Archive for the 'Technology' Category



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.

BooksmART: John Grandits @ the DMA

John Grandits is a very funny man, and he’s coming to the DMA!  If you’ve found that sonnets, ballads, and Roman epics are too heavy for you, Mr. Grandits is here to make poetry downright concrete.  If that sounds intimidating, it’s not—poetry can be a lot of fun.  Grandits is a concrete poet, and he’s the author of two immensely enjoyable (and highly acclaimed) books for kids: Technically, It’s Not My Fault and Blue Lipstick.  If you’re tired of Times New Roman and typing left to right, this is your kind of poetry.  Grandits’ poems move in squiggly lines, travel up and down, and create pictures on the page.  He uses fonts, shapes, textures, colors, and sometimes even motion. 
 
If you would like to get a sense of his work, visit his Web site.  It’s full of quirky photos, playful type, and a great poem about a beleaguered snake.  If you’d like to do a little research, check out his books at the Dallas Public Library.  John Grandits will be at the Museum March 18-20, a fantastic opportunity to learn about his work.  Visit the Web site to learn about all the events Arts & Letters Live has planned for John Grandits’ visit to the DMA.
Justin Greenlee
McDermott Intern, Learning Partnerships Department

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