843

And if you can’t join us at a library, stop by the Museum and use our In the Swim Family Gallery Guide to chart your own summertime animal adventure!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs


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