Archive for the 'Technology' Category



Self-Guided Visits: Tips for Teachers

Students enjoy Miguel Covarrubias's Genesis, the Gift of Life

Arranging a self-guided visit for your students is great way to explore the Museum.  It allows your students to encounter the Museum on your terms, observe art at their own pace, and spend more time in front of objects that interests them.  Setting up a self-guided visit is easy, and to ensure that your Museum experience is educational and enjoyable, try these helpful hints:

Getting Started

Sign up for a self-guided visit by filling out an online request form.  If you  have already arranged a docent-guided tour and would like to add a self-guided visit to your Museum experience, send me an email at Tours@DallasMuseumofArt.org.

Be Prepared

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of logistics.  Save yourself some time and energy by preparing before you visit.  Once you have a date and time confirmed, start considering the layout of your self-guided visit.  If you have a large group, break them up into smaller groups before you visit.  Smaller groups make it easier to navigate through the galleries, and dividing them before you arrive gives you more time to spend in the galleries. 

Have a Game Plan

Most visitors feel that they need to see everything when they come to the Museum.  While every object on display deserves to be seen and appreciated, it’s just not feasible to see everything in our collection, unless you can spare a couple of hours.  Instead, challenge your students to focus on a handful of objects that encompass a topic or theme learned in class.  Short on inspiration?  Check out our online teaching materials for themes used on docent-guided tours.

Students in the European galleries

Be Creative

As teachers, you learn to be creative in just about every situation.  Consider your self-guided visit as another opportunity to show off your inventiveness.  Try adding some of these activities to your self-guided visit:

      • Create a scavenger hunt.  This activity works great with large groups and can be a fun game for all ages.  You can find loads of factual information and teaching tips in our CONNECT teaching materials.
      • Incorporate a sketching activity.  Have students take a closer look by having them sketch an object.  You can incorporate this activity in your scavenger hunt, or have a more in-depth drawing session.
      • Take a smARTphone tour.  Don’t have a smartphone?  Borrow an iPod Touch from the Visitor Services Desk.

Make the Most of Your Trip
After you’ve had plenty of time to gallivant through the galleries, why not enhance your Museum visit by stopping by Center for Creative Connections.  The Center for Creative Connections, or C3, is an innovative space that encourages interactive experiences with art.   There are fun activities for all ages, and you can create a make-and-take art project at the Space Bar. 

Students Sketching in the Galleries

There are many ways your students can experience the Museum, and as a teacher, you are the architect behind their visit.  Remember, encountering art can be exciting and educational, so be sure to have fun!

Wishing you all a terrific Thursday,

Loryn Leonard
Coordinator of Museum Visits

More Clips Than A Barber Shop (Audio Clips, That Is)

If you’ve been by the Museum’s offices in the past few weeks, you might have seen me crouched over a laptop in a corner with headphones like two giant beetles over my ears. Why, you ask? I’ve been sorting through audio files from the DMA’s extensive catalog of lectures and interviews. Many of these audio files come from gallery talks and docent training sessions led by DMA staff members and guest lecturers. The experience has been illuminating. Every speaker brings thoughtful, entertaining, and challenging new ways to look at the art. So this week, I thought I might share a few of my favorite audio files which will be appearing in the new teaching resources this fall.

This first file comes from our very own Shannon Karol. In this file, extracted from her talk In Praise and Thanksgiving, she discusses the Janus reliquary guardian figure from the Kota peoples of Gabon (pictured below).

Janus reliquary guardian figure, late 19th or early 20th century, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

During the lecture Heaven on Earth: Hindu Temples and Their Sculptures, Darielle Mason describes the origins of the Hindu temple. Below is an image of the Hindu goddess Durga from our collection.

Durga, 11th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Junior Associates

Finally, this audio file, extracted from a conversation between DMA curator Roslyn Walker and Phillip Collins, gives a brief biography of the artist John Biggers, and included a story about Biggers’ history with the DMA. Below is John Biggers’ painting Starry Crown.

John Biggers, Starry Crown, 1987, Dallas Museum of Art, Museum League

All of the works in this post will be featured in the new teaching materials, and these are only a few of the many audio files that will be available for streaming. You will also find video files, contextual images, maps, and other media when the materials debut this fall. Stay tuned to the Educators Blog for the official announcement of the materials’ debut.

Tom Jungerberg

IMLS Grant Coordinator

Photowalking with Ted Forbes

Last Friday, as part of 9×9, the DMA hosted a Photowalk with staff member and photographer Ted Forbes.  Over a dozen visitors attended, myself included.  Ted began with a brief talk about photographing people and their environment, showing us portraits taken by world-renowned portrait photographer Arnold Newman (who photographed John F. Kennedy, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Marilyn Monroe, and many others).  Then, we were set loose in the second floor European galleries.  What were our directions? “Go out and shoot portraits!” Ted said.

The Photowalk experience was very hands-on experience.   Ted gave us the freedom to wander the European galleries and take pictures of Photowalk participants, strangers we encountered, and works of art around us.  As I walked around the second floor, I tried to keep in mind the concepts of negative space, people and their environment, and the commonly used “rule of thirds” when framing my shots.

