Archive for the 'People' Category



Happy National Volunteer Week!

April 23-29 is National Volunteer Week in North America. This special week was created in the 1970s to celebrate and recognize volunteer service across the country. We are so fortunate to have a fantastic group of volunteers at the DMA who support our programs everyday. Since January, DMA volunteers have already donated over 3,600 hours of service and helped create countless experiences for our visitors! In the spirit of National Volunteer Week, we wanted to share a mini volunteer spotlight for each group to celebrate their daily achievements and show our thanks.

Everyday in the Center for Creative Connections, our Junior League of Dallas and C3 volunteers welcome visitors and encourage them to interact with art in new ways. They are always willing to engage in new opportunities when they arise.

Our Docents share their knowledge and passion for the Museum with hundreds of visitors each week. They are constantly researching and learning new things to ensure their tours and access programs are the best they can be.

Arts & Letters Live volunteers help make our many BooksmART and author events possible while serving as ushers, ticket takers, and greeters. Their ongoing commitment to this speaker series makes each year a success.

Go van Gogh volunteers travel to dozens of classrooms each school year, bringing art education to children across Dallas. We truly appreciate their enthusiasm and dedication in delivering these experiences across the city.

Community Engagement volunteers are always happy to lend a hand at special DMA programs including Late Night and Membership events. They are truly one of our most flexible groups!

The Teen Advisory Council is always thinking of innovative new ideas to involve the community and recently launched the Disconnect to Reconnect teen night. We are also looking forward to welcoming a new group of Teen Ambassadors who will join us this summer.

Thank you so much to all of our wonderful and amazing volunteers! You all help make our programs a reality and we sincerely appreciate your ongoing generosity and support. If you are interested in becoming a DMA volunteer, please visit the Volunteer page or email volunteers@dma.org.

Andi Orkin
Volunteer Coordinator for Programming

Intern Insights | Amy

Meet Amy Wojciechowski.

As the Dedo and Barron Kidd McDermott Graduate Intern for European Art here at the DMA, Amy has been working on curating her very own solo exhibition for the first time. Check out our interview to hear more about her internship and more!

Angela Medrano
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

Musical Musings

Think back to your favorite scene in a movie. Was it action packed? Romantic? Full of suspense? Chances are that the music—the film’s score—helped create the mood of the scene.

Now think about your favorite work of art. How would you describe its mood or feeling? How did the artist convey that mood? When we describe the mood of a work of art, we typically think about visual elements like color, the quality of the brushstrokes, and composition. But sometimes, even with a work of art, music can enhance your experience.

We recently paired up with two local musicians, Clint Niosi and Claire Hecko, and invited them to imagine one minute “film scores” for a handful of works of art in the 18th Century European Gallery. Meet the musicians, learn about their process, and hear a sample of their work below.

Tell us about yourselves-in 50 words or less.

Clint Niosi: I’m a songwriter, film score composer, and audio engineer from Fort Worth.  I also work as a Digital Technology Specialist for the Art + Art History Department at UT Arlington.

Claire Hecko: INFP, musician, composer, picture maker, seamstress, cat lover and motorcycle enthusiast, among other things. My primary instruments are viola and bass. I like long walks in the desert and good manners.

How would you describe your process of creating a “score” for a work of art?

Clint Niosi: While I wasn’t really sure how to approach it initially, I ended up using basically the same process I would have used for a film score. I try to find the emotional core of the scene and use the music to help move the story forward. Once I feel like I’ve found the mood I add or take away layers until it feels right with the picture.

Claire Hecko: I have very little education in music theory, so I’m not entirely sure how to best describe my process. I consider the feelings I want to embody in a piece and try to determine how to best represent them musically. Often, this entails picking up an instrument and just playing around on it until I come up with something that will serve as a foundation for the piece. From there, I begin adding layers to build a complete composition.

Were there any challenges?

Clint Niosi: Yes there were. Creating a modern composition outside the historical milieu in which the paintings are set seemed very daunting. Also, the limited duration of the format (one minute per piece) was an additional challenge. Some of the paintings have very complex stories and complicated emotions to convey. Ultimately I just dove in and had fun with it.  

Claire Hecko: My biggest challenge was creating the “score” for The Harp Lesson by Jean Antoine Theodore Giroust – I had many ideas, but no access to (or training to play) a harp. Thankfully, technology allowed me to replicate the sound of a harp on a laptop.

What did you enjoy most about this opportunity?

Clint Niosi: It was such a treat to have a chance to collaborate with the DMA. I’m an art enthusiast and a long time fan of the DMA’s permanent collection. The chance to dive into something like this is something I will always remember. It was a learning experience.

