Archive for the 'Teens' Category

The Making of “Teen Renaissance”

When the DMA Teen Advisory Council (TAC) re-convened for this year’s session, we started our first brainstorming exercise with the question we ask ourselves every year: what do we want the Dallas Museum of Art to be for teens? While the answer we ultimately arrive at takes a different form, the teens always think of inventive new ways to create a space for their peers.

A Teen Advisory Council meeting in session

This year, the conversation revolved around teen artists. Council members know that young people in DFW have a lot to say, and use their talents to express their ideas. To give these talented artists a space to be heard and recognized, TAC decided to launch Teen Renaissance, a new student art exhibition inspired by the innovation and unique perspectives of their generation.

In developing the open call, TAC settled on the theme of “Your Personal Lens,” inviting teens to submit artworks that shared their interpretations of the world. A whopping 195 students submitted their artwork for consideration, representing more than 15 different schools around the Metroplex.

TAC members making curatorial decisions for the Teen Renaissance art installation

While narrowing down so many submissions was difficult, TAC specifically looked for artworks that could speak to each other. We looked at all the submissions together, finding common themes and works that would be cohesive when viewed together. The council went through three rounds of elimination before deciding on the final 15 works on view at the Museum.


TAC members discussing and planning for Teen Renaissance

So how do teens see the world? This year’s Teen Renaissance shows us that being a teen is a lot about what’s happening on the inside as young people start creating a place for themselves in the world. For many teens, their personal lens is their cultural heritage, and how multiple identities merge and balance to create a unique individual. For others, their personal lens is the complicated journey of growing up, finding a world view that’s authentic to them, and creating meaningful relationships with others.

Join the Teen Advisory Council on Saturday, March 16 for Your Personal Lens, an all-day celebration of the exhibition and teen talent throughout Dallas!

Teen Renaissance is now on view through March 28, 2019, on Mezzanine 2, next to the Mayer Library.

Jessica Thompson-Castillo is the Manager of Teen Programs at the DMA.

Mini Zines: March Open Studio

You asked—we answered! After many requests for more drop-in art making in our Art Studio, we were excited to launch the Open Studio program in January, and crossed our fingers that families would show up. And you did! More than 1,400 visitors have stopped by the studio since we opened the doors in January, and we are thrilled to see so many artists of ALL ages making and creating. So what could be better than gluing and painting and drawing to your heart’s content? How about having local artists join in the fun?

The March Open Studio project is designed by local artist Raul Rodriguez, a photographer, publisher, and zine-maker from Fort Worth. His publishing company, Deep Red Press, helps Texas artists express their art through print, digital, and other formats across the United States. For the March Open Studio program, he designed a mini zine project, explaining, “I like zines because they can be easily made and they have no limits on the content, medium, or voice. Everyone can voice themselves with a zine!”

Mini Zines

In planning the project, Rodriguez was drawn to the art featured in the Women Artists in Europe from the Monarchy to Modernism exhibition, which presents work by women artists who broke the traditional rules of the time. One of the works in the exhibition is a book titled A Little’s Duck’s Nest . . . of Bad Words by Olga Vladimirovna Rozanova (Russian, 1886–1918), which includes images of art not intended to be displayed on walls or replicated. Rozanova combined poems and narratives with abstract drawings to express her emotions and thoughts in the hand-colored book. Rodriguez notes, “With just a few materials and disciplines, [women artists] counteracted discrimination and made work for the Cubist, Expressionist and modern art movements of their time.”

Creating a zine is easy and fun. Most zines don’t have specific narratives—instead, they are more like art magazines, with each page its own work of art; however, I made sure each page had a personal connection. I had a great time working on my zine, from making an “about me” page, to creating a still-life drawing based on something I saw on my desk. It was very therapeutic.

Engaging with your child

This is a great project for friends and families to do as a group, but also alone as an individual. When engaging with your child, think of a topic that interests him or her and design a page inspired by that topic. If your child is crazy about transportation, make a page all about things that go. Or choose a favorite family memory and have everyone in the family design a page that captures their favorite moments and create a family zine! Challenge older children to use mixed media like magazines or newspapers and create poems or stories to make their zine.

Possible topics to consider:

  • Self-portraits or portraits of family members
  • All about me
  • My favorite place (landscape)
  • My favorite things (still life)

Fun fact

You may wonder, “How are you supposed to pronounce zine?” and the answer is pretty simple (but I still say it wrong!). It’s like maga-“zine” or “zeen.” No matter how you pronounce it, we hope to see you here at the DMA for Open Studio!