Taking pictures of people in specific poses proved to be a bit challenging in the galleries, so I began to look for ways to incorporate people into my pictures while focusing on the artwork as my main subject.  I also played with reflections in windows and looking through panels of glass.  Concentrating on reflections of people against works of art as well as reflections of the artwork itself led to some intriguing images.

After we took pictures in the European galleries, we went back to the Tech Lab in C3 to look at each other’s pictures.  It was fun seeing other people’s pictures, because everyone took the instructions and captured images in completely different ways and styles, with unique perspectives.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the Photowalk, as well as some shots I captured of participants photographing one another!

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Leala Rosen
Teachings Program Summer Intern

Leala Rosen is a sophomore at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. She is studying sociology/anthropology and art history. As a summer intern for the Teachings Program department of the DMA, she worked with Go van Gogh outreach programs and led museum tours.

Gerald Murphy and Archibald MacLeish

Of all the art in the DMA’s collection, I think I like Gerald Murphy’s Watch most of all. I adore how Murphy makes a complex technological system look bright and vibrant. But moreover, I appreciate how his painting explores the difficult relationship between the people and science of his time. In the 1920’s, the idea of time was changed dramatically by the widespread dissemination of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in 1919. Suddenly, the Newtonian concept of time as a uniform absolute was invalidated. For many writers and artists of the period, Einstein’s discovery dramatically revised the way they saw the world.

 

Gerald Murphy, Watch, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the artist

 

Murphy’s Watch explores one man’s view of this sudden change in the perception of time, how it went from an external force outside of the comprehension or control of people to something interior, relative, and subjective. In the painting, Murphy represents his watch internally, by the gears and machinery which make it function and give it power rather than by its most familiar characteristic: its face.

Shannon Karol nicely summarizes the relationships between Murphy and Lost Generation writers. In it, she talks about Murphy’s friendships with Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Murphy was also friends with Archibald MacLeish, a poet who shared Murphy’s fascination with time. In MacLeish’s poem “You, Andrew Marvell,” he describes the shadow of the night as it spreads over the face of Asia and Europe. The title of the poem makes reference to poet Andrew Marvell who, in his own poem “To his Coy Mistress,” speaks about the sway of time over the affairs of lovers. By naming his poem this way, MacLeish reminds readers of time’s slow and steady creep and of its great and terrible power over the lives of people.

By discussing literature and art together, one can explore thematic connections which might not be otherwise apparent. Share some literary or thematic connections you use to talk about DMA art with your students in the comment section below.

Tom Jungerberg

IMLS Grant Coordinator

Go van Gogh Stays to Play

Last Friday, Go van Gogh staff  led a “play” workshop for our volunteers. This session led volunteers into the galleries to discuss and interact with works of art in a creative and fun way. Volunteers  posed as the objects, created a yarn painting similar to Jackson Pollock’s Cathedral, as well as experience several discussions led in Spanish. A former McDermott Intern, Leticia Salinas, who facilitated the discussions, demonstrated various hand gestures and other techniques that could be utilized when facilitating programs with students who speak languages other than English.

The fun did not stop there! Volunteers used materials from the space bar in the Center for Creative Connections to create art, then continued their play session in the Tech Lab. Go van Gogh is an outreach program that brings the Dallas Museum of Art to 1st through 6th grade students in schools throughout North Texas.   Allowing the volunteers to play was a unique approach of seeing the artworks in a new way and re-igniting the volunteers’ energy, enthusiam, and  passion for teaching. 

Karen A. Colbert
Teaching Programs Intern

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Teens and Technology

Every summer, we partner with the South Dallas Cultural Center during their five-week Summer Arts at the Center.  The students, ages six to fourteen, learn about African history through a broad array of classes such as creative writing, digital photography, printmaking, sculpture, mural-painting, and dance.  Programs with the DMA have included artmaking workshops and tours of the Museum’s African galleries and special exhibitions.  Last summer, the teens created an interactive presentation on the summer’s topic, the Middle Passage.  This summer, a different group of teens is developing a new interactive presentation on their topic, African gateway communities in the Americas, with an emphasis on Haiti.

The teens meet twice a week with DMA staff for two hours, both at the Center and at the DMA.  Their presentation is shaped by what they have learned in their classes, and they determine as a group the content and layout.  With one week left in the program, they have gathered all of their research, selected artworks from the DMA’s collection, and chosen the layout.  Next week will be spent building their presentation.  Check our Web site next month to view their completed project!

Dominique and Sasha research Haitian traditions.

Takaziah reads about the Haitian Revolution. Her partner, Renicia, is traveling this week.

Eric writes Fun Facts about Haiti while Craig searches for images to include in the presentation.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

It's Like Seeing Something for the Very First Time

One of the things that I love about the photographs taken by DMA visitors and posted to the online photo community Flickr, is seeing the spaces, the works of art, and the building through their eyes.