Claire Hecko: My degree is in Art History, a subject close to my heart. The opportunity to represent a work of art through music was very exciting for me!

Stop by the Pop-Up Art Spot this Saturday to check out an iPod and listen to the “film scores” composed and recorded by Clint Niosi and Claire Hecko.

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

Emily Wiskera
Manager of Access Programs

Staff Spotlight: Rose Davis

When you find yourself in a room with Rose Davis, it is clear that she is not someone who goes unnoticed. She is warm and charismatic, a person who naturally bonds with a wide range of visitors and staff at the Museum. While it’s her job to observe visitors and make sure they engage with artwork safely, Rose often goes the extra mile and offers her own special discoveries and insights into the Museum’s collection.

Rose with The Icebergs, Frederic Edwin Church, 1861, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Norma and Lamar Hunt

Rose has been a gallery attendant at the DMA for only 10 months, but in that time she’s grown very fond of one work of art in particular, The Icebergs by Frederic Edwin Church. About a month ago, during a walk through of the 4th floor galleries, Rose engaged me in a conversation about The Icebergs. She asked us if we’d ever noticed the hidden figures in the painting. Rose excitedly told us about her growing collection of hidden characters in the painting, noting to us that she is continually discovering more as she spends more time with the piece.

Two weeks later, I came back to The Icebergs with Rose and asked her to walk me through each hidden figure she’d discovered. Her first discovery was the gorilla. Then one day when the gallery was empty, she took her first “closer look” and the rest snowballed: a mermaid, a mummy, animals, faces in the ice, and many more. With some laughter in her voice she explained to me that when she first began sharing her discoveries with others, they were skeptical of her, but as soon as they could find one figure in the painting they’d be itching to find another. Below are some of my favorites she shared with us (which I’ve outlined in red). What hidden images will you discover when you look closely at The Icebergs?

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We often think of gallery attendants as people who protect works of art by keeping us from getting too close, but as I’ve learned from Rose, you can “get close” to art in different ways, like absorbing the little details in a painting. Gallery attendants spend a lot of time with our permanent collection, so don’t be shy! Next time you’re exploring our galleries, say hello and ask them what they know. The answers might surprise you!

A visitor’s post-it note about Rose left at our Testing Zone, which currently highlights various writing styles for The Icebergs wall text.

Kerry Butcher
Center for Creative Connections Coordinator

Intern Insights | Megan

Meet Megan Zembower.

As the McDermott Intern for African Art working with Dr. Roslyn Walker, Megan participates in a variety of learning experiences, including acquisition preparations, gallery installations, and research and documentation projects involving the Museum’s collection of African art. Check out our interview to hear more about what she’s been up to during her internship.

Are you interested in becoming a McDermott Intern for the 2017-2018 year? Applications are now open! Visit the Internships page of our website for more information.

Angela Medrano
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

Volunteer Spotlight: Go van Gogh-ing with Terei

With school back in session, we are so excited to jump into a brand new season full of Go van Gogh fun! And we’re very fortunate to have a group of extremely dedicated and talented volunteers who help make these programs possible. This month, we want to shine the volunteer spotlight on Terei Khoury, one of our fabulous Go van Gogh volunteers! Here is Terei in her own words:

How long have you been volunteering at the DMA?  I’ve been on-board volunteering at the DMA for Go van Gogh about a year and a half! I love working with children and tying-in art, creativity, imagination and joy is right up my alley! I’ve also started helping with the Meaningful Moments sessions. My father has fallen victim to Alzheimer’s disease, and helping in the Meaningful Moments program allows me to make a difference in another significant way.

Go van Gogh van

What do you enjoy most about volunteering with Go van Gogh?  It’s hard to say what is most delightful, maybe ALL of this:

  • The DMA staff and their ENTHUSIASM & CREATIVITY
  • The other volunteers and their COMMITMENT & CARE in offering a meaningful program in our schools and summer camps
  • The JOY and ENLIGHTENMENT we see on children’s faces (especially the special-needs children) as they listen, absorb and TAKE CREATIVE action!

What is your favorite Go van Gogh program and why?  Hands-down, it’s “Color My World,” followed closely by “Ordinary to Extraordinary.”

  • In Color My World, it is absolutely extraordinary to see our special needs children experience the hands-on work with clay, paint and tools… it’s just amazing to see the level of excitement and joy this program can bring to some of the children!
  • It’s the thought process and creativity in Ordinary to Extraordinary that is exceptional, and the opportunity to stretch the mind to “go beyond the tube sock”!!

