Archive for the 'Technology' Category



Friday Photos: Peaceful Space

Imagine you are in a peaceful place.  What does that place look like?  Is it a serene hillside, a secluded beach, or even just the comfort of your home?  Images on the Center for Creative Connection’s Monitor Wall explore the idea of peacefulness through photos in the latest installation: Peaceful Space.  To find out more about the Monitor Wall in the Center for Creative Connections or C3, I’ve asked C3 Specialist Jessica Nelson about the project.

The Monitor Wall in the Center for Creative Connections

Who are the artists behind the artwork?

The images on the Monitor Wall fall into three different categories.  We have images submitted by our visitors, images from the DMA’s collection, and images from around the DMA.  Knowing the “artists behind the artwork” can be a little tricky because our visitors submit their entries on our Flickr page.  However, I do know that we have some DMA employees who contribute regularly such as Amanda Blake, Jonathan Toles, and myself.

What was the inspiration for the C3 Monitor Wall?

So, in relation to those three different categories of images, there were a few different things that inspired the creation of the Monitor Wall.  First, we wanted to have the ability to show more works of art from the DMA’s collection, and in doing so create a connection between the C3 theme Encountering Space and the rest of the collection.  Also, we wanted to provide an opportunity for visitors to participate in the content of the exhibition.  We see the Monitor Wall as an opportunity to take the idea of “programming” and move it beyond the museum walls, in the sense that our visitors are participating in the exhibition by contributing their photographs, and this participation happens after they have left the physical space of the museum.

How often do you change the images?

The theme for the Monitor Wall changes every six months.  Previous themes include: Texas Space, Filled Space, and Designed Space.  Throughout those six months, we add images that our visitors submit every month.

Capture your peaceful place and submit your photograph to the Dallas Museum of Art’s Flickr page! 

Wishing you all a peaceful weekend,

Loryn Leonard
Coordinator of Museum Visits

High School Day: Students Connect with Filmmakers and Art

Students arrive at the Dallas Museum of Art for High School Day

Last Friday, we had nearly 400 students visit the Dallas Museum of Art  for High School Day, a free educational event that was held in the Dallas Arts District.  This event was presented by the Dallas International Film Festival, and the students attended discussions and workshops at the DMA, the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Crow Asian Collection, and the Annette Strauss Square at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. 

High School Day was a day chock-full of workshops and discussion panels from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m., during which the students had the opportunity to work with local and regional filmmakers and professionals. 

Digital Cinematography with Paul "Bear" Brown

One of the three sessions held at the Museum was Digital Cinematography, which was held in our outdoor sculpture garden.  This workshop was led by Paul “Bear” Brown, a professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).  Students in this session learned what type of digital cameras are commonly used in filmmaking,  such as the Canon 5D MKII. Other topics included popular production tools such as Sliders.

Students experiencing "Cinematic Response" in the galleries at the Dallas Museum of Art.

While half of the students interacted with Mr. Brown, the other half were making connections between art and film in the Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties exhibition.  Cinematic Response, a DMA staff-led experience, allowed the students to be the film “critic” of works of art that are featured in the exhibition.  Each student was given an award title, such as “Best Cinematography,” and they selected the work of art that best fit this description.  This was a great way to get the students discussing the art of the Roaring Twenties in the context of film.

Another workshop featured at the DMA was The Nuts and Bolts of Screenwriting with Carolyn Hodge, the president of the Dallas Screenwriters Association.  Ms. Hodge broke down the fundamental basics of a script and gave some pointers for the students.  Then she discussed loglines, and had the students create their own logline based on the movie The Hunger Games.  A logline is basically a summary of the film in one or two sentences. This is what one group came up with:

“A young, impoverished girl who struggles to survive a totalitarian government is forced to fight to the death in a competitive feudal match. ”

The Nuts and Bolts of Screenwriting with Carolyn Hodge.

Lighting as Storyteller session with Michael Hofstein

The third and final workshop held at the DMA was Lighting as a Storyteller with SCAD professor Michael Hofstein.  Students learned to match specific lighting techniques with the story being told.  Holfstein used examples of cinematic lighting rendered in paintings and popular films, and then discussed the importance of lighting within a specific story.

Overall, High School Day was fun and educational for all.  The event provided many opportunities for local students to connect with professionals in the filmmaking world.  I can’t wait to see what the future of filmmaking holds!

Cheers,

Loryn Leonard
Coordinator of Museum Visits

Educator Resources: The JASON Project

In this Educator Resource series, I would like to introduce The JASON Project.  My first experience with JASON was three years ago, when I was the education intern for the Ulrich Museum of Art in Wichita, Kansas.  We had a week-long marathon of Argonauts come through the Museum (the name derives from the ancient Greek myth Jason and the Argonauts).  Ever since then, I have been focused on adding science components to my docent-guided tours.
What is The JASON Project?
The JASON Project is a science initiative founded by Dr. Robert Ballard, a renowned oceanographer, and is led by a team of scientists to provide students with hands-on, science-based experiences.  The standards-based curricula are divided into five different units, and are designed for grades 4th-10th.  Since the beginning of the project, over twelve million students and teachers have used JASON’s printable curriculum, including myself.  The best part about The JASON Project is that it’s completely free for educators.
How does The Jason Project apply to art teachers and the Museum?
The relationship between art and science dates back to antiquity and has provided our society with many great disciplines including architecture, engineering, communication design, and the visual arts.  Today, discovering art with a scientific lens can be easy, with the right tools, of course.  One of the best tools to connect art with science is The Jason Project.

One of my favorite units of The JASON Project is Operation: Tectonic Fury.  This geology-based unit provides an in-depth look into what makes Earth’s landscape unique: minerals and rocks.  The rock cycle can apply to many of the works of art in our Museum.

The properties of sedimentary rocks

For example, let’s look at Vishnu as Varaha.  This object is not only incredible for the heroic story that it illustrates, but also for the natural properties it possesses.  Vishnu as Varaha is made from sandstone, a sedimentary rock, which is formed when sand becomes compacted and lithified, a process where loose sediment becomes solid.

Vishnu as Varaha, India, 10th Century, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation and the Alconda-Owsley Foundation, E.E. Fogelson and Greer Garson Fogelson Fund, General Acquisitions Fund, Wendover Fund, and gift of Alta Brenner in memory of her daughter Andrea Bernice Brenner-McMullen

Another unit that I reference while teaching in the galleries is Operation: Monster Storms.  This unit discusses the dynamic weather patterns and how those patterns can effect society.  Two divisions of this unit that are applicable to some objects in the Museum are wind and rain.  The water cycle is a great diagram that describes the evaporation and precipation process.

The water cycle

The discussion of rain can be applied to many different works of our in our collection, but my favorite one to use is A Mountain Landscape with an Approaching Storm.  This composition gracefully depicts a treachous storm approaching from the distance, spouting out rain and forceful wind.

A Mountain Landscape with an Approaching Storm, Joseph-Claude Vernet, 1775, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O'Hara Fund

The JASON Project can be an invaluable resource when connecting science with art.  The organization provides us with teachable material, and a curriculum that we can continue to connect science with our own passion for the arts.  I hope these small examples provide inspiration for future collaborations with science and art!
Sincerely,
Coordinator of Museum Visits

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


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