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Sketches of artworks by Don Moyer

Roman Woman by Jim Arnold

Young visitor meets Mark Rothko by Rondostar

Ross Avenue entrance by Escuincle

Pinhole photograph of Ellsworth Kelly's Rocker by Mr. Holga

Friday Photo…Uh, How About A Video?

It’s the end of a long week, and we all deserve a laugh.  I had the opportunity recently to revisit a series of video shorts that were created by a few oh-so-smart college students during a course led by my oh-so-smart colleague Molly Kysar.  I love these videos.  They are presented like commercials for a visit to the DMA and wonderfully represent our brand “Hundreds of Experiences.  Have one of your own!”   Enjoy the catchy tune and laugh hard.

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

The Sounds of Music

“Move your neck according to the music.”    – Ethiopian Proverb

Music is a universal language that helps us communicate our ideas, beliefs, and feelings.   When music is used independently or in tandem with other disciplines in the classroom, teachers are making it possible for students to hear and see the connections to the world around them. 

   

During the 2009-2010 school year, Museum staff downloaded music from the Smithsonian Folkways website for use in the galleries with the students in the Dallas ISD/ DMA Talented and Gifted (TAG) Museum Program.  With a focus on common ideas about being human, TAG students listened to and identified song types (i.e. lullabies, wedding, funeral, and work songs) universal to all peoples.  Song selections included the following:

Using an active ear, the students discussed the similarities and differences of the music selections from each culture.  Smithsonian Folkways is a non-profit record label of the Smithsonian Institution that documents folk and world music.  The Folkways website includes lesson plans and additional resources created by their network of teachers. 

If you are interested in a more in-depth conversation about works of art, performances, or lectures, go to the Smithsonian Institution’s Podcast website.  There is a wide array of disciplines and topics represented in the podcasts.  If you have a moment or two, I encourage you to think about ways you can use these types of digital resources in your classroom related to the curriculum you teach. 

Until next time….

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Learning Partnerships with Schools

Community Connection: Bringing the Very Best

Dave Herman has partnered with the DMA’s Education divison in a variety of ways.   As President and Creative Director of Preservation LINK, Inc., Dave initiated a partnership with the DMA that resulted in an annual exhibition of photographs by participants in Preservation LINK’s Point of View program.  He was invited to serve on an advisory board for the development of a new type of Go van Gogh outreach program, based on his perspective as a professional photographer and his teaching experiences with students.  Dave also led several workshops as the February Visiting Artist in the Center for Creative Connections as well as a Summer Art Camp during 2009.  In summary, we enjoy partnering with Dave and take every opportunity to work with him. 

Dave Herman coaches a student through an art project.

You describe yourself as a visual sociologist.  Can you tell us what that means to you?

Visual sociology is, in a lot of ways, documentary in nature. It is almost as if you put out a hypothesis or investigative question, and then you document what you find out and share some of those answers visually. It lends itself to a different kind of attention, because you’re trying to put pieces of puzzles together and understand what that all looks like.  Visual sociology is also about how people interact with each other and how they respond to things.

Was there a defining experience or person in your life that led you to where you are today?

I first associate my mom and dad with helping to shape me and my values.  A lot of what I do is based on my background and what I believe in.  My work with students through Preservation LINK comes from a passion to help kids understand themselves, understand their potential, and to be confident that they can reach their goals. One thing that motivates me now, even as an artist, is that I didn’t necessarily have that growing up.  This is something really important – for students to have guidance and the opportunity to grow, to have ownership, and to eventually have a sense of “I’ve got this now”.

Over the six years that I’ve known you, I’ve witnessed exciting growth with Preservation LINK.  Do you have any advice for others who are interested in starting a non-profit organization with the goal of educating youth through literacy, art, and technology?

Budding photographers

I would say the first thing as an initiator, dealing with kids, is to make sure you’re reaching for the sky. Make sure that you’re bringing the very best to young folks. I say that because sometimes when we talk about equipment, for instance, some people say “let’s just get this (lesser value) equipment because they’re kids and they don’t need a big camera”. In reality, that is what they need. For them to grab onto something real at a certain level, you’re able to push your message and your lesson a little bit further.

Also, believe in your vision. Know how or learn how to manage it.

How does research and evaluation factor into your program development and implementation?

In a big way. Evaluation and research impacts and informs how we move forward.  It informs how we deliver programs and how we assess our accomplishments.  We are able to see what the impacts of our programs are on the community, students, parents, and the adults that supports kids’ learning. We wouldn’t be the same organization that we are now if it wasn’t for the evaluation and research that is a part of Preservation LINK.

What do you most hope students who participate in your programs will walk away with from their experiences?

Students learn about the history of photography during a Preservation LINK program.

I want the students to know that people care about who they are, what they learn, and what they want to become.  I hope they’re motivated to take even more ownership in their lives.

See photographs taken by elementary students during Presevation LINK’s Point of View Program at the Dallas Museum of Art.  The exhibition, titled Through the Eyes of Our Children: Something Beautiful, will be on view from May 14-August 29 on the M2 level of the Museum, adjacent to the Mayer Library.  View images from past Preservation LINK programs here.


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