Upcoming dates

Saturday, March 2

Sunday, March 3

Saturday, March 16

Sunday, March 17

Time: Noon–4:00 p.m.

Melissa Brito is the Teaching Specialist for Family and Access Programs at the DMA.

Zine Club’s “Opening Year”

What is a zine? Short for “magazine,” zines are self-published books of writing and art that are made for as little money as possible and circulated in limited quantities. Zines became popular in the 1970s in counter-culture circles as a way of promoting art and ideas outside the mainstream media, but creators have been self-publishing their ideas for much longer! Many can trace the lineage of zines back to 1776, when Thomas Paine published “Common Sense.”

In September 2018, the DMA hosted its first Zine Club meeting for high school students. Teens have great ideas and make interesting connections between the DMA’s collection and their own lives all the time; look no further than Disconnect to Reconnect, for example, hosted by the DMA Teen Advisory Council. Zine Club is a way for teens to explore their ideas through art and share those ideas with DMA visitors and their own communities in Zine Club’s biannual issues.

Zine Club meets the first Thursday evening of the month, and it is completely free to attend and participate. Teens enjoy snacks, go to the galleries to brainstorm, and return to the studio to make pages for the zine. Everyone who attends Zine Club gets at least one page in the final issue and receives several copies of the zine to share with friends and family. Museum visitors can pick up their own copy of the zine for a limited time in the Center for Creative Connections.

After several months of creating, Zine Club presents Opening Year. Over the course of four months, nine teens, three educators, and one visiting artist explored the following questions: What do we change about ourselves to fit in with the status quo? What do images say about beauty? What stories do you want told at a museum? Click here to browse their answers for yourself!

Physical zine copies will be available in the Center for Creative Connections for a limited time this month, so plan your visit and pick up a copy the next time you’re at the Museum. Zine Club picks back up again this spring for four meetings all about personal experience and stories, so check out our upcoming meeting schedule at DMA.org. Hope to see you this spring!

Jessica Thompson-Castillo is the Manager of Teen Programs at the DMA.

Teen Time

It’s a Thursday night at the DMA, and conversations fill the galleries. A group of friends joins a discussion led by a Visiting Artist, who is hosting a workshop later that evening. Total strangers are chatting in front of their favorite work of art, bonding over shared thoughts and interests. A great band is playing in the Center for Creative Connections, and a small crowd is jamming along with them. Upon closer inspection, all of these visitors are teenagers, and – remarkably – there’s not a cell phone in sight!

This is the vision of the DMA’s Teen Advisory Council, a group of highly motivated students from around Dallas-Fort Worth. Since 2013, the Council has worked with DMA Education staff to develop programs and activities for visitors. If you’ve attended a Late Night in the last few years, you’ve likely experienced their work firsthand. From scribbling robots to life size board games, they never fail to creatively interpret the Museum’s collections and exhibitions in new and exciting ways.

This year, the Council has turned their focus toward their peers in an effort to share the Museum with their fellow teens. At a brainstorming meeting earlier this year, the discussion turned toward a common stereotype of young people: that they are glued to their cell phones 24/7. There are benefits to being connected all the time. In my experience, teens today are much more involved and knowledgeable about current affairs than I was at their age, thanks in part to having information so easily accessible. However, teens know there are consequences: a friend is just a text away, but so are bullies, school pressures, and global politics.

Because Teen Council members are at the Museum so often, they know it as a place where they can take a break from being connected. It’s a place where they can learn at their own pace, find calm within themselves, and open up to new perspectives and experiences without being judged. To share that feeling with others, the Council has worked hard planning Disconnect to Reconnect, a night of free, fun activities for teens.

Disconnect to Reconnect invites teens to discover what the DMA can offer them, from solving an Escape Room themed after the history of the Reeves Collection to creating art with Visiting Artist Lisa Huffaker in the Center for Creative Connections. The Teen Council also invited teens to showcase their own talents – the two musical acts of the evening, R.A.G. and Aloe Sara, are high school students, and short films made by local teens will also be playing in the C3 Theater. All of the Council asks is that visitors be fully present, with cell phones silenced and put away while participating.

We hope you’ll be able to join us this Thursday, July 20th for Disconnect to Reconnect from 5:00-9:00 p.m.!