What are some of your other hobbies?  I do a number of volunteer activities: Habitat for Humanity (I’m a Core Volunteer!), Austin Street Center (dinner-coordinator), Reading Partners for DISD helping young readers hone their reading skills, HobbyCrafters creating dolls for holiday distribution, and a bunch of other things like gardening, sewing, and stuff!  I also, most importantly, care for my father who has Alzheimer’s. He’s my priority. I have a wonderful son and husband who also require a bit of attention!


Thank you so much for sharing your time and passion with us, Terei! We’re so thankful to all of our Go van Gogh volunteers for their commitment, time, and energy in bringing art programs to Dallas schools.

If you are interested in getting involved with this exciting volunteer opportunity, please visit the DMA website or email volunteers@dma.org for additional information. We’ll begin recruitment for Go van Gogh summer outreach programs in the coming months, and we’d love to Go van Gogh around Dallas with you!

Andi Orkin
Volunteer Coordinator for Programming

 

Intern Insights | Grace

Meet Grace Diepenbrock.

In my new video series, I focus my camera lens on one of the Museum’s nine McDermott Interns. We each do very different things and my goal is to highlight each one of our respective responsibilities and passions.

 
Are you interested in becoming a McDermott Intern for the 2017-2018 year? Applications will be open in January 2017, so visit the Internships page of our website for more information.

Be sure to check back next month for another installment of Intern Insights!

Angela Medrano
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

Volunteer Spotlight: DMA Docents & Mesquite Week

Here at the DMA, you might notice both staff and our amazing DMA docents breathing a sigh of relief. Last week we successfully wrapped up Mesquite Week, one of our most challenging and significant partnerships of the year.

Mesquite Week was started in 1985 by Dr. William Hooper, the arts coordinator for the Mesquite Independent School District. Inspired by MISD’s tradition of offering students an opportunity to visit the symphony and the opera, Dr. Hooper hoped to establish an annual visit to the DMA. However, the DMA had just moved to the new downtown building—folks were wary about too many kids, too much of a time commitment, and not enough docents. Susan Cueller, the Head Docent at the time, took up the challenge of writing the teaching materials, coordinating a schedule, and overseeing the tours. Interestingly, Mesquite Week was the first time we provided pre-visit materials for teachers to build into their lesson plans. The partnership was very successful the first year, and MISD and the DMA have been coordinating to plan trips ever since.

This year we served all of MISD’s 6th grade students and the 8th grade visual arts students. That’s a staggering 2,740 students in six days–wow!

We sat down with Susan Cuellar and Joanie Smith, who currently shares Head Docent responsibilities with Jane Sibley, to chat about Mesquite Week and their experience as DMA docents.

 

 

Thanks to the DMA docents, we’re able to pull off ambitious programs like Mesquite Week and offer thousands of students guided tours of the Museum each year. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we’re reminded of how grateful we are for our volunteers who share their time and passion for art so generously, and I’m sure 2,740 MISD students would agree.

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Angela Medrano
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

How to Own Your Face

This year is the 25th anniversary of the DMA’s literary and performing arts series Arts & Letters Live! We celebrated this great achievement with a fantastic lineup of award-winning authors and performers earlier this spring, and then decided to extend the celebrating this fall. We’ve scheduled six programs that strongly connect to the DMA’s collection, and one of them is a wonderful book about celebrating our differences.

Robert Hoge

The Australian author Robert Hoge was born with a tumor the size of a tennis ball in the middle of his face and short, twisted legs. The surgeons were able to remove the tumor and built a new nose using one of his toes! He survived, but his face would never be the same.

This didn’t stop Robert, though. He played pranks, got into trouble, had adventures with his big family, and finally found a sport that was perfect for him to play. Then he had to come face to face with the biggest decision of his life: undergo a dangerous surgical procedure that might make him look less different but potentially make him blind, or live with his “ugly” face forever.

His memoir Ugly, designed for middle grade readers and older, offers a powerful message about being yourself, shaking off bullying, and accepting your appearance–themes we can all embrace!

“We all have scars only we can own.” —Robert Hoge

Hoge

Robert Hoge: Own Your Face

Sunday, September 11, 3:00 p.m.
Promotional Partner: TEDxSMU

Buy Tickets

 
 
 
At 2:00 p.m.: Join us for a pre-event tour of art that explores self-image and ideas of beauty, including Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait Very Ugly. Tour sign-up will begin 30 minutes prior to the start time. Tour space is limited and is first-come, first-served.

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

Friday Photos: Summer Lovin’

The Education team works very hard to make your summer vacation fun and exciting for families and kids of all ages. So it only makes sense that we play just as hard! Some of us had some big art-related vacations, exciting camping adventures, and we had a lot of fun working in between (with or without our pups!). Check out some of our summer highlights!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator


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