Jessica Thompson is the Manager of Teen Programs 

CosPlaying at the DMA

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This week, teens have been experimenting and creating through group and solo challenges during our Urban Armor: Cosplay Challenge Camp. Each challenge allows this group to learn new concepts and construction techniques to use in their final costume design which they showcased this afternoon in the Museum galleries. Inspired by last year’s Zombie Camp, this year’s group was visited daily by experts from various professions that they may want to pursue like film and fashion. One of the returning campers from last year, a student at Booker T. Washington, said “this (the Urban Armor camp) is the only camp that I sign up for every year because it’s so awesome. I love it.”

So if you’re in the DMA galleries this afternoon, don’t be surprised if you run into a superhero or two.


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DMAxTAC = Super Late Night

The Teen Advisory Council.

The Teen Advisory Council

If your tour guide looks a tad younger than expected during this month’s Late Night on Friday, June 19, chances are you’re meeting one of the amazing members of the Teen Advisory Council (TAC). You’ll see others as well—decked out in black and festooned with capes—leading art activities and scavenger hunts, helping with haiku slams and performances, and having a great time with visitors throughout the night.

The masterminds behind the evening’s activities, the TAC has spent the past three months working on the first-ever teen-planned Late Night in DMA history. Their vision for the event not only reflects their ideas for what the Museum can offer but is a collaboration that I hope will only continue to grow.

I caught up with some of the council members to ask them about what this opportunity has meant to them and what they hope visitors will experience on Friday:

Q: What activity has been the most fun or the most challenging to plan?

“The most difficult activity to plan was probably the scavenger hunt because if one detail is off then it can throw off the entire scavenger hunt. At the same time, planning this was a lot of fun because we got to choose the different works of art ourselves and make up the clues. We really got to take charge of this activity, and I think it’s cool that a group of teens was able to pull off such a task.” —Maddi

Teen Council members collaborate with Eliel Jones on his Alternative Signage event during the March Late Night.

Teen Council members collaborate with Eliel Jones on his Alternative Signage event during the March Late Night.

Q: What do you hope visitors take away from this evening?

“I hope that visitors will gain a greater appreciation of the Museum as a whole, in particular through the DMAzing Race, as it offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the Museum. I also hope people meet others with the same interests as them and gain new friends in the process, especially teens who will have a separate lounge area for themselves.” —Cristina

“I hope the new visitors to the Museum see how the Museum is actually very different from the normal museum experience and how they can interact and be a part of the Museum just as any artist can.” —Maddi

“I want the visitors to leave saying ‘I’m glad I came to this’ and learning something. They could learn about anything at the Museum, even about themselves. So, I want the visitors to learn, about anything they want.” —Nadir

The Teen Council experiments with a Creativity Challenge idea.

The Teen Council experiments with a Creativity Challenge idea.

For me, it’s been a blast to watch the TAC execute their ideas and see how much fun they’ve had in the process. I’m amazed at how undaunted they’ve been throughout the process given the magnitude of this project (maybe it just hasn’t sunk in yet?) and how many moving pieces there are. You can check out the full schedule of events for Friday’s Late Night here.

I couldn’t be more proud of all the hard work they’ve put in, and I can’t wait to see how visitors respond. Super!

JC Bigornia is the C3 Program Manager at the DMA.

Turning the Tables: Student Gallery Talks

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It has often been said that the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. With this in mind, a group of students from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts recently gave gallery talks on a work of art in the DMA’s collection that they selected and researched themselves.

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For several years, DMA Education staff have partnered with teachers at Booker T. Washington to work with two classes of Senior Visual Arts students throughout the school year. Among the many activities and concepts we explored over several months was to incorporate the students’ speech credit requirement by culminating the year with each of them giving a brief talk in the galleries.

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All of the students presented interesting and fun introductions to their selected works of art! The range of works they selected was expansive—from grandiose neoclassical history paintings to intimate cloisonné Japanese vessels. Many of them brought their own experiences and expertise to their presentations as well, such as their studio practices and the places they have traveled.

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It took four one-hour visits with three presentations running simultaneously for us to allow all forty students to present their ten-minute talks. On one of the days, we had some time left over, so a group of students explored the Concentrations 58: Chosil Kil exhibition. They had a great time walking between the balloons, letting their movements disrupt the balloons and push the copper sheets against the ground.

We wrapped up our year with these two classes on April 1 with a party and casual walkthrough of the Michaël Borremans: As sweet as it gets exhibition. Time to start planning for next year’s classes!

Josh Rose is the Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs at the DMA.


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